Toronto, Ontario Canada (PressExposure) October 27, 2007 -- Anyone who is familiar with the new diet book Eat Stop Eat is aware of the author's position that using brief periods of fasting is an easy and effective method of reducing the amount of food you eat and helping you lose weight. While this method remains controversial, the results of a recently published research paper lend new support to this method.
According to Brad Pilon, the author of Eat Stop Eat, it is a commonly held misconception that short periods of fasting will slow down your metabolism and cause you to burn muscle. However, recent research has proven this to be false.
"The principle theory behind Eat Stop Eat is that short periods of fasting are effective for weight loss and that they will not have a negative effect on your metabolism" says Pilon. Even though this theory is opposite to the prevailing theories behind many of today's popular diet plans, they are being supported by research examining the metabolic effects of short periods of fasting.
According to a paper published in the November issue of Acta Physiologica Scandinavia (The journal of the Scandinavian physiological society) ten healthy male volunteers were asked to fast for 3 days. At the end of their fast, the researchers found that the subjects were burning more fat, their metabolisms did not slow down, and that they did not lose any extra muscle during the fasting period.
Similar to what Pilon suggests in his book, the researchers also found that at the end of the fast, the people in the study also had increased levels of fat burning hormones Norepinephrine and growth hormone.
While Eat Stop Eat does not recommend fasting for a 3 day period (The author recommends brief 24 hour fasts) this research does add new support to the theory that short periods of fasting can increase fat burning without negatively affecting metabolic rate or muscle loss.