EMS – Electrical Muscle Stimulation

What is EMS? EMS is an electronic machines that generates electric current. The electrical currents are delivered through electrodes (usually pads that adhere to the skin) that are placed on the muscles. These currents mimic the action potential coming from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. Theses devices are regulated by the FDA.

EMS can be used for training, therapeutic device, and as a cosmetic tool. Potentially, using these devices can increase muscle strength, diminish fatigue, and tone the body. I have an EMS unit, and I did not experience any of the cons that are mentioned above. However, I am very pleased with the unit, as I found that using it makes me want to exercise much more. After using it my body feels ready to run, jump, cycle, anything! I just feel like I need and want to move and do some exercise.

I decided to buy the Slendertone ReVive S5 Pro Muscle Conditioner & Stimulator. The reason? The price was right (usually sells for $69.99, but lately has been $49.99 on Amazon), and most reviews were positive. I also googled the item and found the company is considered to be reputable.

The machine itself is very small. I took a picture of it next to my iPhone 7  so you’d have a better idea of its size:


It has 4 electrodes, but you need 2 electrodes to connect to one pad, therefore you can use only two pads, not four. The pads are large and have a very good coverage. The unit has 6 muscle conditioner programs + 99 Intensity Levels:

Program 1: Exercise Preparation (12 minutes).

Program 2: Active Recovery 1 (30 minutes).

Program 3: Active Recovery 2 (20 minutes).

Program 4: Active Recovery 3 (20 minutes).

Program 5: Build Endurance (20 minutes).

Program 6: Muscle Strengthening (20 minutes).

I tried all the programs, and the one I love the most is program 6. The muscles are being contracted nice and strong (I’m now at levels 40-50), and as I mentioned, it makes me want to exercise. Often after a session with my EMS, I hit the treadmill for 30-60 minutes. I just HAVE to move!

It could be that I don’t notice any toning effect because I’m so overweight. It would be interesting to know if you do see your muscles tone the more  you use this device, when you have much less fat tissues.

The unit comes with 4 pads. I’ve had this unit for about a month, and so far the first 2 pads (remember, each pad connects to two electrodes) are holding up very well. They still stick well to my body, and I don’t even need to use an electrode gel. After I finish using them, I simply put the clear film on them, and that’s it.


Make sure to read all instructions. They do suggest that you consult with a doctor before starting to use the device, and they also explain very well where on your body you should or shouldn’t use it.

I am very happy with this EMS device, as this is the one thing that physically motivates me the most to exercise!


Exercising When You’re Obese

You’re obese, and you want to start exercising. Good for you!

Remember that when you have a lot of extra weight, exercising should be handled a bit differently. Exercise always creates stress for the body, however, if you’re obese your body is already continuously stressed, and it’s best to follow these tips:

Tip #1 – Start Slowly

True, this is a common tip for everyone. But overweight people need to pay extra attention to this and start slower than usual. Us obese people, our hearts already work hard by having to carry around our very heavy body, and our joints are also under daily significant stress. Adding more stress in the form of exercising should be done very gradually. When you start, ignore generic suggestions, and simply do what is manageable for you. Don’t aim for a 30-minute walk, but walk several times a day for 5 or 10 minutes. Do not work out for more than 20-30 minutes a day and do not do too many types of activities all at once.  Introducing one new activity per week is a better idea. Increase the duration/intensity of the workout as you feel more comfortable. If you can easily talk while exercising you are exercising at a comfortable rate. Exercising will become easier for you, both because you condition your body, and because as you lose weight your heart will not need to work as hard for just supporting your body. 

Don’t exercise every day. A good rule of thumb is to exercise 3-4 times a week on alternate days. Exercising will become easier for you, both because you condition your body, and because as you lose weight your heart will not need to work as hard for just supporting your body. Focus first on gradually increasing the duration of exercise. Only then, gradually increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts. 

Tip #2 – Choose the Right Exercise

Choosing a wrong exercise can cause injury, and there’s nothing like an injury to discourage you from continuing your weight-loss program. Many obese people, in addition to other issues that I already discussed above, also have balance issues. Ideal activities would be working out on cross trainers and recumbent bikes, and swimming, all excellent exercises which reduce the impact on joints and lower back. A treadmill is also a good choice, as it is predictable (straight surface with shock absorbers and steady speed), and you can hold on to the rails. The problem is that obese people have a hard time going to the pool, and the exercise machines are found in gyms, another place where most obese people feel very uncomfortable in. If your budget allows, and if you have enough space for it in your home, I would recommend buying a treadmill. It doesn’t have to be fancy with all the bells and whistles, just make sure that it can support your weight. That was the solution I went for, and it encourages me to exercise as much as I can. I put the treadmill in front of the TV, I make sure to record plenty of shows that I like, I turn on the AC, and voilà! I’m all set, and I actually have fun walking several times a day.

No worries if a treadmill, or other fitness equipment, is not an option for you. As mentioned before, you can simply find an activity you are able to do without it being too strenuous. It can be a 5-minute walk about 4 times a day, or moving your arms for a few minutes several times a day.

Tip #3 – Be Consistent

If you’re doing short low-intensity workouts, you might get the feeling that you are not doing much, and that all that effort doesn’t even make any difference. These thoughts can be very discouraging and you might want to quit altogether if you focus on such thoughts and on not seeing quick results. The reality is that moving a little is better than not moving at all. Another reality is that if you have regular workouts, you will improve gradually and be able to handle longer and higher intensity workouts.  

Tip #4 – Do Weight Training

The aerobic ability of obese people is usually not very good. Because an obese person will tire easily doing aerobic exercises, not a lot of energy will be used. Short weight training sessions will enable spending more calories than short aerobic exercises. In addition, weight training will increase the person’s basic metabolism rate, and will improve the looks of a person by increasing muscles’ tone (and possibly also increase muscle mass). Start with doing 8-15 repetitions for each exercise, with 30-60 seconds of rest periods.

Tip #5 – Hydrate and Avoid Heat Exhaustion

Obese people can not adapt to temperature changes as well as other people, and they are more susceptible to dehydration. Make sure to wear light clothing when exercising, and use a fan or A/C if you’re too hot. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.

Before you start dieting

Before You Go on a Diet

You already know that you weigh too much, and it has gotten to a point that it has serious negative effects on your life.

You want to go on a diet (good for you!).

ln order to maximize  your chances of success, you can make some preparations before you start dieting. Think how you prepare for important things in your life. For example, when you’re looking for a new job you first make sure to write a great resume, you brush up on your interviewing skills, you network to get more leads.

Taking dieting seriously and preparing for it will increase your chances of long-term success.

Mental Preparation:

  1. Picture yourself thin. This will help you focus on the end goal. If you were once thin, hang up these pictures of yourself around the house.
  2. If you’re not doing that already, start dressing nicely and taking good care of yourself. Start feeling good about how you look, and you’ll believe you are worthy of all the effort involved with dieting.
  3. Start thinking as a thin person. Mostly, that you need to eat only when you’re hungry, don’t worry about not having the opportunity to eat when you get hungry, don’t be afraid of being hungry.
  4. Make a list of why you want to get thinner. List everything that you will gain by losing weight (and not just the obvious – that you’d look better and be healthier. Think of everything, such as that you will feel more outgoing, do more things, will probably live longer, and much more). Hang this list in strategic places, such as on the refrigerator.
  5. Know that you will face some breaking moments, and prepare yourself on how to respond. Read more here – Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves.
  6. Find out if you’re an emotional eater, and think of the strategies to deal with it – Emotional Eating.
  7. Choose small goals that you will celebrate. If you want to lose 40 pounds, plan to focus on losing only 5 pounds at a time. Plan how to reward yourself on every 5 pounds that you lose, and not with cake of course  😉
  8. Think about when do you eat the most, and find other things to do during that time. For example, If you mostly eat junk when you’re watching TV in the evening, decide that you will start exercising at that time instead or join some class.
  9. Be realistic. Healthy weight loss can take longer than you might expect.  Even if it is realistic to lose 1-2 pounds a week,  there will be weeks that you plateau, or even gain a little weight. Expect this, and you will not be disappointed when that happens.

Practical Preparation:

  1. Choose a diet that you will follow. There are so many choices available, so read about the different suggestions and see what makes sense to you.
  2. Prepare an exact menu for at least one week. You don’t want to start thinking what you need to eat when you’re already starving.
  3. Do some shopping, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your food. It’s even better if you can prepare some food in advance.
  4. I strongly recommend getting a food scale. This will help you measure the exact portions that you’re eating, eliminating the guesswork. I have this scale, but there are so many other options as well.
  5. I also strongly recommend that you write down everything that you eat. This will enable you to make sure  you’re still on track and not straying too much. Find a platform that can help you with this task. If you have a Fitbit device, you will be able to use their platform to log what you ate (and your exercises as well), but there are plenty of other available apps, such as MyNetDiary.
  6. If you have some food  laying around that is not supposed to be included in your diet, throw it away. It’s harder to resist temptation when it’s right in front of us.
  7. Plan how to incorporate exercise into your routine. You can start by getting a good pedometer and setting a goal of walking 10,000 steps each day. Omron’s pedometers are known for their accuracy, I personally love this Fitbit.
  8. Consider joining a weight loss group or working with a dietician or personal trainer. Many people can benefit from the structure and motivation that these options offer, not to mention that they help to adopt healthy lifestyles.
  9. Think if you will benefit from sharing with others that you’re dieting. Some people will enjoy the moral support that they receive whereas some will experience it more as pressure and even nosiness.

Plan ahead! This diet could be life-changing  for you, it is important so it makes sense to treat it as such.

Do you have other tips? I’d love hearing from  you!

Target HR

Target Heart Rate

A common way to determine how intense your workout is, is to measure your heart rate (HR). The faster it beats, the more intense the workout.

In order to determine how fast you want your heart to beat during exercise for optimal weight loss, you first need to calculate your maximum HR. Your maximum HR is what is the maximum beats per minute your heart should beat during exercise. The formula to calculate your maximum HR is 220 minus your age. So if you’re 35, your maximum HR is 185. Please note that this is a simple formula that doesn’t take into account your fitness level. At the bottom of this page, I’ll write the formula for finding your HR zones using your resting HR (the fitter you are the lower your resting HR is).

Once you know your maximum heart rate, you can calculate your desired target heart rate zone — the level at which your heart is being exercised and conditioned but not overworked.


  1. Recovery zone (aerobic): Training at 50%-60% of your maximum HR. In our example, that means 93-111. In this zone, your body will improve its blood flow.
  2. Endurance zone (aerobic): Training at 60%-70% of your maximum HR. In our example, that means training 111-130. In this zone, your body will increase its ability to use fats and carbohydrates, and improves your endurance.
  3. Stamina zone (aerobic): Training at 70%-80% of your maximum HR. In our example, that means training at  130-148. In this zone, your body’s ability to use oxygen and its muscles strength  will increase.
  4. Economy zone (anaerobic): Training at 80%-90% of your maximum HR. In our example, that means training at 148-167. In this zone, your body’s efficiency will improve but it is hard and is recommended only for short period of times.
  5. Speed zone (anaerobic): Training at 90%-100% of your maximum HR, should be performed only by experienced athletes and for short bouts.

Important: If you’re taking high blood pressure medication consult with your doctor to find out if you need to use a lower target heart rate.

If you’re only starting out, start slowly, at about 50% of your maximum HR. You need to gradually build up the intensity as your aerobics abilities improve.


So how do you measure your heart rate while exercising? Many treadmills, ellipticals, etc. offer built-in HR monitors. You just need to hold your hands on the metal handles for a few seconds, and your HR shows up on the monitor. I recommend however that you invest in a good heart rate monitor. The more accurate ones have a separate chest strap that you put around your chest. I prefer the Polar brand, they’re very reliable and easy to use. If you look on Amazon, there are so many models to choose from, such as this one. Just look at the different features (and your budget!) and see what features you think you will use most.


Last but not least, as promises need to be kept, this is how to calculate your workout zones taking into account your resting HR:

  1. Calculate your maximum HR (220 minus your age). If you’re 35, your max HR is 185.
  2. Find out your resting HR: When you wake up in the morning and still in bed, put your index and middle fingers on the artery on your wrist or neck, and count the number of beats in one minute. Alternatively, count how many beats in 10 seconds, and multiply that number by 6.
  3. Calculate your Heart Rate Reserve (HHR): Subtract your resting HR from your maximum HR. If you’re 35 and your resting HR is 65, your HHR would be 120 (185-65=120).
  4. Calculate your Aerobic Training HR Range: Calculate 50% and 80% of your HHR. In our example, you will get 60 and 96 (120×0.5=60 and 120×0.8=96). Now add these numbers to your resting HR. You get 125 (65+60=125) and 155 (65+96=161). This zone (125-161) will give you the zone in which you will burn the most fat.

Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal Replacement Shakes

Meal replacement actually come in different forms. They can come in the form of shakes, powder, bars, soups etc. As the name suggests, the idea is to replace a real meal with a prepackaged product.
In Europe, there are regulations that dictate how many calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals the package should contain. Unfortunately, in the US shakes are classified as dietary supplements and are not subject to the same regulations as other foods. These shakes can actually contain so much fat and sugar, as much as in a regular meal, so reading the nutrition labels is crucial.

So what’s the deal? Who would want to drink some engineered shake instead of eating tasty healthy food? Regular meals also offer a better balance of nutrients, and if you want to maintain your weight loss you need to be able to eat well-balanced regular food.

Well, I think that in certain circumstances, these shakes do make sense:

  • If you are obese (BMI>30)and need to lose a lot of weight. I wouldn’t suggest that you just buy some meal replacement off the shelf, but there are clinics that offer well-balanced medical shakes as part of their program. Depending on your weight, they may suggest that you strictly use the shakes in lieu of real food. That means you will actually be fasting, as you’ll drink about 750 calories worth of shakes per day. I’m not suggesting that anyone try such a diet by themselves at home. You have to do this through a clinic, where the doctor meets with you before you start the program, they check your heart and run some blood tests. If you are cleared to go on such a diet you will be monitored once a week, and they’ll continue doing routine blood works.  There will also be a dietician to consult you. I think this could definitely be an option to consider if you are obese.
  • Planning what to eat when you’re dieting is hard work. Not only do you need to plan and make sure you have all the ingredients, but you need to weigh the food portions to know how much you’re eating. You also need to calculate how many calories does each ingredient in the meal contain. True, there are some great software out there that can help you with this task (Fitbit, anyone?), but you still need to invest a lot of time into this. If you’re busy, this might be a reason which will cause you not to stick to your plan. Having a convenient ready-made shake, where you just need to add water, could be a good solution for replacement of one meal a day. You know you’re getting the needed nutrients (more or less, depending on the brand), and you can manage to eat within your diet limits without having to stress about preparing dinner. This is a good option if you’re eating healthy on the other meals.
  • If you tend NOT to eat healthy during most meals, the shakes could also be a temporary solution for you. Many people eat high-fat, high carb, processed food. Even when they’re dieting, they just try to eat smaller portions. These shakes tend to have more proteins and fewer carbs than such meals, so you would potentially have better nutrition if you replace your regular meal with a shake every once in a while.

Now you are probably wondering if there are any specific brand that I recommend; I know there are medically shake products that have excellent nutritious values (I am aware of the ones manufactured by Doctors Answer – MNP) but you can get them only through a diet program. When I look at available products for consumers, I look mostly for products that have small amounts of added sugar and have a variety of vitamins and minerals.  It seems to me that Plant Based Balanced Meals  has good nutritious values as do Orgain Organic Protein Plant-Based Powder . I will do product reviews on these shakes in the future.

If you have recommendations for other shakes, please share!

It’s important to get cleared by your doctor before you start replacing meals with meal replacement shakes. Remember that this is not a long-term strategy, and to also use the shakes in combination with other healthy weight-loss choices.


Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating

When I went on one of my diets, I shared with my husband that I usually eat when I’m not hungry at all, and it’s hard for me to just stop eating all the time. He said that I’m lucky. That he eats when he’s hungry so it would be difficult for him to try to lose weight because he’d be left hungry if he ate less, and I can just cut down on food and not have to deal with hunger. Ha! Goes to show you that people who don’t suffer from emotional eating don’t really understand it and how tough it is to conquer this behavior.

Yes, we should eat only when we’re hungry. But many of us eat when we suddenly have a craving for something, even when we don’t feel hungry at all. We can eat one snack after another, and because we’re not trying to satisfy hunger, but something else, it’s very difficult to hit the spot where we’d feel we’ve had enough. We’re using food not to fulfil hunger but to comfort and distract us.

Food is sometimes used when it’s hard to deal with difficult issues we’re facing. We could be struggling with financial difficulties, health issue, relationship troubles, work stress, and more. True, some people tend to hardly eat when they’re facing these situations, but others automatically turn to impulsive eating and consume whatever is available, without even enjoying the food. Our brains can become wired so we automatically reach out for food when we’re experiencing negative emotions without even thinking about that.

We also use food to subconsciously self-sabotage us. I went on countless diets, was able to stick with them nicely, and as just the pounds started coming off, I would go into unstoppable binge eating. I now understand that my brain was trying to protect my perceived identity. If I’m used to thinking of myself as an unthin person, I would subconsciously feel that something is off when I start looking thinner and thinner.

Food becomes a (temporary) distractor, but it doesn’t solve the issues we’re facing with, and it causes more problems for us.

How to know if you’re eating because you’re emotionally hungry and not physically hungry:

  • You suddenly feel an overwhelming hunger. A physical hunger develops gradually
  • You crave specific food (fatty and sugary) and want to eat more and more until you’re absolutely stuffed. When you’re physically hungry almost anything will sound good and you’ll stop eating when your stomach is full.
  • After you eat you feel bad about yourself.

Let’s say you’ve identified yourself as an emotional eater. How to deal when the cravings hit again? Here are some tips that are working for me:

  1. Identify your triggers. Do you eat out of boredom, to give yourself something to do? Out of childhood habits? Out of stress or dealing with negative emotions?
  2. Find other ways to deal with your feelings. If it’s boredom, you can go read a book or exercise. You can talk with a relative or a friend if you’re depressed. I absolutely recommend the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It discusses how habits are an automatic response to specific triggers, and how we can deliberately work at changing our automatic responses to these triggers.
  3. Write down all the reasons you have for wanting to lose weight. When you feel like you’re about to eat emotionally, read the list and think if you still value the benefits of losing weight. Tell yourself you’re not really hungry and remind yourself how bad you’ll feel if you give it. Read my post Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves for how to be ready with answers when we try to convince ourselves it’s OK to eat something we know we shouldn’t.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques. Stress releases the hormone cortisol which causes weight gain. This happens as cortisol mobilizes triglycerides from storage to visceral fat cells and by suppressing insulin levels which causes the body cells to be starved for sugar. That triggers cravings for high-calorie food. Cortisol causes other health issues, such as blood pressure, depression, and the list goes on. Have a glass of beverage (no- or low-calorie) to drink slowly, practice yoga, guided imagery, deep breathing, meditation. Find what makes your body relax.


Fooling Ourselves

Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves

It’s so easy to  cheat. Here’s a situation: It’s dinner time, and the kids are not that hungry. They left a whole 1/2 toasted bagel with cream cheese completely untouched. As I’m clearing away the dishes, I can tell how good it smells.  I think to myself, OK, just one bite, I really don’t want to throw away so much food. On the first bite, I realize the bagel is still warm, and it’s delicious. So I figure,  OK, just because it’s still warm, let’s have just one more bite. This time, I take a large bite, as I don’t want to throw away food of course. After the 2nd bite, I see that almost half the bagel is gone, so it makes sense to just eat what’s left, as 1/2 of half bagel doesn’t make a lot of difference anyway, and hey, I’ll just eat a bit less tomorrow.

Are you familiar with the situation? Situations where you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s OK to eat something on the spur of the moment? That you tell yourself all these convincing arguments of why it’s not a bad idea? We can come up with so many reasons:

  • I really want it and will probably end up eating it in the end anyway
  • I don’t want to throw it away
  • I’ll compensate by eating less later
  • This doesn’t have too many calories
  • It’s only half a piece
  • I deserve this as I’ve really watched what I ate this week
  • It really doesn’t matter
  • I’m allowed to as I’m celebrating

And so on and so forth… You get the idea. When we really crave something, we’ll convince ourselves that all these reasonings are valid and that it’s OK to give in to them.

What to do ? How to overcome these thoughts, when we want the food so badly?

We can be better prepared so we know how to respond to these thoughts when they creep in. When we’re calm and not hungry, we can think about a good response for each of these hindering thoughts. For example, a response to “I really really want to eat this, and I’m fed up with this diet anyway” can be “well, now I feel I’m fed up, but when I lose weight I’ll feel very good. I will feel bad if I give in and eat this. I knew this process will be difficult, and this is one of those difficult moments. I will feel very proud if I resist the temptation”.

A response to “it’s a very small piece, it will not make any difference” can be “Little small pieces add up. I need to stop the habit of eating food that I didn’t plan on in advance. I need to be able to not give in to cravings and this is an opportunity for me to practice and strengthen my resistance power. ”

Think of what convincing stories you may be telling yourself when you feel like eating something you know you shouldn’t, and come up with good answers.

You can even write down the responses on paper. Sometimes seeing something written makes a stronger impact.  Eventually, you will have these thoughts and similar ones, and being ready can make the difference between giving in or conquering your impulse. The important thing is to be ready.


How Many Calories to Eat

How Many Daily Calories to Eat


We know that in order to lose weight we need to eat enough food, otherwise, our body will go into an emergency mode. It will start using muscle tissues instead of carbohydrates and fat, and our metabolism will slow down. Y ou can read more about it in this post.  I should note that there is an option of fasting as well, which is actually both very healthy and helps you lose weight, but you need to make sure you do it right. Otherwise, instead of boosting your metabolism you may slow it down.  Read more about this here.

So how many calories should you eat a day in order to lose weight?

First, let’s find out your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR measures how many calories your body consumes while at complete rest. Gender, age, height, and weight all play a role in determining your BMR. This is only a statistical estimate of course, but it still gives you a pretty good ballpark figure.

BMR Calculator:


Now, in order to adjust the figure to your activity level,  you’ll need to multiply your BMR according to this chart:

Amount of Exercise Daily Calories Needed
Little to no exercise BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1 to 3 days per week) BMR x1.375
Moderate exercise (3 to 5 days per week) BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6 to 7 days per week) BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (intense workouts twice per day) BMR x 1.9

Now you know how many calories you need to eat daily in order to maintain your weight.

Let’s continue. One pound of body weight has about 3,500 calories. In order to lose 1 pound, you’ll need to eat 3,500 fewer calories over time. If you eat every day 500 calories less than the amount needed to maintain your current weight, you will lose one pound in a week (500×7=3,500). The typical recommendation is to lose 1-2 pounds a week. If you try to lose much more, it means that you are probably putting in too much effort in dieting and exercising, and that could be unhealthy for you. Chances are you will also not be able to stick with what you’re doing to maintain as a permanent lifestyle change. Also, when you lose weight fast, you’ll lose more weight from water and muscles than when you lose weight at a moderate pace. Dieting in moderation lets you burn more fat tissues than in crash diets.





On a previous post, I discussed how it is important not to eat too little, as then the body goes into emergency mode and slows down the metabolism.

Then why am I now writing a post about fasting? Seems counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Wouldn’t fasting cause the body to spend as little energy as possible?

There’s no simple answer. Unless the fasting person works out vigorously, they will lose muscle tissues as well as fat, and this could lead to a decreased metabolism. Eventually, they will have to stop fasting, and then they’ll gain everything back again, including some additional extra pounds due to the slower metabolism. However, this happens only in prolonged fasting. Intermittent fasting can actually have very positive impacts on our bodies.

I’ve read the very interesting book The FastDiet written by Michael Mosley. In the book, Dr. Mosley discusses a very interesting study conducted by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In the study, the researchers 2 groups of mice and fed them a high-fat diet. All the mice got the exact same amount of food, the only difference being that the mice in group one were allowed to eat whenever they wanted, while the mice in group two had to eat their food within an 8 hour time period. This meant that there were 16 hours of the day in which they were fasting. After 100 days, the mice from group one, who ate whenever they wanted, had developed high cholesterol and high blood glucose and had liver damage. The mice from group two, who had to fast for 16 hours a day, put on far less weight (28%) less and suffered much less liver damage, despite having eaten the exact same amount and type of food. They also had lower levels of chronic inflammation, which suggests they had reduced risks of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. The researchers explained that when you’re eating, your insulin levels are elevated and your body is stuck in a fat-storing mode. Only after a few hours of fasting is your body able to turn off the fat-storing and turn on the fat-burning mechanisms.

Other research found that Human growth hormone (HGH) goes up during fasting. This hormone aids in increasing muscle tissue gain and decreasing fat. Two other studies found that fasting for about 2 days increase metabolism by 3.6%-14%, however, fasting for more than 2 days can slow down the metabolism rate.

The scientific evidence sound convincing, and it’s no wonder that intermittent fasting  diets are becoming more and more popular.

There are several common methods for intermittent fasting, with the most common one being the 5:2 diet (the Fast Diet) which is recommended by Dr. Mosley. It involves eating regularly for 5 days, and for the other two days of the week eat only 500-600 calories per day, making sure to eat foods that have a glycemic index less than 50. You can read more on the glycemic index here.

There are other ways to do intermittent fasting, for example, eat-stop-eat method which involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. Another popular one is the 16/8 method, in which you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours each day. The Alternate Day fasting proposes fasting every other day.

If you are interested in fasting, I recommend buying The FastDiet, it includes a lot of good information and tips on how to succeed in such a diet.