Reducing calories with intermittent fasting or daily, long-term calorie restriction for fat loss can seem strange, but it’s a diet strategy that has been around for a long time—and gaining recognition lately. New research demonstrates that intermittent fasting makes you cognitively sharper in addition to lowering your risk of chronic disease and possibly helping you live longer.
When I think about chronic fasting for weight loss, I instantly feel like I am starving myself by reducing calories but there is some good news! We may be able to receive some of those benefits from cutting our calorie intake just by five days each month, according to a new study published in Cell Metabolism.
Scientist from the University of South California, Los Angeles (UCLA) put 19 people on a diet for five days a month for three months. On the first day, the diet was restricted to 1,090 calories; days two through five allowed them 725 calories. On the rest of the days, the participants were given to opportunity to eat whatever they wanted (Cell Metabolism 2015). Their blood sugar and inflammatory levels improved in the end, even when they begin to eat normally.
These participants were surveyed by researchers and were given a carefully balanced diet so engaging in your own fasting diet is not always a good choice. Experts still don’t recommend long-term calorie restriction and intermittent fasting as a “one-size-fits-all” diet plan.
Fat loss involves diet and exercise so getting physical activity is a must if you are trying to lose weight effectively. Abs does start in the kitchen and that is why healthy eating is equally important as exercise. For those of you that are not completely sold on intermittent fasting for fat loss, here is a 725-caloire diet plan you can use:
Breakfast: Layer two rye crispbreads (55 calories) with slices from ¼ avocado. Add a sliced boiled egg with a sprinkled of smoked salt.
Lunch: Try a large salad with 2 cups of lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 sliced cucumber, 3 ounces of light tuna, 1/3 cup of thawed frozen corn, 2 teaspoons of red vinegar and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Desert or Snack: 1 cup of cherries.
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Source: Brandhorst, S. et al. “A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan” Cell Metabolism www.cell.com 7 July 2015