Intermittent fasting involves some level of “fasting” or not consuming food for certain periods of time. It is more focused on “when” you eat, rather than “what” you eat. You might have seen it in regards to health (giving your gut time to relax) or weight loss. If you are wondering if intermittent fasting is right for you - you should first learn about the different types and the results you can expect.
Fasting in regards to weight loss could be beneficial for weight loss but you have to think about the long term effects - and each person could react differently. There are a few different types of fasting that is done for weight loss - we will discuss 2 today as they are the most common.
5:2 Modified Fasting:
Modified fasting involves eating normally 5 days each week and consuming around 500 calories each day the other 2 days that week.
TRE: Time restricted eating.
TRE involves eating between certain hours of the day - usually an 8 hour time frame and fasting the rest of the time.
Fasting diets are only effective because of the daily caloric restriction you create by fasting. The short term weight loss is usually because of the fast itself - meaning you can see large weight fluctuations if you weigh yourself after the day of the fast. The problem with any diet is you have to decide if it would help you long term! For example - caloric restriction has to be maintained for the week. So if after a day of fasting or certain hours of fasting - your hunger level could be increased leading to less healthful food choices. Also, if your work/workout schedule doesn’t coordinate with your “fasting” periods - you could see decreased energy levels and fatigue doing a fasting plan.
So is doing a fasting plan unhealthy? I would recommend a TRE plan as opposed to a low calorie diet plan. On a TRE you still try to meet your body’s calorie needs every day. 500 calories each day is just too little to consume for health and wellness. Even though you are only doing it 2 days each week - it is too restrictive. Fasting is not shown to be any more effective than general calorie restriction - so I always encourage doing what you feel is best for YOU, your schedule and your goals.
If you need help working through diets and getting on a balanced lifestyle approach - be sure to call Fitness Together - at 330-550-9839. We have a Registered Dietitian and certified trainers to get you to your goals!