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Why Intermittent Fasting Could Be the Secret to Losing Weight — or Not

Here's what to know about fasting and meal skipping

Here's what to know about fasting and meal skipping Here’s what to know about fasting and meal skipping. |  iStock.com

The never-ending quest to find the optimal diet is leading scores of people to do something once considered taboo: skip breakfast. Admitting to forgoing the day’s first form of nourishment still draws skepticism from many, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Even famous faces like Hugh Jackman swear by intermittent fasting. But celebrity endorsements don’t necessarily mean you should follow suit, so it’s time to take a closer look at fasting.

To get started, it’s worth noting the special term because fasting is a tad different than skipping meals. With intermittent fasting, the idea is to go for a prolonged period of time without eating. Different methods vary, but the time period is usually somewhere between 12 and 36 hours.

Implementation is where things get a little confusing because there are many different ways to incorporate these fasted periods into your schedule. Life by Daily Burn highlights a number of different methods, including one that alternates fasted periods of 14 to 16 hours with feeding periods of 8 to 10 hours every day, one that call for a full 24-hour fast a few times per week, and a method that alternates fasting days that allow between 400 and 600 calories with regular eating days. One popular variation of this last one is the 5:2 method, which involves fasting two days per week and eating normally for the other five.

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