Silicon Valley’s new “it” health fad is intermittent fasting, (aka “biohacking), which entails refraining from food on certain days or for the majority of a day. The diet trend has found popularity with numerous apps and startups. Last year, one of the diet’s converts, Kevin Rose, the cofounder of Digg, introduced an app called Zero. Named for the amount of food you eat while fasting, the app tracks and trains your body, via set fasts or customized settings, to help you adjust to consuming nothing for 16 hours a day. Basically, you pick a program and the app tells you which hours to both start and stop eating. It also as tracks your nighttime eating by fetching local sunset times.
Fasting has been met with conflicting opinions within the medical community. Some nutritionists and researchers warn against such restrictive diets, while others highlight its potential weight loss benefits.
Zero is certainly not the only app on the market; there’s Fasting Secret (which also monitors your weight), Fast Habit (it includes a food diary), and 5:2 Fasting Diet Recipes (so you know what to cook when you can eat), among others.
Fasting doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the tech community, and it’s even taken hold in Hollywood–Hugh Jackman has long been a vocal supporter, and Kourtney Kardashian recently detailed her experience. Fast Company writer Michael Grothaus tried several days of fasting to see how it affected his productivity. Read his account here.