How intake you food to look cut on the beach this summer? You might try too fast—if you were a rodent. Mice fed a high-fat diet that fasted for 15 hours in a day weighed 30 percent less than a group of rodents that nibbled on an identical diet throughout the day, revealed a new study in the journal Cell Metabolism. Fasting may make metabolism more efficient and burn fatter.
Diet Plan: Six small meals
You eat small, Approx 300-calorie meals six times a day. The problem: It is easy to overeat. “Mostly people think that every meal has to be a balanced mix of protein, starch, and veggies, but that is when those meals become too big,” says Aragon. Not to mention, 300 calories looks puny on your plate.
Diet Plan: Fasting
Aragon’s clients choose a “window” of eating, say from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., to stuff in all of their calories. The remaining hours are spent fasting. It’s successful because “you shave one to two meals off your day without consciously restricting calories. You can basically eat with abandon during this time,” says Aragon. The catch? Social obligations can be awkward (try explaining to business associates why you’re not eating lunch).
Diet Plan: Three squares a day
Eating three square 600-calorie meals a day “actually works best for most dieters who aren’t vigorously exercising,” says Aragon. (Competitive athletes need a pre- or post-workout snack to sustain them.) One common flub: The lag between lunch and dinner is six or seven hours, prime time to get too hungry and binge at dinner.