Well Being

Remember When We All Thought Intermittent Fasting Was A Weird Diet Fad? Well, Scientists Want You To Try It Now

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For some unforeseeable reasons, every few years scientists like to tell us that everything we know about everything is wrong—either just to mess with us, or in attempts to help us be healthier (I haven’t decided yet). So it’s only natural that researchers are now claiming that eating a balanced three meals a day is no longer what’s considered healthy, or good for us. Instead, they’re claiming that longer periods of little to no food might be the answer to weight loss…and cancer prevention.

Drastically cutting calories two days of the week, also known as the 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting, is the new-ish eating trend some scientists say can help ward off diseases like cancer. The reasoning behind it? Constantly eating is ‘abnormal’ in evolutionary terms.

Well, duh.

Earlier humans—like cavemen, for example—had to catch or grow their own food if they wanted to eat. All we have to do is click a few buttons on Seamless before shoveling food into our mouths almost instantaneously.

Dr. Michelle Harvie has carried out research that shows a low-calorie diet on two consecutive days a week leads to more weight loss than constantly dieting, or shaving off just a few calories each day.

Other benefits discovered by Harvie show that dieting for two days a week (also called the 2-Day Diet, which involves eating just 600 to 1,000 calories of low-carb foods for two days) cuts insulin and leptin, which are both hormones that can fuel breast cancer. The bizzarro trend could also help burn off dangerous fat that clogs up the liver and fuels heart disease, stroke, diabetes and perhaps even dementia.

Harvie emphasizes that fasting is the only way your body can get into ‘repair' mode to protect itself against diseases. But I'm emphasizing that I get hungry for more than 600 calories per day. While the benefits sound great, this 600 to 1,000 calorie diet is a steep drop-off from the 2,000 calorie diet that's typically recommended—and so far, I haven't had any major weight loss or health issues from eating at least three times a day.

We can't all be Beyonce or Cameron Diaz and be fed mini portions of super, super healthy food six times per day, but we can all do our best to practice moderation. I think I'll stick with my regular schedule (aka, eating when I'm hungry…and sometimes when I'm not), but if you're in a bind searching for a weight loss method that works for you, maybe this is the diet for you.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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