For years it’s been believed fasting can help you lose weight.
The thought process seems logical enough: restrict calories and force your body to rely on its own fat stores, and you’ll lose weight.
However, there wasn’t any scientific evidence to support th
ese thoughts, at least not research conducted on human subjects.
Well, that’s all changed, as a new study published in journal Cell Metabolism has shown intermittent fasting doesn’t just help with weight loss, it’ll also do significantly more than that.
The exciting research was conducted by Italian researchers who created a diet called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). In the diet, subjects are asked to go 5 days during a month where they eat a restricted amount of protein and calories, thereby helping the body revert to burning stored reserves of fat.
The Washington Times writing on the new diet cites what the study’s author said about the diet.
Co-author Valter D. Longo, who studies longevity, described the idea behind fasting as a way to “reboot” a person’s body by clearing out damaged cells and regenerating new ones.
“It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode but also rejuvenating it …” he said. “It’s not a typical diet, because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”
The diet described in the study — which the researchers dubbed the “Fasting Mimicking Diet” — isn’t quite as extreme as actual fasting. It works like this:
For 25 days out of the month, dieters can eat as they normally would — the good, bad and in-between. Then, for day one of the diet, they would eat 1,090 calories: 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat and 34 percent carbohydrates. For days two through five, 725 calories: 9 percent protein, 44 percent fat, 47 percent carbohydrates.
In the study, participants consumed a lot of vegetable soup, kale crackers and chamomile tea. The calories consumed are 54 to 34 percent of what a typical person might eat in a day.
Though the FDM isn’t a true fast, the results are likely to be repeatable with a true fast.
So what can the FDM and intermittent fasting do for you?
Participants who intermittently fasted for three months had reduced risk factors for an amazing range of issues: aging, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease.
This qualifies the FDM and other types of fasting as reasonable activities to pursue not just to help lost weight, but to help promote better overall health.