The familiar definition of fasting is "a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a period of 24 hours, or a number of days." Unsurprisingly, the mere thought of not consuming anything for a whole day is unappealing. Thus, the idea of intermittent fasting has gained traction in recent years and its efficacy has been demonstrated by a study led by Dr. Min Wei at the University of Southern California. He has given further respectability to the idea that forgoing the occasional meal can shift flab in tandem with desirous health benefits and life extension. Even restraining from eating between your last evening meal and an early lunch the next day can leave a gap of some 17 hours which is easier to obey. The so-called intermittent fasting has gained public consciousness because of the 5:2 diet, a popular weight loss plan to advocate a normal calorie intake for a five day period followed by a markedly reduced intake for the other two days. The effectiveness of such a regime has much to do with the fact that it is easier to stick to than daily calorie watching. The theory is that a mild and regular dose of food deprivation fine-tunes the body's stress responses leading to beneficial chemical changes in the brain. Tumor growth can also be slowed by starving the tumors of glucose. There are no notable side effects from intermittent fasting aside from a whiff of bad breath which results from ketones, which are produced as fat breaks down. Carefully crafted fasting programs help both mind and body.
Rewritten from an article by Anjana Ahuja