Fasting has been a dieting strategy for decades, and a common spiritual practice for even longer. In terms of dieting, there has been little consensus as to whether calorie restriction is helpful or switches your body into fat-saving survival mode. In recent years, however, a new diet-minded fasting technique has become more popular: intermittent fasting. Read on to find out if it works, and how it works.
If you’re not in the know, intermittent fasting (IF) involves strategically planning for periods where you do not consume any food other than low-calorie liquids (water and black coffee, for example).
There are many proposed ways of structuring this diet. Some people eat all of their meals within a six-hour period each day, and do not eat during the remaining 18 hours. Others choose two full days per week to not eat anything, and others still may opt to occasionally go 36 hours without food.
So, Does It Work?
IF diets go against pretty much all of the nutritional advice that most of us have heard in the past few years, namely that more, smaller meals throughout the day are better than packing all of your food consumption into a few hours. The studies are preliminary, and as there are so many variations on the IF diet, it’s hard to say exactly what works and what doesn’t.
That said, a number of studies have indicated that IF diets may not just help adherents lose weight, they may also promote longer, healthier lifespans in general.