Intermittent Fasting An Exploratory Discussion (Healthy Aging Learning Series) Health Coaching Session, July, 2017
Is intermittent fasting a viable option for weight loss? Most weight loss researches are focusing on what to eat or not to eat, metabolic rate, calorie intake vs. energy expenditures, etc; but not much on when to eat and frequency of intakes. Furthermore, do humans need to be fed 3 times a day and nibbles in between? Lions in the wild can go days without food and gorge in up to 66 pounds of meat at one setting is rather normal.
There are the three most popular methods, as suggested by Dr. Michael VanDerschelden, the author of the book “the scientific approach to intermittent fasting” -
The 5:2 Diet: Fasting on two non-consecutive days of the week; eat normally the other 5 days.
Fasting on alternate day: fasting every other day.
The 16/8 Method: skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours (for example from 12 pm to 8 pm); fasting for 16 hours in between.
Note: eat normally does not mean to eat all you want. It is wise to eat healthy.
The intermittent fasting theory is quite different than the current popular nutritional preaches, as we have been told that breakfast is the most important meals of the day, do not skip meals, eat 6 time a day(3 meals + morning/afternoon/evening snakes + pre and post work out energy fills), and with complicated diet instructions and food choices. One of the challenging arguments from Dr. Fung is that the underlying cause of obesity is hormonal, specifically insulin regulation, rather than a caloric imbalance. Therefore, the traditional “eat less, move more” model doesn’t work. Dr. VanDerschelden also listed many health benefits (hormonal, brain function, longevity, heart health, cancer, epilepsy, and more) for intermittent fasting. For those who are interested, further readings are available as referenced below, see books by Dr. Michael VanDerschelden and Dr. Jason Fung.
In fact, intermittent fasting is not a diet (no food restrictions on micro-nutrients); it is rather a life style modification. To think logically with common sense -
1. The idea is plain and simple – want to lose weight? Just don’t eat. Since ancient times, humans can survive days without food, intermittent fasting for 16-24 consecutive hours or in other ways of reduced energy intake schedule should be tolerable, with no restriction of water intake. Other health benefits, however, will need more medical and clinical research to prove.
2. We will eat less if we have shorter time window to consume food. But we naturally eat more after 16 hours of no eating and over compensation may become an undesired consequence. The traditional concept is when total energy intake is less than expenditure over time will result in weight loss.
3. The 16/8 method is a more easily adapted routine to stick to. Eat two meals a day, lunch and dinner or brunch and early dinner are optional. It normally takes about two weeks for our body getting use to a life style change.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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