Intermittent fasting has been around for a while now, but recently it’s been making noise since people have started turning to these types of diets to lose weight. In particular, the 16:8 diet has been known to help with the reversal and improvement of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, weight loss, and blood pressure management.

There have been debates on its safety and effectivity, but now it seems science is here to settle the debate once and for all. First, let’s settle one thing: the one thing that separates fasting from total starvation is control and discipline.

When it comes to starvation, this means you’re purposely keeping yourself from eating – there’s no control in your portions, no timeframe for eating. You just don’t eat.

On the other hand, fasting is the voluntary refrain from food due to health or religious reasons.

In the 16:8 intermittent fasting scheme, people fast for 16 hours, and then eat whatever they want for 8 hours in their day. Another diet is the 5:2 intermittent fasting, wherein people eat normally for five days and fast for two days, eating only 500 calories a day.

A recent study shows that the 16:8 diet not only works for weight loss, it also lowers blood pressure. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago studied 23 obese participants over 45 years old and had an average body mass index of 35.

During the study, participants could eat whatever they wanted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., but for the remaining 16 hours of the fast, they couldn’t eat anything and the only thing they’re allowed to have are black coffee and water.

After the 12-week study, participants consumed 350 fewer calories than usual, lost 3% of their weight, and showed lower blood pressure levels.

The results were compared to the effects of another type if intermittent fasting called “alternate day fasting,” which let participants eat whatever they wanted for a day before fasting the following day, and then eating again the following day.

More than anything, most people do intermittent fasting to achieve weight loss. Since it makes you eat fewer meals, this, of course, reduces the number of calories you consume each day.

In fact, doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting method not only lowers insulin, it also increases the growth hormone levels in the body and increases the release of norepinephrine, a fat burning hormone. In effect, it’s going to be able to increase your metabolism by at least 3.6%.

Other studies have found that doing intermittent fasting allows up to an 8 percent weight loss over the course of six months, while also helping you lose 7 percent of your waist circumference, particularly belly fat, which is actually more harmful than the fat around your thighs and hips.

Other known benefits of intermittent fasting include reducing the markers of inflammation, the root cause of many chronic diseases, and reducing bad cholesterol and improving insulin resistance for better heart health.

Additionally, intermittent fasting poses benefits for cancer prevention efforts, and also increases a brain hormone called BDNF that helps reproduce and grow new nerve cells. Due to this, it can help slow down the progression of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (again probably due to its anti-inflammatory effects), and can potentially extend the human lifespan by at least 30 percent.

Other effective weight loss diets include the Mediterranean diet, paleo, and keto diets. For most people who aren’t too enthusiastic about cutting out their favorite snacks, weight loss supplements are a great aid, especially the ones in the market like conjugated linoleic acid, which can help you lose weight without doing any lifestyle changes at all.

There are also weight loss supplements that act as carb blockers and appetite suppressants, depending on which ones better suit your needs, habits, and lifestyle. Which one would you try first?