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Intermittent Fasting – Overview

October 30, 2020


So I wanted to speak about one of my most favorite topics. Yes, right; intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting, also known as time restricted feeding is when you restrict the number of hours in the day during which you eat all your meals. There are different types of intermittent fasting. The most common being, time restricted feeding. Time restricted feeding, or time restricted fasting, limits the intake of calories primarily to waking hours. The goal is to fast eight to twelve hours per day with the bulk of fast occurring when you’re sleeping. This is an easy fasting pattern for people who don’t snack after dinner or eat breakfast upon waking up. What does research show? Research has somewhat been inconclusive, but it’s still ongoing. The second type of fasting is called alternating fasting. It refers to rotating days of eating and days of fasting. On fasting days, no foods or beverages and calories are consumed. Calorie free drinks such as water, black coffee, or tea are permitted and on non fasting days, you can eat whatever you want, although we recommend that you eat a healthy diet. Theoretically, over the course of a week, you would have cut down the calories and over time by eating fewer calories, the pounds would be expected to drop. What does research say on this? Research has found that the amount of weight loss following an alternate day fast was equal to the weight loss with a typical low calorie, weight loss diet. Some studies revealed that people ate more calories on non fasting days. Therefore they did not restrict enough calories to promote weight loss. There’s another type of intermittent fasting called modified fasting, which involves eating very little amount of food on fasting days. Some modified fast restrict intake on fasting days to 20 to 25% of needed calories and others may limit intake on fasting days to about 500 calories. Again, what does the research show? Inconclusive and ongoing at this time. I usually recommend my patients to start with the easiest option, which is time restricted feeding and go from there. However, everybody is very different and it should be done under physician supervision.

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