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Celebrities are always touting the latest nutritional fads like "clean eating", veganism, etc. Now it's the Fasting Plan. Of course, these people know nothing. In fact, little is known about human nutritional needs but we do know some simple things to prevent starvation. For example, your nutrition requires fats.
There seem to be all sorts of variants of the Fasting Fad, but there may be something useful in it. For example, no adult without an all-day manual labor job (or a heavy lifter or a distance runner) needs three meals/day unless they are underweight. Three meals/day was designed for farmers, just like summer school vacation.
Furthermore, most hunger is what we have described as "false hunger" (meaning it represents no need for significant nutrition) for anybody even 5-10 lbs overweight. Our fat cells are a massive storage battery waiting to be used.
So what about fasting, whether it means just skipping one of the conventional meals or even taking a day or two off from food every week? Not as a weight-loss plan, but just as a plan. Many find it increases their energy.
When you think about it, during almost all of the 300-500,000 years (except the past few thousand agricultural years) of human life and evolution, food scarcity was the norm. Humans are designed for food scarcity rather than for today's abundance. That's why eating is fun rather than necessary.
Lookup Dr. Jason Fung for legit info on fasting, particularly in regard to curing type 2 diabetes. Also a very good channel on YouTube called Be A Loser that has some simpler explanations of the science. It's an ongoing story with
lots of new science around the hormones involved with the whole eating thing. The entire story around it is probably not finished, but so far there's some compelling evidence for the value of fasting. While this develops, there is of course a lot of social media and health-product $advice on fasting.
The idea that ancient humans were food-starved is an interesting one. I recall a study that people are much larger now (height, stature) thanks to all the protein and nutrition available in the American diet. A quick travel to other parts of the world show that food-starved cultures are indeed tinier people. That said, maybe we actually need more food now to support our larger selves.
I tried the 5-2 and found it too difficult. Have been doing 16/8 for a few months now and have been losing about a pound per week. No food after 8pm or before 12pm. I think that 16 hours of fasting causes my stomach to shrink and as a result I I have no hunger in the morning.
This seems to contradict what's known about our body's starvation mode. There's probably nothing wrong with doing it but I suspect that, like most diets, actively monitoring your food intake tends to decrease it.
Most of my adult life I have been fasting 18/6 without realizing that I was fasting. It is just the way I naturally eat. Layne Norton doesn't think that there is anything magical about fasting only that it is a good way to reduce caloric intake. I have read some studies that show fasting is beneficial. The most recent thing I read was fasting gives your organs a rest. When fasting your body is not always working on digesting food. Which seems reasonable to me.