A study says forget tedious exercise routine and counting on calories, a simple Alternate-Day diet regime could offer significant health benefits and make you live longer.
The principle behind Alternate-Day diet a.k.a. Intermittent Fasting or The Longevity Diet is eat very little one day and eat whatever you like the next day. This appears to trigger a 'skinny' gene that encourages the body to burn fat.
This diet would not only help lose weight but also ease asthma symptoms and reduce blood sugar levels.
It will also help fend off heart disease and breast cancer, protect brain cells and improve survival.
Dr Mark Mattson, an American neuroscientist, had discovered rats still enjoyed all those health benefits even when their calories were cut only on alternate days.
"These are very hard diets to follow," the Courier Mail quoted Krista Varady, assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago, as saying.
"You are constantly hungry. The eat-every-other-day-diet seems to offer an easier and more effective option," Varady added.
During 16 patients, all weighing more than 14st ate 20 per cent of their normal intake one day and a regular, healthy diet the next.
The study showed that each lost between 10lb and 30lb; much more than expected. It takes about two weeks to adjust to the diet and, after that, people don't feel hungry on the fast days," said Varady.
However, some British experts are concerned about the approach.
"We advise anyone trying to lose weight should follow a healthy balanced diet," said a spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency.
"It may not be possible to achieve this with very low calorie diets," the spokesperson added.