NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If losing weight and getting healthy is your plan for the new year, one popular new diet plan may be for you.
“Everyone wants that one answer, that one pill, that one magic diet that’s going to take the weight off and make them look amazing and make them fabulous forever,” nutritionist Robin Barrie told CBS2’s Alex Denis.
But the hottest way to lose weight these days involves fasting. It’s a system that’s not telling you what to eat, but when to eat. CBS2’s very own John Elliott has been following a fasting plan.
“My blood pressure is better, it’s a little lower. I have less heartburn, I have more energy,” Elliott said. “I actually feel a little more nimble.”
“There are so many variations right now,” Barrie said. “There’s alternate day fasting where you’re fasting for 24 hours and then allowed to eat for 24 hours.”
There’s also a five-day vs. two-day version.
“In a week’s period, on two non-consecutive days, you’re fasting,” Barrie said.
Then there’s daily time-restricted feeding where instead of counting calories, you watch the clock. The idea is to eat normally, in moderation, for 12 hours while fasting for the other 12. The eating window starts when you first ingest something other than water.
“Some of the research shows that this interment fasting is working because it’s an overall caloric restriction,” Barrie said.
According to Barrie, when you don’t eat for an extended period of time, insulin levels are low and the body starts to use fat as its source of energy.
Studies attribute the eating plan to weight loss, fat loss, lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
To get the best results, Barrie says most of the fasting should happen during sleep periods to coincide with our body’s natural circadian rhythm.
“If you’re fasting during the day, it kind of messes with your body. Your body thinks it’s sleeping or starving.”
Another tip is to stop eating before 7 p.m. so the body can properly digest food before entering the sleeping and fasted state.
Research has also shown this eating/fasting pattern helps you live longer and look younger.