Dr Lanalle Dunn, founder of The Chiron Clinic Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Celebrities such as Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Ben Affleck and Miranda Kerr have always surprised us with their ability to quickly shed weight for their movie roles, music videos or for walking the ramp. And we’ve always asked ourselves ‘how do they do it’?

The answer is intermittent fasting. It’s like a switch that helps your body achieve ‘goals’ over a short period without the use of expensive, fandangled detox kits.

Intermittent fasting is an ancient health secret, and it’s not a diet. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that mainly focuses on alternating cycles of fasting and eating. The main focus during intermittent fasting is not on calorie consumption, but on the timing of consumption of healthy meals. How does it work? Three main methods fall under the intermittent fasting umbrella.

The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours each day; for example, by only eating between noon and 8pm.

The eat-stop-eat method: Once or twice a week, don’t eat anything from dinner one day, until dinner the next day (a 24-hour fast).

The 5:2 method: For two days of the week, eat only about 500–600 calories.

Intermittent fasting has endless health benefits including:

1. Boosting the body’s production of new white blood cells, which helps to strengthen the immune system.

2. Providing our bodies with anti-ageing benefits.

3. Protecting against diseases such as Type II diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Facilitating fat burn through dropping blood levels of insulin.

5. Inducing important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.

During eating periods you should be eating healthy foods that include good sources of fats, fibre and protein in addition to some healthy carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates and sugar should not be the main fuel source for meals or for snacks during this time period.

- The writer is the founder of The Chiron Clinic