Periodic Fasting May Improve Health, Weight Loss

Grant Boone
January 8, 2020

WEIGHT LOSS programmes can encourage slimmers to lose weight quickly and safely through the expert support provided, one common weight loss trick that dieting programmes use to help slimmers trim down is intermittent fasting. Not recommended for children, people taking certain medications, or people with eating disorders in the past.

Mattson also says there's evidence that intermittent fasting can potentially alter risk factors linked to diabetes and obesity.

Then a slimmer would be technically fasting for 16 hours every day while restricting their eating window to eight hours. Instead, eat mainly fresh vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. On fasting days, people may allow themselves around 600 calories if needed.

Intermittent fasting approaches can be tailored to make the eating window longer or shorter, depending on the needs to suit the individual person. Some eat only one meal a day, others fast all day a couple of times a week.

Whatever the method, people aren't supposed to gorge when they stop fasting. But Dr. Jason Fung, who wrote books about fasting, says skipping meals can be easier, as eating a small amount of food can stimulate appetite.

Sumaya Kazi, who posts about her intermittent fasting online and offers coaching services on the diet, says it seems more hard than it is partly because overeating has become the norm.

"There's no one size fits all", she said.

Should you choose to try intermittent fasting, just know that it will take your body some time to adjust.

Recently obesity experts have become very interested in intermittent fasting approaches as more studies emerge, but not all are convinced due to the limited research.

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Researchers are studying intermittent fasting and looking at things such as whether any of its benefits may be tied with when the eating period falls and fluctuation in how well the body processes food throughout the day.

"Unfortunately, intermittent fasting gets a little hyped", said Courtney Peterson, who studies the diet at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Peterson notes that some fasting approaches may be more effective than others, and cites the difficulty of designing studies that definitively capture the effects of a diet which is in part because of there being so many other variables that may be in play.

Shifting back and forth among fasting and eating can improve cell wellbeing, Mattson stated, in all likelihood by activating metabolic exchanging.

Study author Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, hones in on two types: Daily time-restricted feeding (eating 6-8 hours a day and fasting for 16-18 hours) and 5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days a week, usually capping a fasting day at 500 calories).

For years anthropologists have noted that hunter-gathering tribesman living like our ancestors will often have periods of relative abundance of food, followed by scarcity and this pattern of eating can lead to apparent healthy outcomes.

Varady points out that intermittent fasting may be easier than other diets for those who are already skipping meals when they are too busy due to an active schedule.

"Intermittent fasting causes glucose (sugar) concentrations to decrease and lipolysis (fatty acid oxidation) to increase significantly during the first 24 hours, which helps the body break down stored fat", she said.

Dr Kelly Johnston, explains: "Almost a fifth of us lack the motivation to stick to a diet, so having a flexible approach for some people can make all the difference when you have excess weight to shift".

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