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.
Conventional wisdom at the time held that the more animals were fed, the better they’d fare. But McKay noticed something different: Long after the well-fed rats began to show signs of aging, those on a nutrient-dense but super-low-calorie diet retained a silky sheen to their fur, remained alert and agile and lacked the age-related health problems of their more gluttonous peers. In the end, the calorie-restricted mice also lived about 300 days longer — nearly a third of a lifetime in rat years.
Fast forward to 2020, and studies in everything from fruit flies and worms to monkeys and people have confirmed that sharply restricting calories (by 20-40 percent) while maintaining essential nutrients can fend off age-related diseases and, in some cases, extend lifespan. The problem: People like to eat, so almost no one is willing to do it. And it can be dangerous. Continue reading →
Ten years ago when I started writing this blog it was all about dieting and losing weight. It has long since morphed into a general good health and successful aging blog. Once I lost my weight it never came back because I lost my old lifestyle with it. No more eating food for the fun of it and not paying attention to getting enough exercise. I think one of the great open secrets of folks with weight problems is their sedentary lifestyle.
While I haven’t done any dieting for weight loss in years, I realize that a lot of people are interested in ways to cut back. Herewith is the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter discussing fasting diets.
So-called “fasting” diets have recently received a lot of buzz in the media and attention from researchers as a possible means to promote weight loss and improve health. Data from animal studies are promising on several fronts, but data on humans are limited and short-term. Let’s take a closer look at the current science on this increasingly-popular diet trend. Continue reading →
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…