The study’s co-author Dr. Mark Mattson, a neuroscience professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said when it comes to weight loss, eating three meals a day is abnormal, it’s not how our ancestors lived. Food was scarce and they had to work for food. He said people’s genetics are geared to eat intermittently and we function well under those conditions.
"You don't use fat unless you're not eating for at least 12 hours, unless you're exercising, so, that's the key thing to help you lose fat, is going that time period without eating," said Mattson.
He said eating three meals a day, plus snacks, is not optimal for good health in this day and age because the liver storing energy is replenished as glucose.
"There’s about 700 calories of glucose in the liver, which takes 10 to 12 hours to deplete that," said Mattson.
He said fat cells release fat which are then converted to ketones to be used for energy instead of glucose.
He said try to stick with it for two months. It takes about two to four weeks to adapt to the new eating pattern. He said it’s very safe. However, the elderly who are losing weight, children and people with low body weight shouldn’t do intermittent fasting.
If weight loss isn’t a big deal to you, intermittent fasting has been shown to slow down the aging process in rats and mice. Mattson studied that intermittent fasting slowed down Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s effects.
Research finds that restricting your eating to six to eight hours per day helps regulate glucose, blood pressure and heart rate.
Another approach is when participants limited themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days a week.