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Healthy Eating Series: What is Intermittent Fasting?

Posted by VendTech Media - May 25, 2023
Healthy Eating Series: What is Intermittent Fasting?

Most people know what fasting is: withholding food and/or calories for a specific time, often with the goal of weight loss. But have you ever heard of intermittent fasting? This type of fasting involves restricting the number of calories you consume by only eating during certain hours of the day, or on certain days of the week. The theory behind this method of fasting is that by intermittently restricting your calorie intake, you’ll slow down your body’s metabolism and lose weight.  


Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of intermittent fasting so you can decide whether this dieting approach is right for you. 

Pros of Intermittent Fasting

One of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting (IF) is that, unlike other types of dieting, there is no calorie counting – and there aren’t foods that are off-limits. While you should always make sure you’re getting the right balance of nutrition in your diet, IF doesn’t mean you can’t have certain foods you like.  


IF is a less strict weight loss approach than most formal diets. You’ll fast on one or two days of the week and eat normally every other day of the week. Plus, there is no time constraint – you can practice IF for as long or short of a timeframe as you’d like. There is no day count to reach, so you don’t have to worry about hitting a certain target. 


There is little hard data to support the success of intermittent fasting, but Harvard Medical School points out one study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017 shows some promise. A group of overweight people were assigned to various fasting plans, while the control group continued with their normal eating habits. At the end of 12 months, the faster had lost weight compared to the normal eaters, who hadn’t lost weight.  

Cons of Intermittent Fasting

For people not used to skipping meals or not eating for extended periods, IF can be difficult because of the hunger and fatigue you may experience. Side effects can even include irritability, insomnia, headaches, and nausea. 


Another con of intermittent fasting: Many adherents overeat once their fasting period is over. Because you’re extra hungry and want to reward yourself after fasting, you may end up eating more than you would have otherwise, which could ultimately lead to more weight gain. 


Also, note that IF is not healthy for everyone. Those with eating disorders should not practice intermittent fasting. Children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with diabetes, hypoglycemia, acid reflux, kidney stones, and other conditions should also stay away from this diet trend. 

Is Intermittent Fasting Right for Me?

Talk to your doctor to discover whether IF might be the right diet choice for you. It’s not wise to embark on an IF program without supervision from your medical provider.  

Healthy Lifestyle Through Proper Diet 

Healthy Lifestyle Through Proper Diet

Whether it’s intermittent fasting, another diet trend, or healthy eating, you need the right nutrition to stay healthy throughout life. Pay attention to what you fuel your body with – you’ll feel better when you do! 


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