There is some evidence that cleverly applied abstinence from eating helps to lose excess weight, improve health and even prolong life, but nutritionists urge caution.
The main point of interval fasting is to avoid eating in the evenings by increasing the interval between the last and first meals. Its proponents usually name a figure of 16 hours.
Some emphasize the number of meals and advocate the «5:2 diet» (eating normally for five days a week and cutting the caloric intake by four times on the remaining two days).
«Temporary restrictions are used as a weight-loss tool, but I can’t say it’s my favorite approach,» says Gianpaolo Persoglio. – You reduce calories, but you don’t change your approach to what you’re putting into your body.»
Without an understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet, she said, people fast and quickly gain the same weight back. «If you feel ravenous and perceive it as a restriction, the next day you are likely to eat too much,» the expert emphasizes.
Interval fasting may not be the best way to stay slim, but there are other arguments in its favor. It is associated with autophagy, a natural regeneration process that takes place at the cellular level and is of great interest to scientists because of its supposed benefits for humans.