Intermittent Fasting is not a new concept. Many cultures around the world have been fasting to demonstrate piety during holy days for centuries. However, fasting as a form of weight loss has often been saddled with a bad reputation. Many opponents say (often without scientific basis) that fasting is bad for you, that it depletes the body of necessary nutrients, and that it can destroy muscle mass in as little as 12 hours.
Most of that negative information is completely baseless—weight lifters and body builders have been fasting for years! Now a growing number of Western doctors and researchers have begun to examine the positive benefits of fasting and intermittent fasting. Laboratory experiments have shown that fasting can:
- Prolong life
- Increase disease resistance (including cancer resistance)
- Support weight loss
- Improve mental functioning
- Decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses
WHAT is Intermittent Fasting?
A recent article in Men’s Journal  explored the multiple benefits of fasting.
“It seems counterintuitive, but skipping meals helps you feel more energized, recover better from exercise, blast fat, and retain lean muscle mass, and even protects your body from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline – which is why NASA is interested in looking at fasting to improve the cognitive functioning of pilots and unmanned-aerial-vehicle operators.”
But fasting (abstaining from eating food), for an extended period of time, can have risks and should only be undertaken with proper medical supervision.That’s one of the reasons why Doctor Michael Mosley, creator and author of The Fast Diet, doesn’t advocate total fasting. He does recognize the health benefits—longer life span, cancer resistance, weight loss, cognitive improvements—and has tried extended fasting himself but he says that intermittent fasting (one or two days—24 hour periods—per week without food or with limited food ) can give you all the benefits of fasting without the pain.
Dr. Mosley also says that you don’t even have to starve yourself for the entire time to enjoy all the benefits. His research has shown that restricting your calories (typically 600 for men and 500 for women) during two 24-hour “fasting” sessions per week is just as effective and a whole lot easier. That’s the structural basis of his version of the popular 5:2 diet.
HOW Fasting Burns Fat
As Brad Pilon , author of Eat Stop Eat and creator of one of the first intermittent fasting diets, said in a CBC interview: “In the fasted state your body’s set up to burn the calories you stored while eating . . . it’s set up specifically for the act of burning body fat.”
That’s because fasting triggers the body’s production of Growth Hormone—the most important fat burning hormone in your body. This hormone essentially “makes your fat burning furnace start to work overtime.”
Pilon also points to increased production of adipose tissue HSL (Hormone Sensitive Lipase) and muscle tissue LPL (Lipoprotein Lipase)—fat-burning enzymes—as positive reinforcement for intermittent fasting as a form of weight loss.
Dr. Mosley’s research concurs and also notes that those who fast can also increase their insulin sensitivity. This is good news because insulin essentially helps your body store the sugars you consume as fat. Increasing insulin sensitivity means less insulin is produced and less fat stored.
WHY Eating While Fasting Works
Dr. Mosley found that combating the fear of hunger and the occasional hunger pangs is definitely the hardest part for most folks attempting to use intermittent fasting for weight loss. The Hollywood Cookie Diet® blends perfectly with this version of an intermittent fast because each nutritious cookie contains only 120 – 150 calories (depending on the flavor) —so you won’t even come close to breaking your daily caloric limit!
What’s more, all flavors of these delicious cookies are loaded with dietary fiber and protein which both help you feel fuller longer. Fewer hunger pangs mean less temptation to cheat!
According to Dr. Mosley, another important factor for success is that people following his version of the 5:2 diet are allowed to eat all the foods they love – but only on non-fast days. The Hollywood Cookie Diet®  cookies give you the taste sensation of sweet chocolate chips, gooey peanut butter, and wholesome oatmeal at a reasonable caloric level. You get the flavors you crave without busting your fasting day limitations.
The science says it all: intermittent fasting can be good for you and help you lose weight. The Hollywood Cookie Diet® can help you fight the temptation and hunger that might make fasting difficult. Combine the two diets to give your unwanted pounds the one-two punch.