How many times have you been on a diet? I think we have all tried dieting at least once in our lifetime and for many it is habitual. Unfortunately the trouble with diets is they often require you to give up most of the foods you really love and have loved for a lifetime. So what invariably happens is that not long into the latest diet the old cravings start to return and begin to dominate your thoughts.  It’s not long before the diet has failed and the weight begins to creep back on again.

For those of you nodding your head as you read this, maybe fasting might be an option for you.

Types of Fasting

Believe it or not there are many types of fasting and it is critical that you find one that best suits your goals and lifestyle. Of course you should always consult your health care provider before you begin.

Intermittent Fasting

With intermittent fasting you only consume 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men twice a week on non-consecutive days, followed by five days of healthy eating without calorie restriction. Your calories on the fasting days are split into one meal in the morning or early afternoon and one meal in the evening.

Time-Restricted Feeding

All your days’ calories are front-loaded so you finish eating all your calories by 5 or 6pm at the latest. You begin eating again at 7am or later the next morning which allows for an overnight fast of 12 hours or so.

Once-a-Month Fasting

For once-a-month fasting you consume 35 to 50 percent of your normal calorie intake, divided into 10 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent fat on five consecutive days each month.

The Science

A 2017 randomized clinical study conducted by the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology published in the journal Science Translational Medicine reported that five day periodic fasting diet, adhered to every few months, helped to safely reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also helped to reduce inflammatory factors and contributed to loss of body fat while preserving muscle mass. A 2015 study from the University of Southern California found that intermittent fasting helped to slow the aging process and reduce belly fat.

So Is Fasting Right for You?

Fasting may not be safe for everyone i.e. type 1 diabetics, individuals recovering from surgery or suffering from malnutrition, pregnant and women breast-feeding. It is always advisable to take advice from your physician or dietitian. However, if you have struggled constantly with diets then fasting might be an option to help you eliminate returning back to old cravings.