Intermittent fasting has shown the most promise for boosting metabolism and burning fat, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Researchers put mice on a 16-week intermittent fasting program. The mice ate normally for two days, and then went one whole day without food. Meanwhile, a control group of mice ate the same amount of calories overall, just spread evenly across three days.
After four months, the fasted mice tended to have lower bodyweights than the control-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for energy and body heat, and their insulin and glucose levels were more constant.
And that’s not all, says Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Studies suggest you keep more muscle and lose more fat than on other diets, even if you lose the same number of pounds.” That’s because after about 12 hours of fasting, you run out of stored energy from carbs and start burning stored fat.
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. Three popular ones are:
- The 16/8 Method: Skip breakfast every day and eat during an 8-hour feeding window, such as from 12 noon to 8 pm.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 Diet: Only eat 500-600 calories on two days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
The new fasting is not about deprivation, but about divvying up your calories differently than the three-square-meals-plus-snacks pattern—which some scientists say is a mismatch with the way we evolved to eat, when food was sporadic
VIA: Men’s Fitness