Intermittent fasting are the new buzz words in the nutrition world. I have countless patients coming in asking my thoughts on this “revolutionary” diet approach. Whether you are following the 16/8 method or 5/2 this new way of eating called intermittent fasting has been hitting the world by storm. Some say this eating pattern holds the key to anti-aging or it can also aid in weight loss as well as decreasing inflammation in the body.Whatever the reason many of us are flocking to this new method of eating.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it does not focus on the foods we eat but rather when we eat them. The belief is by doing so your body’s hormones will adjust to make stored body fat more accessible. It is also thought that your cells will initiate a repair process. Both of these are suspected to lead to weight loss and anti-aging benefits.
There are 3 types of fasting techniques that are currently in use today; 16/8 method, 5:2 method and eat stop eat method. The 16/ 8 method is the most popular and simplistic of all of the fasting methods. In this method you fast for 16 hours, normally stopping eating at 9pm prior to bed and this will last till 1pm the following day. Then there are 8 hours left in the day to eat.
5:2 method has you consuming 500-600 calories on 2 days of the week and eating normally for the other days 5 days of the week. The eat stop eat method has you fasting for 24 hours one to two days a week.
With all new diet plans caution should be taken, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are on certain medications. If you are a child or are pregnant or breastfeeding this is not the diet plan for you.
It is always important to look at the sustainability of diet plans prior to considering initiating them. If you cannot see yourself on this plan for longer than 6 months to a year, than this plan might not work for you long term.
Lastly and most important just because you are fasting does not give the green light to eating what we want the rest of the time. If you fast for 16 hour, but in your 8 hour time frame consume a McDonald’s big mac, fries, multiple sodas and bags of chips this will not lead to a healthy lifestyle, immune system or weight loss. It is all about consuming whole nutritious foods with limited processed items as possible.