Intermittent fasting is one of the biggest lifestyle trends of the moment, usually followed by people who want to lose weight in a healthy manner. Fasting is well-known among Christians and Muslims for ages. Modern society, however, gave it a new dress and called it "intermittent fasting".
How many intermittent fasting methods are there and what impact do these eating patterns have on the body?
Eat Stop Eat Diet: How does it work?
The Eat Stop Eat concept was developed by the author Brad Pilon, who wrote the book “Eat Stop Eat.”
The rule is very simple to follow: choose 2 non-consecutive days of the week during which you will fast for 24 hours (as in completely abstain from eating), for instance, since dinner today until dinner the next day. You are allowed to drink water, unsweetened tea, or coffee. For the rest of the week, you can eat normally, but be mindful of your food choices and don't go over the board with the calorie intake. Read here how many calories do women and men actually need.
Does Eat Stop Eat help you lose weight?
Unfortunately, there are no specific relevant studies that evaluated the weight effects of the Eat Stop Eat diet on people. However, there are recent studies, such as this one from 2018, suggesting that intermittent fasting may encourage weight loss for certain people.
Following the logical thread, Eat Stop Eat and other intermittent fasting methods promote weight loss by creating a calorie deficit. In the fasting days, your calorie intake is lower (as in 5:2 diet) or absent (as in 16/8 method or Eat Stop Eat), which means that over time, you may lose weight, since you'll burn more calories than you take in.
Eat Stop Eat diet jumpstarts your metabolism
"When you cut the eating window down, you are creating a fasting period in which the body will have to use its own stored glycogen from carbohydrates and fat as fuel. When the glucose and glycogen stores are used, the body switches over to a ketogenic state and burns fat for fuel.", declared Eliza Whetzel-Savage, R.D., a registered dietitian with Middleburg Nutrition in New York City.
Eat Stop Eat Side Effects
For obvious reasons, the Eat Stop Eat diet is not suitable for everyone, especially not for people under medication, people with diabetes, low blood pressure, pregnant women, or breastfeeding moms.
If you are in a generally good state of health and want to try this method out, it is best to keep in mind a few potential downsides of Eat Stop Eat, such as:
- Insufficient nutrient intake. Even if you eat normally during 5 days of the week, there are still 2 days of fasting involved, days when your body will not receive any nutrients. This may lead to possible dizziness, weakness, hunger sensations, cravings, mental fog.
- Restrictive eating has a psychological impact on humans. Even if it's a short-term fasting period, the absence of eating can make people feel irritated, experience low libido or have unpleasant mood swings. This can interfere with social and professional life.
Even though fasting is generally considered safe, followers can experience some negative side effects. Talk to your physician in order to properly evaluate if Eat Stop Eat is a beneficial weight loss strategy for you.