New evidence suggests short fasts for weight loss may work better for us than the typical calorie restriction diet says the Wall Street Journal

New evidence suggests short fasts for weight loss may work better for us than the typical calorie restriction diet says the Wall Street Journal

If you’ve ever been on a diet (Jennie Craig, Weight Watchers among others), you see the weight come off, at least for a while. Unfortunately, one of the reasons diet companies are a great business is that rarely, do their customers maintain their weight loss. In many cases, people actually gain more weight. The theories are numerous; not enough exercise, wrong types of foods, not changing your lifestyle among the most popular explanations that people hear.

What if the diet companies are just wrong? The Wall Street Journal recently had an article on the idea of short fasts that alternate with days of eating normally or more than normally. Apparently, another school of thought is showing that this type of alternation is proven to help many people not only lose weight, but beat diabetes and derive other health benefits. Perhaps three square meals a day is not the best policy for us humans. Check out the article below

Short Fasts for Weight Loss vs. Traditional Diets

How Drastic Reduction of Calories for Limited Periods of Time Compares to Other Plans

In an effort to make losing weight—and keeping it off—easier, researchers are studying what happens to the body when people eat next to nothing every few days.

Dieting books in the U.K. and elsewhere have used these studies as a springboard to tout the benefits of intermittent calorie restriction, such as the 5:2 Diet, which suggests five normal eating days and two restricted ones.

Some research shows that this more radical-sounding approach may be a struggle at first but ends up being easier to stick with compared with the typical route of cutting calories each day. Some animal studies suggest it also offers other health benefits, including cognitive improvements.

Many questions remain. For one, it isn’t clear whether the very-low-calorie element of the diet confers health benefits in humans, or if the diet simply helps people eat less and lose weight temporarily, like with daily calorie restriction. The effects on metabolism and long-term effects on nutrition and health haven’t yet been studied in humans.

It also isn’t known how much people need to hold back on their restriction days, or how many days a week to restrict is optimal. Changing eating and exercise routines typically leads to an average weight loss of about 5% of initial body weight, and usually only temporarily, studies have found.

Animal research by the government’s National Institute on Aging has shown the strategy of alternating days of eating regularly, known as intermittent fasting, appears better at improving cognitive functioning and maintaining muscle mass. Animals following a more typical reduced-calorie diet did not fare as well.

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