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Intermittent Fasting: The Diet Craze That Breaks All The Rules

Intermittent fasting has been generating some serious buzz as it is gaining heaps of attention from celebrities and common folk alike. This scientifically endorsed weight-loss method challenges our strongest beliefs about food and slimming down.

As far as we can remember, the word "fasting" has put nutritionists and diet experts en garde. "Starvation mode" and "weight plateaus" are amongst the most common arguments in favor of grazing and eating frequent small meals. Countless dieters who fail to see results are being told that by not eating enough, their metabolisms slow down, as their bodies are desperately holding onto the weight.

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But according to intermittent fasting experts, that might be just a myth. Even though intermittent fasting doesn’t mean starvation, the method predicates that if you keep giving in to your small and frequent, albeit perfectly healthy cravings, you won’t see any results. In short, you have to let your body go hungry for a while.

So how does it work? By alternating between times of fasting and eating, you have a time-restricted "eating window" during the day, that doesn’t affect what you eat. You can eat anything you want during those hours as long as you don’t binge on unhealthy foods (because that would defeat the purpose, right?). Then you spend a considerable amount of time fasting. In certain dieting plans, you may even have to skip breakfast (cue gasps).

The fasting process is what kickstarts the fat-burning mode in our bodies.

"It puts your body in starvation mode, so it becomes more resilient. So it decreases the aging process, decreases the disease process," says Sharon Smalling, a dietician at Memorial Hermann hospital. Smalling recommends trying a less strict approach, meaning eating during a 12-hour period and then fasting for another 12 hours.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound terribly hard. It’s kind of what our ancestors did before snacks were invented, and when food was not so readily available. However, it means that once you’re in fasting mode, nothing is allowed in, not even healthy fruits or low-fat anything.

Intermittent fasting is a good alternative for people who are addicted to “healthy” snacks, but despite all their good efforts see no change on the scales. Being a serial snacker, I would love to give it a try. Of course, consult your doctor before jumping into any changes in diet!

Do you approve of this weight-loss method? Let us know what you think.

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