Is a fasting diet for me?
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health.
What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting? It seems to be a huge craze in my workplace at the moment. Thanks, Mike.
Hi Mike, science suggests that long-term calorie restriction has some benefits for health, particularly in terms of longevity – however obviously it’s incredibly difficult to adhere to long-term.If you are going to try it, you definitely want to ensure you aren’t compromising your nutritional status, as you’ll be limiting the nutrients your body needs to operate.
I’m also a big fan of high calorie foods such as avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish, etc, so I’m not a proponent of restricting these foods.
The other thing to be cautious of when you consider long-term calorie restriction is the potential degradation of your muscle mass. Safe weight loss is considered around 500g-1kg per week, anything more increases your risk of losing precious muscle mass, which we know is of critical importance for our metabolism, strength and energy.
Prolonged calorie restriction can most definitely lead to loss of muscle mass.
In my opinion, focusing on a real-food way of eating eliminates the needs for intermittent fasting, however, I know that this method can be beneficial for some people.
I would encourage anyone to seek the guidance of a trained health professional when it comes to any significant dietary changes such as this.
What is a personal practice you have for your health and wellness? Thanks, Rachel.
Hi Rachel, it’s not a particularly exciting one but I believe it is one of the most effective things I do to look after my mindset. I have a morning ritual that I don’t compromise.
That usually involves a gentle walk in nature, tai chi, reading a book, meditation or simply being still and practising diaphragmatic breathing.
I also schedule my downtime Email your questions for Dr Libby to email@example.com. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered.
and prioritise it.
I know that I cannot best serve others and my mission if I don’t ensure my battery is charged.
I know people think the word gratitude gets overused but I am truly grateful for life itself plus everything I have in my life – such as clean water and fresh air.
Science has shown that the human nervous system cannot focus on two things at once, so when we are grateful, we cannot be stressed.
I find if I allow myself this space in the morning I start my day with a clear mind.
Lastly, an attitude of gratitude can be very energising – as is having a clear purpose.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. Check out Dr Libby’s book
to understand more about weight loss.
While some people swear by fasting diets, Dr Libby urges caution.