Michael Masterson recently mentioned that a friend of his uses fasting as a weight-maintenance technique. “He weighs himself every morning,” said Michael. “If he is heavy – even one pound heavy – on any given day, he fasts. The next day, his weight is below his target.”

As hard as it may be to believe, more and more nutrition experts are incorporating fasting into their weight-loss programs. But when most people hear about this practice, they have a lot of questions. One of the biggest concerns is how it can be possible to make it through a day without food. But that’s not a problem, according to a study from the U.S. Army.

Twenty-seven healthy young subjects were tested on reaction time, learning, and other cognitive functions after receiving first 313 and then 2,300 calories for 48 hours. Not surprisingly, they reported more hunger on the near-fasting trial – but the extreme calorie restriction had no effect on mental performance, mood, or sleep.

For weight loss, Brad Pilon, author of Eat-Stop-Eat, recommends fasting 1-2 times per week and eating normally on the remaining days. I’ve used his program to fast on the weekend, finishing dinner at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and consuming only water and green tea until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Do this once per week if you have only a small amount of weight to lose. Not only will it help you cut calories from your diet, you’ll be amazed at how much time you save when you don’t have to prepare (and clean up after) the six meals per day suggested by most weight-loss plans.

[Ed. Note: Extending your life and living out your years in tip-top health is really a matter of making simple lifestyle choices. Of course, fasting isn’t the only way to lose weight. Discover how you can burn fat with fitness expert Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training exercise program.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com