Trying to lose weight or improve your blood sugar? Intermittent fasting might be worth a try.
As a rule, I don’t do diets. I always recommend the slow and steady approach of cutting out empty calories and increasing your physical activity to lose a few pounds, or get your cholesterol, blood sugar or blood pressure under control. For most people, that works really well, but sometimes, after a certain age, and especially if you’re already pretty careful about your diet and exercise, the slow and steady approach feels like you’re swimming upstream – exhausted but getting nowhere.
Recently, I did some research on Intermittent Fasting, AKA, Alternate Day Fasting, or the 5:2 Diet, for a job assignment. Apparently, Jimmy Kimmel’s a fan, and I’ve gotta tell you – I’m intrigued.
Here’s how it works:
Fasting days can be:
Here are the benefits:
The thing is, no one is really sure why or how it works. It might be as simple as, fasting forces you to cut out late night eating a few days each week. Or it might be related to regulating circadian rhythms, and how the body produces certain hormones that help with weight and insulin/glucose regulation.
Want to try it? Here’s a post from the New York Times which explains a bit more about it, and provides some links to the research. While there is no evidence that intermittent fasting is harmful, if you’re going to try it, make sure you talk to a registered dietitian to make sure you’re doing it correctly – that means, not over-doing it on fasting days, and choosing the right foods for the days you are eating.
Whatever eating pattern you follow, it’s important to do what makes you feel best. Some people may feel too tired or weak if they go a full day without eating anything significant, and that can backfire, especially on your exercise.
Have you ever tried Intermittent Fasting? How did you feel, and what were the results?