New York publicist Katie Green hasn't had anything to eat today.
"I've had two cups of tea and a cup of black coffee. And a lot of water," she said. "I feel great. I feel fine."
She's following a diet routine called intermittent fasting. Five days a week, she eats normally. Then she fasts for two nonconsecutive days, except for one 500-calorie meal.
"I feel more energy," Green said. "I've lost a ton of weight."
Experts say to be effective, a person needs to fast for at least 16 hours, that way the body shifts to burning fat.
"In our studies we show people tend to lose 90 percent weight as fat," said Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Varady looked into the benefits of fasting.
"All of the data shows basically consistent weight loss, consistent heart healthy and anti-diabetes effects," she said.
But some nutrition experts argue fasting can lead to bad habits, like binging.
"When you forbid foods, people tend to overconsume. That could be the fear with this type of diet, that you abstain and then the next day it's free pass and you can eat what you want," said Joy Dubost, a food scientist and registered dietitian.
Green has lost 30 pounds during the nine months she been intermittent fasting.
"I have such high cholesterol that I'm on statins, and my doctor is considering taking me off them," she said.
She's hoping to lose another 20 pounds and plans to make intermittent fasting a permanent lifestyle change.
Researchers say intermittent fasting is not advised for children, pregnant women, and people with Type 1 diabetes.
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