Intermittent fasting has been making waves on the health scene lately, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be?
In this article, we will take a closer look at the science behind intermittent fasting to help you better understand this popular diet.
Originally established to manage breast cancer and dementia, intermittent fasting has shown favourable health outcomes, including weight loss. Today, it has become a popular diet for many health enthusiasts.
The three primary forms of intermittent fasting include periodic fasting, daily intermittent fasting, and intermittent energy restriction. Periodic fasting, also known as alternate-day fasting, involves full 24-hour fasts several times a week or month. This type of fasting has been shown to lead to significant weight loss, especially of fat. Daily intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted fasting, involves limiting the daily eating window to eight hours, followed by a 16-hour fasting period. The 5/2 diet is another popular regimen where individuals eat normally for five days and restrict their intake to around 4,130kJ (approx. 1000 calories) for two days.
Intermittent fasting involves limiting kilojoule intake during a specified period, leading to weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that prolonged cleaning processes from extended periods of fasting can lead to adverse side effects. Disordered eating patterns can be triggered in some individuals, particularly those with a history of eating disorders. Depending on what and how much you eat during the feeding period, it’s possible to develop nutrient deficiencies if you’re not consuming a balanced and varied diet. Hunger and cravings can be challenging, particularly during the fasting period, and some people may experience a decrease in energy levels. Certain groups of people, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with a history of eating disorders, or those with certain medical conditions, may not be suitable for intermittent fasting.
As a dietitian, I do not encourage intermittent fasting due to the associated risks and the need to be diligent with nutrient adequacy. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new diet or fasting regimen to determine if it’s safe and appropriate for you.
Instead, I encourage a balanced and varied diet that provides adequate nutrients to support your overall health and wellness. Developing healthy eating habits can be challenging, especially when there is an abundance of conflicting information available. However, a nutrition consultation with me can help you cut through the confusion and develop a personalised approach that meets your individual needs and goals.
During a consultation, we’ll discuss your current eating habits, preferences, and lifestyle to identify areas for improvement and develop a plan that fits your unique needs. We’ll also discuss any medical conditions or dietary restrictions you may have, ensuring that your nutrition plan is tailored to meet your specific needs.
In addition to promoting gut health, a personalized nutrition plan can help you achieve a variety of goals, such as weight management, improving energy levels, reducing inflammation, and managing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
So, if you’re ready to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle, book a consultation with me today by clicking the ‘contact’ page.
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