Fans of intermittent fasting say consuming fewers calories by skipping meals helps lose weight and leads to other health benefits.
But what happens to your body when you add exercise to the mix?
“Finding ways to lose weight that are as simple as skipping a meal is very difficult because many people find it hard to manage their hunger while being in a caloric deficit,” Eric Williamson and Matthew Lees of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, say. “But, if they find that their hunger is well managed with intermittent fasting and they plan to exercise at the same time, then it can be an effective tool for losing fat.”
Here is what Lees and Willamson had to say about the benefits of complementing intermittent fasting with exercise.
Intermittent fasting is a popular eating strategy being studied in labs and practiced in kitchens across America. And it’s more than a fad. Restricting your calories or mealtimes may have the potential for many benefits, such as weight loss and reduced risk of various diseases. We don’t have much evidence, however, about intermittent fasting’s effect on the health of older adults, according to Harvard Medical School.
Intermittent fasting restricts when or how much you eat — and sometimes both. There are several approaches.
In alternate-day fasting, you eat normally every other day. On days in between, you eat just 25% of your daily calorie needs, in one meal. So if you consume 1,800 calories on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’d eat a 450-calorie meal (and nothing else) on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.
“We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting; both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation,” said Krista Varady, KN professor and author of “Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.”
According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.
The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:
Alternate day fasting, which typically involves a feast day alternated with a fast day where 500 calories are consumed in one meal.
5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate day fasting that involves five feast days and two fast days per week.
Time-restricted eating, which confines eating to a specified number of hours per day, usually four to 10 hours, with no calorie restrictions during the eating period.
About 6 weeks ago I discovered something called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting can take various forms, but the most common are a 16 x 8, or a sporadic 24 hour fast. The 16 x 8 method is when you fast for 16 hours and have an 8 hour eating window. For people that work during the daytime, it makes sense to have your last meal at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. and then not eat again until noon or lunch time. This provides you with a 16 or 17 hour fast, essentially skipping breakfast. I have been using the 16 hour fast method on a daily basis for about 6 weeks now, and found it to be fairly easy to accomplish. The first week is probably the hardest, but fortunately it becomes easier with time. Most of the fast is spent sleeping so depending on when you get up you may…
I am posting this because it has a ton of good information about eating before working out and working out on an empty stomach. As a matter of fact, I don’t do fasting well, even the short ones, but if this kind of thing works for you, go for it.
The human body is an amazing system in real life and especially when it comes to digestion.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that when you eat may be as important as what you eat.
If you are one of those readers who ate up The 8-Hour Diet, you have a running start on this discussion. It’s all about fasting.
In a test run by Dr. Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, CA, one set of mice were allowed to eat only in periods of nine, 10, 12 or 15 hours. The other set could eat any time or all the time.
The Journal reported, “The benefits of restricted eating times were proportional to the amount of time fasted, said Amandine Chaix, a Salk researcher who works with Dr. Panda. The narrower the window for eating, the more weight the mice lost.”
In addition the time-restricted mice also had better muscle mass and lower cholesterol.
If you’re considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first. It’s also important to consider possible side effects. Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting, for example, can result in fatigue. Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Colon cleansing, which is often recommended as part of a detox plan, can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting. Dehydration also can be a concern.
Detox, or detoxification, diets are popular, but they’re not scientifically proven.
Detox diets are touted as a way to remove toxins from the body. Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing (enemas) to empty the intestines.
Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. However, there’s little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Indeed, the kidneys and liver effectively filter and eliminate most ingested toxins. The benefits from a detox diet may actually come from avoiding highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar.
If you’re considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first. It’s also important to consider possible side effects…