Intermittent Fasting

Updated: Apr 14, 2019

Hi everyone! I don't know about you but I am so glad that spring has finally decided to make an appearance! I was able to spend most of the day on Saturday outside working in the yard, which was a nice change of pace for both myself and all of the pups. We were all able to get some much needed Vitamin D....and despite wearing sunscreen on my face I still managed to get a slight sunburn.


Today I wanted to talk about intermittent fasting. I've been hearing more and more about this diet pattern over the last several months and it seems like it is one of the up and coming fad diets. Because of this, I wanted to talk about what intermittent fasting is exactly and how safe it may or may not be.


Intermittent fasting can be defined as a cycle of periods of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting has been practiced for years for religious reasons, and now it is becoming a popular method for weight loss. The idea behind it is that you reduce caloric intake. However, this means that you cannot over-consume foods on the eating days. From what I have found there are three main types of intermittent fasting used:


  1. The 16/8 method - This form of fasting suggests skipping breakfast in the morning and restricting eating periods to 8 hours a day with a 16 hour fast in between.

  2. Eat-Stop-Eat - This form of fasting involves fasting for a 24 hour period 1-2 days a week.

  3. 5:2 diet - This fasting diet includes consuming 500-600 calories a day 2 non-consecutive days a week and eating normally the remaining 5 days a week.


Now intermittent fasting would not be an ideal form of weight loss for myself because I am a grazer and like to eat every couple of hours throughout the day. I also have a history of over consuming foods after restricting calories....I also get hangry and no one really wants to be around me. The important thing is knowing yourself and how you handle calorie restriction, or simply not eating for long periods of time before trying intermittent fasting. I would not recommend this diet for diabetics to follow, as they need consistent carbohydrate intake to help prevent a low blood sugar spell. Another concern I have on this diet trend is the lack of long-term evidence. Sure, in the short-run you'll likely lose a few pounds, but how does it affect the body in the long-run? Some studies suggest that it may worsen heart health by stiffening arteries causing decreased blood flow, but other studies suggest that it may be beneficial to heart health by improving heart rate, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Most studies have been conducted on mice and not humans also, so it is hard to say how these results would translate to human health.


When deciding on trying a new dietary pattern, such as intermittent fasting or another fad diet, it is important that you talk with a registered dietitian. They are the food and nutrition experts and will be your best resource in decided how to realistically fit this new diet into your lifestyle using scientifically backed recommendations. They will also help you get all of the nutrients you need in your diet while sticking to your diet guidelines, thus preventing nutrient deficiency and promoting long-term success.

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