Some experts say intermittent fasting is actually good for you, but if feeling famished freaks you out, ease into the diet with super low-calorie meals

By Kerri-Ann Jennings
Updated: October 08, 2018
Photo: Roderick Chen/Getty Images

Cutting calories through intermittent fasting or daily, long-term calorie restriction can sound controversial, but it's a diet technique that's been around for awhile-and gaining steam lately. New research even shows that fasting intermittently makes you cognitively sharper (and that's in addition to reducing your risk of chronic disease and possibly even lengthening your life).

But if the thought of chronic fasting leaves you a little, well, hungry, there is some good news: You might be able to get some of those benefits from reducing your calorie intake just five days each month, according to a new study published in Cell Metabolism.

Researchers out of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) put 19 people on a diet for five days a month for three months. On the first day, the diet provided 1,090 calories; days two through five gave them 725 calories. For the rest of the month, participants ate however they normally did. In the end, the people's blood sugar and inflammatory markers (signs of disease-promoting inflammation) improved-even after they'd started eating normally.

Before embarking on your own fasting adventure, keep in mind: These participants were being monitored by researchers and were eating a carefully-balanced blend of food that was prepared for them. Research into long-term calorie restriction and intermittent fasting is still new enough that experts don't yet recommend it as a "one-size-fits-all" intervention. (Find out The Truth About Intermittent Fasting.)

The diet participants followed was specifically designed for the study, but if you're not totally sold on intermittent fasting, you can still get a sense of the amount of food in a 725-calorie diet by looking at this one-day diet plan.

Breakfast: Layer two rye crispbreads (55 calories) with slices from 1/4 avocado. Top with a sliced hard-boiled egg and a sprinkle of smoked salt.

Lunch: A huge salad made with 2 cups lettuce, 3 ounces light tuna, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup thawed frozen corn, 1 cup sliced cucumber, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar.

Dinner: Souped up black bean soup. Add 1 cup frozen spinach to 1 cup black bean soup (140 calories) with extra water and heat.

Snack or Dessert: 1cup cherries.


Comments (11)

April 14, 2019
Over the years I've tried many methods recommended by both my friends and family but none of them seemed to work out for me until I chanced upon this holy grail where I've lost almost 33 pounds in just 1 month trying it out! I can now fit in dresses two sizes down and receive many compliments from not only my lovely husband, but colleagues and girlfriends about how great I look right now! I'm here to share with you guys because I am really thankful and hope someone who also needs this can experience similar results as me! Here is the link to my holy grail method!
March 11, 2019
Hi, my name is Kate and I would like to share my story. Up until about 2 years ago, I was 30 pounds overweight. Over the years I had followed many different diet plans, but failed every single time. I was "blessed" with a pear shaped body and no matter what i did, I always retained lots of stubborn fat in my lower body. Everything changed when I found the right diet program. Read my story here ==>
December 12, 2018
This controversial method can make you lean fast:
December 12, 2018
Eat this “superfruit” before bed to burn more fat:
November 29, 2018
Wanna increase muscle size, strength and performance ? i found this powerful product that is a safe, legal and side effect free i tried it myself and it realy shows good results for more info check in here ->
November 28, 2018
Lovely information, very true and effective. I myself had gained over 20 pounds after the birth of my daughter. Plus with age, fat was not going away no matter how hard i tried with so many things. Finally Thanks to this method, I was able to lose 18 pounds Watch the video here: =>
November 13, 2018
The Secret to Losing Unwanted Weight Fast and Keeping It Off:
October 31, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here ->
October 12, 2018
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier:
October 8, 2018
I am sharing my experience, Myself and my husband used Brain Diet weight loss guide it helped us to reduce more than 16 kg within few weeks, It’s working for both men & women. It’s really awesome one!!! No words to say about it. Watch the video here:
June 28, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: