THE “BEST” WAY TO DO INTERMITTENT FASTING
THE “BEST” WAY TO DO INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest trends in wellness, but there is conflicting information on the optimal strategy to implement. Here are summaries from a few recent studies that may help guide you until more definitive evidence is gathered.
Check out this article from Med Page Today that summarizes how intermittent fasting can benefit health: “Fasting has been around for eons. Human beings did not always have food abundance like we have today. And so fasting is probably a natural thing, which is why we store fats.
In short, fasting is a great way to become more mindful about your food choices and when you eat and what you’re eating. When you’re only eating, say, 4 hours out of the day or 6 hours out of the day or even 8 hours out of the day, you really limit yourself. The goal then is to become mindful about what you’re doing and how much you’re doing rather than the so-called mindless eating which we find everywhere.”
“So what I usually tell people to do is if you’re going to intermittently fast, eat really good quality food when you are eating. Meaning, you want to eat mostly fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and really stay away from a lot of the processed foods and animal products. The goal is not to get 3,000 calories in one meal, but rather during that short period of time that one might be eating to eat a variety of plant-based whole food.”
– Intermittent fasting may not be a safe choice for individuals with brittle diabetes, hypoglycemia, or syncope (passing out).
– Embrace the mindfulness that comes along with intermittent fasting.
– Choice of nourishing foods when your break the fast is critical.
– Intermittent fasting is not a free pass to gorge on unhealthy foods in a short window of time.
This article in Healio Minute describes a specific time-restricted 10 hour window of eating that was shown to benefit metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
“We found that this was a window that resulted in benefits in terms of lowering of the LDL cholesterol, decrease in weight, decrease in BP and it was also a safe regimen. That’s one thing we always need to keep in mind is the safety of this regimen because some of the longer fasting regimens are not safe for patients that are on medications such as antihypertensive medications.”
“There are a couple different mechanisms at play, but the overarching theme is an increase in metabolic efficiency in the body because one of the things that we’re seeing is the benefits that we see go way beyond just reducing calories.”
– Time-restricted eating has some flexibility that can be adjusted to your varying schedule.
– This is meant to be a long-term, lifelong measure because it is something that is doable.
– Health benefits can go beyond weight loss to other metabolic measures and sleep quality.
Lastly, this comprehensive review of intermittent fasting in the New England Journal of Medicine deeply dives into the different potential realms of health benefit and strategic options.
Overall, I am intrigued by intermittent fasting and look forward to additional studies that help clarify which individuals may benefit from this lifestyle and the optimal strategy to employ. Just as a reminder, all of these studies underscore that the safe implementation of intermittent fasting should be guided by a health professional.
If you or someone you know would like to get on the road to healthier eating and learn how powerful food as medicine can be, please contact us today. We have a fantastic team including a registered dietitian, nurse practitioner, and behavioral counselor here to help support the use of whole foods in your diet, investigate laboratory abnormalities, and help you develop lifelong habits for improving your health and optimizing the state of your gut microbiome.
Call us at 224.407.4400 or visit our website www.compgihealth.com to request an appointment with any of our providers to get started! TELEMEDICINE visits are available now!