Intermittent Fasting Helped Hugh Jackman Get Ripped
It seems unlikely that Terry Crews and Nicole Kidman would follow the same diet, but the latest fad to sweep Hollywood doesn't really discriminate based on body type. It's called the 8-Hour Diet, and the name is just a cutesy term for intermittent fasting, or eating during prescribed hours and abstaining from food the rest of the time.
The diet itself isn't actually new, but it's been steadily gaining traction with celebrities. The trend kicked off in 2013, when David Zinczenko—the author of the famous Eat This, Not That! series, wrote a book claiming you'll drop major weight if you eat for only eight hours of the day and fast for the 16 others. (So if you eat breakfast at 10 a.m., your last bite of the day will clock in around 6 p.m.) And it doesn't matter what you eat in that time, as long as it's balanced and protein-rich to keep you full.
Shortly after the book launched, Hugh Jackman name-checked Zinczenko's diet plan in an interview. "I feel so much better on it," Jackman told Men's Fitness. "And the great thing about the diet is, I sleep so much better." The science, as Zinczenko reports it, is this: When you limit your food consumption to just eight hours, you trigger your body to burn fat, rather than muscle, for energy. Plus, he says, when you fast, you boost your natural levels of HGH—the human growth hormone—which helps your body stay young and strong. The diet's supposed to lower your risk for diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cancer, too.
Since the book came out, other intermittent fasting plans have become mainstream, like the 5:2 diet, which Miranda Kerr purportedly follows, along with Benedict Cumberbatch, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Lopez. On that one, people eat regularly for five days, then eat 25 percent of their normal caloric intake on the other two days.
As with any other fad diet, you should consult a doctor before starting.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.