"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Not So Fast: The Pros and Cons of the Latest Diet Trend

Intermittent fasting guarantees higher health and an extended life, but does it work?

The obesity epidemic has spawned a cottage industry of weight reduction schemes. Intermittent fasting is currently practiced, which alternates periods of utmost calorie reduction with periods of normal eating. Proponents of the intermittent fasting regimen claim that it helps shed kilos faster than a conventional food plan, in addition to lowers the chance of inflammation and other heart diseases.

What is intermittent fasting?

All diets achieve weight reduction through the identical equation – you’re taking in less dietary energy than your body burns for normal activity every day. Intermittent fasting achieves this goal by strictly restricting calories on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day. The theory is that intermittent fasting will help reduce hunger by slowing the body's metabolism.

Fasting to drop some pounds?

Until now, research studies examining intermittent fasting have been relatively short and enrolled only a limited variety of participants. In one, published on July 1, 2017. JAMA Internal Medicine, 100 obese individuals were assigned to one in every of three eating plans: restricting each day calorie intake to the identical amount every day (just like a traditional food plan plan), fasting on alternate days, and eating Continue with normal habits. At the top of the 12-month study, each food plan groups had lost more weight than normal eaters. However, the fasters fared no higher than traditional calorie cutters.

Possible Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting

A notable aspect of this trial was the high dropout rate (38%) amongst those assigned to the fasting regimen. This may reflect the real-life drawback of fasting as a weight reduction approach. “It's human nature for people to want to reward themselves after working hard, such as exercising or fasting for long periods of time, so they indulge in unhealthy eating habits on non-fasting days,” says Dr. is in danger,” says Dr. However, there may be a robust biological pressure to overeat after periods of fasting. When you're deprived of food, the hunger hormones and hunger center in your brain go into overdrive.

Some industrial firms have begun marketing packaged meal plans specifically designed for intermittent fasting. While this will likely simplify the method for some, these products are likely to be expensive — about $300 for per week's value of food.

Part of the interest in intermittent fasting stems from animal research showing that fasting can reduce the chance of cancer and slow the speed of aging. “One hypothesis is that fasting may activate cellular mechanisms that help enhance immune function and reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease,” says Dr. Hu. While it's true that eliminating excess body fat will improve an individual's metabolic profile and reduce cardiovascular risk, he says, there's no solid evidence that fast weight reduction is sensible. Adds health advantages beyond practicality.

Those who shouldn’t fast intermittently.

If you’re considering intermittent fasting, make sure to discuss it together with your doctor. Skipping meals and severely restricting calories will be dangerous for individuals with certain conditions, akin to diabetes. People who take medications for blood pressure or heart disease can also be more liable to electrolyte abnormalities from fasting. Plus, says Dr. Ho, we live in a toxic, fattening food environment. So you'll need a robust social support network to resist very low-calorie days during a protracted trip.

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