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Jet Lag Prevention: Fasting Before Flights Can Prevent Jet Lag

FastingJet lag is the plague of long haul travelers. Jet lag and airline food, that is. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a train wreck after crossing an ocean, to Asia in particular. For years, experts have suggested various methods for coping with jet lag, such as melatonin. A new study shows that fasting before a long flight can actually help prevent jet lag. Supermodels and bulimics rejoice!

According to, the ABC affiliate in Chicago, “Starving yourself before a long flight could help prevent jet lag.” Why? Under normal circumstances, your body’s circadian clock dictates when you wake, eat and sleep. This particular clock responds to light. However, when you’re hungry, a second clock takes over. The thinking is that you can manipulate this clock by starving yourself, thus helping your body better adjust to a new time zone.

Researchers claim that a sixteen hour fast is sufficient to engage the alternate clock. I assume that you should begin the fast sixteen hours before your arrival, not sixteen hours before the beginning of your flight.

This is interesting news. If anyone cares to try it out, please let me know. I get really ill if I don’t eat regularly, so I’ll pass on this remedy and go for the melatonin.