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The 411 on Extreme Calorie-Restricted and Fasting Diets

If there’s one sure-fire way to lose weight, it’s cutting calories, eating healthy foods and working out. But what happens when you don’t just cut calories by a little bit, but instead periodically don’t eat or dramatically cut calories by 500 or more? While most health professionals and nutritionists wouldn’t tell the everyday average person to dip below getting 1,200 calories a day, there is a small group of people who follow low-calorie diets because they believe it keeps them healthy and prolongs their lives.

While severe calorie restriction (CR) has been shown to increase lifespan in animals, there hasn’t been much research on the practice in humans until now. Although much more research is needed on the quality of life while restricting calories, according to recent research from Washington University, people who drastic cut calories have lower core body temperatures than those who eat more. Having a lower core body temperature better allows your body to operate at maximum efficiency, according to a story on U.S. News and World Report. So what does this research mean to you, and should you try calorie restriction? The pros and cons are below!


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A Fast Track to Heart Health?

Do you want to decrease your chances of getting heart disease? Don’t eat. Well, consider fasting once in a while.

In the 1970s, scientists found that Mormons had a smaller chance of dying from heart disease than the general population. This was accredited to the prohibition of smoking. But in a recent study, fasting seemed to play a role as well.

In the current study of 4,500 people, those who fasted were 39 percent less likely to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease than those who didn’t fast.

While 90 percent of the people in the Utah study were Mormons, the results applied the same to the other 10 percent. The study did not put any time frame on fasting, but one can probably assume that 24 hours was typical.

Fasting is definitely not for everyone, especially diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels.