Silicon Valley’s newest wellness trend may be “dopamine fasting,” but is there any research to support this nerdy-sounding fad?

As per an American news website, extreme practitioners of the so-called dopamine fast refrain from doing anything that makes them feel good, including but not limited to food, exercise, social media, video games, and conversation. According to a newspaper article, some people will even go so far as to refrain from establishing eye contact, conversing with friends, and even moving their bodies at a relatively quick pace. Fasters try to “reset” the brain’s reward system, which is partially programmed by the chemical dopamine, by taking a vacation from little pleasures. According to another news website, people claim to feel more focused and like the activities they’d avoided more. The buzz around dopamine fasting is built up around what people do (or don’t do) during the fast itself. But if fasters want to permanently change their harmful behaviors, they will need to take more action. Without drugs, screens, or other distractions, patients “suddenly become reacquainted with themselves,” according to Dr. Anna Lembke, associate professor and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University.

It is not intended to lower dopamine levels or cause any kind of mental abnormalities. On the other hand, dopamine fasting causes people to spend less time engaging in undesirable behavior. Fortunately, you can’t entirely “fast” or eliminate dopamine from your body through dietary or lifestyle changes because doing so would probably have negative effects.