In­ter­mit­tent fast­ing might help you lose weight, but is it healthy?

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 FOOD - By Mary Agnew For the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man Fast­ing

If you’re work­ing on los­ing weight or liv­ing health­ier, one ap­proach you might have tried — or at least heard of — is in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing, an um­brella term for var­i­ous di­ets that cy­cle be­tween a pe­riod of fast­ing and non­fast­ing dur­ing a de­fined pe­riod.

The idea be­hind in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing is that by lim­it­ing your eat­ing to ei­ther a cer­tain num­ber of hours per day or to a cer­tain num­ber of days per week, you ideally eat less calo­ries over­all. Fast­ing also forces the body to use fat for en­ergy in­stead of glu­cose.

Most of the re­search on in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing fo­cuses on three main fast­ing reg­i­mens. First, there’s com­plete al­ter­nate-day fast­ing, which is al­ter­nat­ing fast­ing days — dur­ing which no en­er­gy­con­tain­ing foods or bev­er­ages are con­sumed — with eat­ing days.

Then there’s mod­i­fied fast­ing, which re­cently be­came pop­u­lar with the re­lease of the book “The Fast Diet,” also known as the 5:2 diet. This calls for two non­con­sec­u­tive days of mod­i­fied fast­ing (con­sum­ing only 500-600 calo­ries) and five days of eat­ing nor­mally. Lastly, there’s timer­e­stricted feed­ing, which in­volves fol­low­ing the same eat­ing rou­tine each day, with a cer­tain num­ber of hours (typ­i­cally 14-16) des­ig­nated as the fast­ing win­dow and the re­main­ing hours as the feed­ing win­dow.

Some stud­ies show that al­ter­nate-day fast­ing can re­sult in a 3 per­cent to 7 per­cent weight loss as well as im­prove choles­terol, blood pres­sure and in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity.

Sounds great, right? But how many of us have ac­tu­ally fasted for 24 hours straight? I’m not sure I’ve ever gen­uinely not eaten any­thin g for a full 24 ho urs. Imag­ine do­ing that ev­ery other day! It’s not sur­pris­ing that in stud­ies, sub­jects as­signed this reg­i­men com­plain of se­vere hunger, headaches and dif­fi­culty con­cen­trat­ing and sleep­ing. The high­est dropout rates in these stud­ies are sub­jects do­ing al­ter­nate­dayf asti ng.Hon­estly,this­method doesn’t seem to be very prac­ti­cal for most.

Of all the fast­ing reg­i­mens I’ve read about, time-re­stricted feed­ing seems to be the most doable to me. Pro­po­nents of this fast-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.