Why try a plan with a high dropout rate and hours of hunger? Beyond the health benefits, some people actually like it—and find it the easiest way to control their weight. Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, has studied intermittent fasting since the 1990s and himself been on a plan for years. "Once you get used to it, it's not a big deal," he says. "You adapt." Other fans? Reportedly, trendsters from Beyonce to Silicon Valley techies; and Jimmy Kimmel has said he lost 25 pounds fasting too. So... should you experiment?
Your morning snack and lunch will consist of a Zero Belly Drink. Each delivers the three core nutrients (protein, fiber, and fat), and is based on plant protein, which reduces both sugar and bloating that you often get from whey-based proteins. Vega Sport and Sun Warrior are two of my favorite brands. Since the drinks average about 230 calories each, this step alone will cut about 500 to 1,000 calories out of your daily intake, which may take several additional pounds off your body in just seven days. The drink recipes at right pack such a nutritional punch that you’ll know you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats you need. Before each meal or snack, ask these three questions: Where’s my protein? Where’s my fiber? Where’s my healthy fat? Check out our picks for the 4 Best Zero Belly Smoothies for Weight Loss.
A popular homemade cleanse combines lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple sugar. The maple sugar provides carbohydrates and helps make the concoction palatable. Cayenne pepper could help reduce hunger and help burn fat, although the evidence for this is preliminary, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Cleanse proponents recommend consuming the ingredients in purified water. Consuming psyllium husk, a natural plant fiber, provides bulk as part of a homemade cleanse. Ingesting psyllium and dietary fiber helps you feel full and may assist weight loss, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.