A 5-day fast before switching to a healthier diet can boost weight loss

A 5-day fast before switching to a healthier diet can boost weight loss

Much has been said about intermittent fasting and its benefits for weight loss, but new research says it can also help your body transition if you’re changing to a healthier diet.

It’s now a few months into 2021 (if you can believe it), how are those resolutions coming along? If your goal is still to eat better and get healthier, that’s a great first start. What could make your transition to a more nutritious diet and kickstart weight loss could be a five-day fast.

New research from Germany has shown the positives effects on your metabolism, blood pressure, and gut health are increased and last longer.

It won’t be an easy five days, however, because it’s entirely without solids. But it will help dig you out of metabolic syndrome–a cluster of conditions (high blood pressure, insulin resistance, for example) that occur together, increasing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

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“Fasting acts as a catalyst for protective microorganisms in the gut. Health clearly improves very quickly and patients can cut back on their medication or even often stop taking tablets altogether,” Sofia Forslund, lead co-author of the study and scientist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, said in a press release.

The study observed 71 participants with metabolic syndrome and split them into two groups. Both groups followed the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), which is designed to combat blood pressure, for three months. It’s a Mediterranean-style diet that includes lots of fatty fish, lean white meat, wholegrains, and legumes.

One group, however, fasted with no solid foods, just soup, for five days before starting the DASH diet. Researchers found that body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and the need for high blood pressure medication, became lower and stayed low in those that fasted for five days prior.

“Switching to a healthy diet has a positive effect on blood pressure,” Andras Maifeld, first author of the study and a researcher at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center in Berlin, said in a press release. “If the diet is preceded by a fast, this effect is intensified.”

If this sounds like something you might want to try, you should consult with your doctor before embarking on any extreme dietary changes.