I Used the COVID-19 Pandemic to Try a 5-Day Fast. This Is What I Learned.

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All it took was a brief text conversation with a friend about how he planned to keep the quarantine weight off for the algorithm to find me. In an hour, my Instagram feed filled up with ads featuring indistinguishable influencers selling weight-loss juices, estrogen-suppressing health bars and militarized yoga routines. The one ad I saw most frequently was for an app that guided the user through an “intermittent fasting” program. A cheap, animated graphic showed a translucent, genitalia-free body emptying itself of some evil-looking red liquid like it was an hourglass dropping sand. The fast was simple enough: You have an eight-hour window to eat every day. For the remaining 16, you fast and only drink water. If I adhered to this, I would become a new and better man. I’d burn fat, increase my ability to focus and have more energy. I’d also slow…

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