A new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal finds that a fasting diet improves a person’s mood, sex life and sleep patterns.
In the study, 218 people either cut 25 percent of their overall calories for two years or stuck to their regular eating habits. Researchers discovered that those who fasted lost about 10 percent of their body weight (roughly 16.5 pounds). The participants also had “brighter moods, improved quality of life, better sleep after a year on the diet and better sexual function after two years of fasting,” reports TIME.
The findings suggest one doesn’t have to be obese and weight loss doesn’t have to be huge in order to gain the benefits of losing weight.
Corby Martin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, the study’s first author, commented, “What people report is that after they ‘get over the hump’ and start to lose weight, their hunger levels subside a bit and they start to feel the benefits of the weight loss. They find it easier to move around, their joints hurt less, they feel better.”
However, Martin noted that decreasing calorie intake by 25 percent over two years is difficult, particularly in 2016.
“Even though they achieve those benefits, it is just really hard to adhere to these diets over the long term, at least in today’s society,” Martin pointed out. “They’re minnows trying to swim upstream, in a world where it’s very easy to overconsume calories.”
The USDA recommends women consume 1,785 calories per day and men consume 2,640 calories. Cutting 25 percent would equal 446 calories for women and 660 calories for men.