ORLANDO, Fla. — Trying to lose weight? Well one fad diet that you’ve probably tried or are considering trying is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is when you restrict eating to only a certain number of hours a day, or when you significantly reduce your calorie intake on certain days.
With a lot of information coming out about intermittent fasting, how can you tell what’s real and what’s not?
Skipping meals twice a week, not eating all day long, eating only from noon to six. It’s called intermittent fasting, some people swear by it.
“I think it could probably have a lot of different health benefits,” Anne Haney Cross, MD a professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis told Ivanhoe.
And some are outright against it.
“Not eating for hours and hours and hours is not going to help you perform at your best,” Tara Collingwood, a registered dietician at Diet Diva, shared with Ivanhoe.
But what should you believe when deciding whether to try it for yourself? First…
“If you don’t eat, you’re going to lose weight,” Tara Collingwood stated.
A study out of Austria found that fasting up to 48 hours can boost your metabolism, helping you to burn fat. But long-term fasting can have the opposite effect.
“If you don’t eat, your body conserves and says, ‘I need energy, where is the energy?’ and it can lower your metabolism after doing this for a while and then you end up gaining weight,” expressed Tara Collingwood.
What about intermittent fasting makes you lose muscle? There’s no evidence that suggests intermittent fasting makes you lose more muscle than any other diet, and intermittent fasting is not for everyone. People with diabetes or those who take medications for high blood pressure or heart disease may be more prone to electrolyte abnormalities from fasting. It is always best to speak with your doctor before deciding to try intermittent fasting.
Athletes or relatively active people should be cautious with intermittent fasting. Skipping your post-workout meal may prolong your recovery.
According to the USDA dietary guidelines, an active person is someone who walks more than three miles a day at a pace of three to four miles per hour.