Drop everything and download: Zero

Want to give intermittent fasting a try? Zero is a free and easy way to start

Intermittent fasting (IF) was one of last year's biggest diet trends, and if trying it and dropping a few pounds is one of your New Year resolutions, there truly is an app for that.

Why is IF such a big deal? Aside from the fact that stars such as Beyonce and Hugh Jackman incorporate it into their wellness regimes, it's pleasantly simple. You just have to set rules about when you're allowed to eat. The rest of the time, you fast. 

How does it work?

The app, called Zero, is the brainchild of Kevin Rose, the man behind video network Revision3 and "homepage of the internet" Digg.

What Zero does is help you keep track of your fasts. Whether you choose to fast for 16 hours, follow a circadian rhythm (starting a fast for 13 hours, closest to sunset) or have your own custom routine, Zero keeps tabs and also reminds you when your fast is over.

You can also set it to remind you to fast the next day and toggle the display between either time left to fast or elapsed time since you started fasting.

Why use it?

If you're going to try IF, it removes the hassle of doing mental calculations about when you have to stop and start. The whole point of IF is keeping to a set number of hours and not going over (which could be detrimental to your health) or under (that would lessen the effectiveness).

How to get started?

You can download the app free from the App Store. Sadly though, there doesn't seem to be an Android version planned.

If you have any health issues, it's best to consult with a licensed medical practitioner first before embarking on any new health regime.

For more background, here's a link to a Harvard study on IF and a writeup on Sciencedaily about a fairly recent study published in the Cell Research journal.