01 Mar Intermittent Fasting: Is it for You?
- Diets do not work long term. (Sustainable behaviour changes.)
- Becoming fitter is more important for health than becoming thinner.
- You cannot tell if a person is healthy just by looking at their weight.
Why then consider intermittent fasting? Dr. Martin Gibala and Dr. Stuart Phillips have this to say: ‘When you decide you want to go from out-of-shape and chubby to fit and lean, in the most efficient manner possible, consider fasting intermittently. Yes this means starving yourself. Not eating at all for a certain amount of time at regular intervals. Voluntarily. The point? Short-term fasting of a day or two won’t do you any physical harm–although you should be drinking water.’
Neither Gibala nor Phillips is suggesting long-term calorie restriction. They suggest that people seeking strategies to help lose weight quickly consider intermittent fasting. ( except from Gibala’s book The One-Minute Workout)
There are several different approaches. Phillips thinks that an easy form of this would be eating reasonably for 6 days and then fasting one day of the week. ‘Even if you do it only now and again, IF would have a marked effect on your ability to regulate blood glucose, lipids, and other biomarkers of health.’
Carrie Dennett, a writer for the Washington Post, tried IF herself and shared: ‘Not super simple at all. I tolerated the hunger that ebbed and flowed on fasting days and wasn’t ravenous when it was time to eat, but not everyone has that experience.’ Her investigation discovered that researchers found the intermittent fasters had a harder time following their diets and were more likely to drop out than daily calorie restrictors. Weight loss and weight regain were similar between the dieting groups, as were changes to fat and lean tissue — which is significant, because one intermittent fasting claim is that it leads to less muscle loss than traditional calorie-restrictive diets.
Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, were also similar between the two dieting groups. The conclusion? Intermittent fasting was no better, and no worse, than a standard, calorie-restrictive diet. Despite the hype, intermittent fasting isn’t a magic bullet — it’s plain old calorie restriction in a new outfit.
Although not a magic weight-loss cure, intermittent fasting studies show that you’re not running the risk of overeating on the post-fasting (or any other non-fasting) day. They even suggest that there’s even a certain “carry-over effect” that can be seen “across all unrestricted days in the food records including the days immediately before and after restricted days”. (Another benefit to consider.)
Does Intermittent Fasting suit you? Decide if prefer doing things in moderation or totally abstaining. The strategy of IF might be best suited to an abstainer-type personality. I would recommend you learn more about IF through reputable sites. Read articles like this from the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) Intermittent Fasting: The Science of Going Without
Concluding Take-Away: ‘Successful weight loss means making small changes. Don’t think diet. Think change in behaviour. Think about all those little things you can change and change for the rest of your life. Sustainable behaviour changes. ” (Ayra Sharma, Professor of Medicine at University of Alberta )
Does the strategy of IF appeal to you? Have you used it? Would enjoy hearing your insight.
Cheerios and thanks for reading, ~Linda