Today’s topic is a hot one that many people ask me about constantly:, intermittent fasting. So what does that mean? A lot of people are doing it. It’s trending! People are selling programs on it. People are talking about it, criticizing it, boasting its merits. There’s a lot of literature out there and a ton of contradicting opinions…so what should one make of all this?
Intermittent fasting (IF) means alternating cycles of fasting and eating.. That can mean different things. There are different types. The most common type is the 8/16 fasting, and that’s basically fasting for 16 hours and then eating within an 8-hour period.
For example, you could decide to fast from 8 pm until 12 pm and then eat from 12 pm to 8 pm. That’s when you just consume most of your calories. By doing that, you’re cutting out some of the calories that you would be eating during your day.
The concept is you eat whatever you want but focus on WHEN you’re eating it
A lot of studies show that it’s really good for you and no significant study show that it’s really bad for you. It’s a diet like any other diet, and it works with some people because it provides a lot of structure, if that’s what they need. It’s difficult for other people because they can’t stick to this type of commitment for long periods of time.
This kind of diet is particularly difficult if it’s completely different than what you usually do. If for example, you are someone thatsometimes has breakfast early and other times has their first meal at 11:30 am, it just might not work with your lifestyle, it might not be sustainable.
Many people are asking if this diet is for everyone. Well your body requires energy to function and you’re kind of ignoring that during the day. It’s not really recommended for children to be fasting when they’re growing. Other than that this diet is not recommended for people who have diabetes or chronic diseases.
Another thing is that fasting is restricting when you should eat and not what you should eat, right? In the period of time, when you should be eating certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals, you’re just not doing that. In fact, it can be dangerous because you’re not giving your body what it needs to function.
Finally, the idea of intermittent fasting is that, within the eight hours, you could eat whatever you want. If you are following this type of diet and it works for you and you are losing weight, I definitely recommend you see a health professional with credentials that can help you organize those eight hours so that you make sure you’re getting what you need, and so you stay healthy.