Every year, there’s some new diet craze that has everyone buzzing. For 2018, much of the talk surrounds this whole “intermittent fasting” concept.
What is it?
Intermittent fasting is the idea that by cycling our bodies through strategic periods of starvation mode, it will help us lose weight. During the starvation-mode period, intermittent fasting requires that you eat almost no calories (some people do allow for minimal calories, such as black coffee or tea).
Then, during the rest of the day, intermittent fasting works by allowing consumption of all the day’s calories in that one window of time.
Those windows of time vary. For some, it’s 16 hours, from about 8 p.m. to noon of fasting, then eating from noon to 8 p.m. Others follow a 5:2 routine, meaning 2 full days of fasting and 5 days of consumption.
Intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat, and not necessarily what to eat. Although it does not encourage people to eat whatever they want, it does not focus as strongly on calories.
This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill diet trend. There’s actually science to back it up.
For example, a study in Cell Metabolism found that fasting can lower the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and aging, plus improve brain function.
Can it result in weight loss?
The short answer: Maybe. Experts say that while some people find they lose weight through intermittent fasting, others will struggle with the limitations of it.
The problem for some is the restrictive period leads to overeating and increased cravings during the non-restrictive period. For others, limiting eating to a certain window can ensure consumption of healthy calories and proper portion sizes.*
Try it or not?
Like any diet trend, the best route is to consult your doctor first — and to know yourself.
Is your body going to be okay with restricting calorie intake so severely for such long periods of time? Do you need to pay attention to blood sugar levels? Is your mood affected by how much you eat? These are all questions to discuss with your doctor and determine before you decide to try intermittent fasting.
Our philosophy at Diet-to-Go
At Diet-to-Go, we believe the key is to focus on a common-sense approach to eating. Most diet trends have turned out to be just that — trends, with no real, long-term, lasting results.
The best way to ensure long term weight loss is to focus on eating proper portion sizes of healthy foods. A common-sense diet involves proper portion sizes and nutritional balance – including eating the recommended daily servings of fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.
It means retraining your body to eat portions that keep you full and satisfied between meals without overdoing it.
It also means enjoying life, and not overly restricting yourself, a critical aspect of making it doable and last forever.
Ultimately, the key is to not limit yourself beyond what you feel you can do.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? Did you like it? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.