What is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent Fasting ( IF) is Currently in fashion and a trend within weight loss schemes. IF involves intervals of reduced calorie intake within periods of normal eating.
An example of IF is the 5-2 diet, also known as a modified fasting regime. Over 5 days of a normal diet, 2 days are calorie restricted to between 500-600 calories each day, about 20-25% of daily energy intake. Resulting in desired weight loss, the aim is to develop a healthy eating plan, which is sustainable and supports weight loss over time. IF can be popular with people who need structure and discipline in their diet to succeed at their desired weight loss. If you are an existing dieter who has reached a plateau and may need a boost this can work for you. Studies have shown that IF activates certain genes that are responsible for burning fat in the body enabling an increase in calorie being used including fat in the fasting period.
By restricting calorie intake for a short length of time , it becomes manageable and the temptation to over eat or break the diet is less. Once your body adapts to eating with in a set time, it is easier to avoid snacking on the calorie filled foods or junk food.
Studies show a benefit to IF. Identifying interventions, such as the 5-2 diet showing a significant weight loss within a 12 week programme. Additionally further studies have shown improvements in reduction of inflammation and lowering of cholesterol.
Some side effects on mood and feelings were reported and these can include feeling cold, irritable, low energy and hunger, these can be due to the extreme change of diet and sudden change in energy intake.
Mood improvements were also reported including reductions in anger, tension and fatigue ans an improvement in self confidence and pa feeling of positively.
The first few days are the most challenging, so be prepared to give it time for your body to adjust to the new regime your imposing on it.
Planning the diet around your lifestyle is crucial to succeeding, take time to give thought to when your busy days are, restricting calories by so much can impact on energy levels and , if fatigue is felt during the restricted days, then exercising may not be a good option. listen to your body and be aware of any changes to identify if IF works for you.
Start slow and find what works for your body and your schedule. If it doesn’t come easy, don’t force it.
If you find you are hungry and can not focus, your feeling tired, weak, or unmotivated, then take it back a notch.
Be aware of your body, If you notice changes in your moods, or skin condition, these can be signs that IF is causing stress to your body.
Always seek medical approval before commencing a calorie restricted diet.
MARTIN, B., M.P. MATTSON and S. MAUDSLEY, 2006. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: Two potential diets for successful brain ageing. Ageing Research Reviews, 5(3), 332-353
PATTERSON, R.E. and D.D. SEARS, 2017. Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, 37(1), 371-393
health havard.edu,2017.not so fast pros and cons [viewed 03 December 2018]. Available from http:www.health.harvard.edu