Intermittent Fasting…To do or not to do?

Intermittent Fasting has been the “buzz words” these days as a way to shed some weight. I am having more and more patients seeking my advice about this form of eating.

For those that are not aware, intermittent fasting is more about timing your meals than it is about focusing on calories and what to eat. The theory behind this is that when you are abstaining from ingesting food for longer than 12 hours, your body can then begin to metabolize fat storage, restore insulin sensitivity, which can result in weight loss. Sounds simple enough? Right.

When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are different lengths of time and methods that people use. Some people fast for 16 hours a day and eat for 8 hours. Some fast for 14 hours and eat during a 10 hour period. Some people even do 24 hour fasts a couple of days a week and then return to a 16 hour fast and 8 hour feeding time.

Without really being conscious of it, I realized I was doing “intermittent fasting”. I noticed that the time between my last meal of the day and first meal of the day was 14 hours. I always knew eating too close to bedtime wasn’t a good thing and with a lack of appetite in the morning, I would eat around mid morning. I can honestly say, I feel good eating this way and my body weight has remained stable. I am not looking to lose weight as I am at a healthy weight.

I want to also let you know that this type of eating is not for everyone. It is not advised for people who are diabetics, have an eating disorder, adrenal insufficiency, athletes, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

In addition, even though intermittent fasting does not take into consideration what you eat, I think that it is extremely important to overall well-being. When you do have the window to eat, I urge you to eat nutritious, healthy foods that are balanced. Not getting enough minerals and vitamins is a problem in and of itself, so you may want to consult with me about healthy eating. I also think you need to be honest with yourself about how you feel if you try intermittent fasting and ask yourself if this is a “fad” or lifestyle change you can adhere to long-term. With all “fad diet trends” you don’t want to get sucked into something that will give you short term gains and affect you negatively in the long run.

I am open to helping you make the best choice for your individual body. We are all unique and have different needs. Some changes work better for others and some don’t. I pride myself on listening to each patient and trying to see what would help you best with your current health state.

Reach out for help,

Dr. Jen Cisternino, ND

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