Intermittent Fasting Review

by The Diet Critic on April 27, 2019

Intermittent Fasting Review
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Intermittent Fasting is a popular health and fitness trend that people use for the purpose of losing weight, improving their health, fitness and overall lifestyle. It is not specifically a diet in that there is no specification of what foods you should eat or when you should eat them. Instead, intermittent fasting is best characterized as an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

Essentially, if you choose to engage in intermittent fasting, it’s entirely up to you what you eat and when you do it. With that in mind, popular intermittent fasting methods including daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, two times per week.

More specifically, the most common methods include:

The 16/8 or Leangains protocol – This method involves skipping breakfast and limiting your daily eating period to 8 hours (e.g. noon until 8 pm) and fasting for 16 hours in between.

The 5:2 diet – This method involves consuming only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eating normally for the remaining 5 days.

Eat-Stop-Eat – This involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For instance, not eating from dinner one day all the way until dinner the next day.

Of all these methods, the most popular tends to be the 16/8 method as intermittent fasters tend to find this to be the simplest to follow, the most sustainable and the easiest one to commit to.

Intermittent fasting pros

Weight Loss – One of the main reasons people tend to like this style of dieting so much is that when followed correctly, it can lead to weight loss. Even studies have found this to be true.

Health benefits – In some cases, when followed correctly, some intermittent fasting methods can help to reduce the chances of developing a range of life-threatening disease, including heart disease and diabetes, as they can increase good (HDL) cholesterol and reduce triacylglycerol contractions. In some cases, it may even be good for brain health and decrease the likelihood of age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Easier to follow than a calorie-restricted diet – Some research suggests that those who follow an intermittent fasting diet tend to eat fewer calories on a more consistent basis than those who don’t follow this method.

Intermittent fasting cons

Negative side effects – Those who follow intermittent fasting methods may experience certain unpleasant side effects, including headache, constipation, hunger pangs, lack of energy, poor mood and bad temper due to a lower consumption of food.

It’s not more effective than conventional calorie-restricted diets – There is conflicting evidence regarding the research findings on intermittent fasting in relation to weight loss compared to conventional calorie-reduced diets. Overall, this form of dieting does not appear to be better than more traditional dieting methods for weight loss.

It’s not easy to stay committed – One of the major drawbacks of this form of dieting is that it requires you to be very consistent with whatever fasting method you might choose. As such it can be difficult to follow and may not be ideal for everyone.

Overall, if you are considering intermittent fasting for weight loss, you are strongly urged to first do your research about the method you’d like to try and then speak with your healthcare provider to determine if this is a safe, practical and ideal choice for your personal weight management strategy. This is especially prudent if you are a woman, are pregnant or nursing, have an existing health condition or are currently taking any medications or supplements for health reasons.

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