Well Being

The Fast Diet: Lose Weight Eating Whatever You Want?

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book cover for "the fast diet" byLose weight eating whatever you want? That’s the bold claim made by The Fast Diet, the new bestselling book by UK-based authors Michael Moseley, M.D., and Mimi Spencer, who say for five days a week you can pretty much go for it, milkshake AND fries included. And lose approximately 1–3 pounds per week.

The only catch? You have to fast two days a week.

More specifically, on two non-consecutive days, you must reduce the number of calories you normally enjoy by 25 percent. That’s approximately 500 calories a day for women, and 600 calories for men.

While the weight-loss claims may sound impossible, the diet, which is also known as “5:2” or alternate day fasting (“ADF”), is actually gaining credibility with some researchers and medical professionals, and several new studies suggest it works.

Still find the 5-day gorgefest and 2-day starvation protocol a little hard to swallow?

According to triple-certified nutritionist Dana James, the science checks out (though she’s quick to point out it’s not for everyone): “When you restrict your calories, the body activates its survival mechanisms,” turning up genes responsible for fat burning and switching off those responsible for fat storage. “Both of these changes will activate fat loss. However, it must be done on an intermittent basis, otherwise, you are turning on too much of a stress response within the body, and other cellular mechanisms will come into play to stop the fat loss,” she says.

Research also shows additional positive side effects of fasting, such as delayed aging and improved cognitive function. And who doesn’t want those? But before you move your dinner plans to coincide with your new dietary regimen, there are still a few holes scientists have yet to fill in. Continue reading at Well + Good NYC.

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