Another study on 11 participants (7 women and 4 men), showed that resting energy expenditure actually increased after 3 days of fasting. This is attributed to the increase in adrenaline that accompanies fasting (3). In response to lower blood glucose levels, adrenaline is released to mobilize glucose from the liver and eventually fat cells. This also gives people a boost of energy and mental focus. It’s for this nootropic effect that many execs in Silicon Valley have been joining the fasting bandwagon as well (4). Therefore, it appears that alternate day fasting could be a powerful and safe tool to achieve weight loss and mental focus, without decreasing one’s metabolic rate significantly.
Even if you’re happy with your current weight, or finding success with your current diet plan, it can make sense to do a cleanse from time to time. Here’s why: Fast results help lead to long-term weight loss. Slow and steady is the best way to reach any personal goal, but sometimes the slow undermines the steady. A review of studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that those who realized rapid results were more likely to stick to their weight-loss program over time than those who saw results come more slowly. This 7-day cleanse can improve your chances of long-term adherence to a healthy weight-loss plan.
Like green and black tea, oolong also contains tea polyphenols that could offer health benefits. “Similar to green tea, it’s suggested that oolong tea could could decrease body fat content and reduce body weight through improving fat metabolism,” Mendez says. “Some small studies also show that oolong tea may slightly raise metabolism by roughly 3 percent, although more research is needed to determine if this is a short-term metabolism boost, or has a longer-lasting effect.” Researchers are also unsure whether that metabolism boost is due to the antioxidants oolong contains or the caffeine—so go ahead and buy your oolong caffeinated, too.
How does fasting produce these benefits? Professor Valter Longo of USC, one of the leading researchers on fasting and longevity, hypothesizes that fasting forces your body to recycle many of its immune cells, particularly white blood cells. Then your body works hard to replenish its white blood cells, essentially re-setting parts of your immune system. Longo is also the inventor of the fast-mimicking diet, where you eat a special diet for 5 days every month, one that makes your body think you're fasting even though you're getting adequate calories and nutrients. (See Alice Walton's story in Forbes for more about that.)
You may feel trendy with a bottle of vitamin-enhanced water in your hand, but that brightly-hued liquid probably isn’t improving your health. Most vitamin-infused H20 is just colored sugar water with some vitamins tossed in—bad news when you consider that Americans take in about 355 calories of added sugar every day. If you want vitamins, get them from vitamin supplements or, better yet, from whole foods (wild salmon, for example, is loaded with energy-boosting vitamin B-12). And if you want water, get it from, well, water. Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free and will take care of all your hydration needs.
"The term 'detox' has become a buzzword that is often misused by the media and consumers," says Jackie Armstrong, MPH, RDN, EP-C. Jackie is a Performance & Wellness Nutritionist at Stanford University and the founder of Well-Fueled.com. She says that detox diets are often misunderstood. "Our organs and tissues are constantly in a state of detoxification — getting rid of unwanted substances produced by the body or from our environment." She goes on to explain that research is lacking to support the effectiveness of most detox diets.