The New Year is a time to adopt healthy habits for a lot of us, which means hitting the gym and revamping our eating. There are plenty of fad diets out there that aren’t worthy of our attention, but one diet we may want to consider? Intermittent fasting.
Research suggests this trendy diet may do more than just help us shed pounds - it could help us live longer, too. A new study from Johns Hopkins University finds intermittent fasting can reduce blood pressure, help with weight loss, and boost longevity.
Professor of neuroscience Mark Mattson has studied the effects of the diet for over two decades and has been practicing it himself for 20 years. He focuses on two types of fasting: Daily time-restricted feeding - where you eat for six to eight hours a day and fast for 16 to 18, and 5:2 intermittent fasting, where you fast two days a week, usually eating no more than 500 calories a day on those days.
- His research reviewed past studies and his findings show that fasting can trigger “metabolic switching,” where cells use up their fuel stores and convert fat to energy - “flipping a switch” from fat-storing to fat-saving.
- But here’s the thing - not eating for huge chunks of the day can leave us hungry and cranky, so this diet can be tough to stick to. But if you can get past the irritability and being hangry - which Mattson says “usually passes after two weeks to a month” - your brain gets used to it and then you can enjoy all those health benefits.
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