What is Intermittent Fasting?
Today’s post comes from ((305)) junkie and dietitian Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN. Learn more about Chelsey’s anti-diet nutrition practice and healthy food blog here. All advice written below is general nutrition information, not meant to substitute for an individual consultation with a dietitian. Contact Chelsey for more information here.
If you could only eat every other day and have the body of your dreams would you do it? What about if you could only eat for six hours of the day? How far would you go to attain your idea of the perfect beach bod?
Well, an increasingly popular nutrition trend -- intermittent fasting -- may be the way to go if you said yes to the questions above.
And although I am totally a skeptic when it comes to the latest nutrition fads, there may be something behind this one!
Let’s break it down…
What is intermittent fasting?
There are several versions of intermittent fasting floating around the internet and studied in controlled trials, but one thing is the same -- you go longer-than “normal” without eating and often consume significantly less calories than what we typically think of as needed. Caloric restriction has been shown to slow the aging process, reduce the risk of heart disease, and more, which is why intermittent fasting has skyrocketed in popularity.
Intermittent fasters may consume all of their calories in a six to eight hour time frame, or only eat every couple of days, consuming as little as 500 calories for a few days straight before eating a full day’s worth of food. During the fasting time, fasters are allowed to drink water and other low calorie beverages such as coffee and tea.
Is intermittent fasting good for you?
The initial peer-reviewed research does prove the following benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Improved markers of heart disease
- Improve insulin sensitivity (reducing the risk of diabetes)
- Sustainable weight loss
- Slow brain aging in combination with calorie restriction
- And more...
But is intermittent fasting for you?
Although there are many documented benefits of intermittent fasting, few [if any] studies show that intermittent fasting is superior to other healthy eating habits. In fact, when compared to a typical heart-healthy diet (think more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein), there was no health benefit to intermittent fasting on the common markers of chronic diseases.
Plus, as you can imagine, new fasters may be hangry AF, which doesn’t lead to a productive work day, energy to exercise or healthy relationships.
If you’re trying to find the healthy lifestyle that works for you, intermittent fasting may be worth a try. But please be careful!
If you’re a ((305)) junkie, then you know how much energy you need to get through a booty-shaking class, so taking a class while fasting may not be the best decision. However, if you want to try intermittent fasting, please seek professional help in order to make sure it is safe for you, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Individuals who are pregnant, have diabetes and other chronic health conditions should not fast unless under their physician’s supervision.