Intermittent Fasting

Separating Fact from Fiction

A weight-loss concept gaining in popularity, intermittent fasting promotes the notion that if you don’t eat anything for at least 10 hours in a row, you can eat whatever you want the rest of the time and not gain weight. This is simply not the case. However, you can lose weight and lower cholesterol by employing this pattern of eating and non-eating.

The facts
Intermittent fasting may help cut overall calorie intake so you lose weight. It has also been shown to help lower blood sugar, fight insulin resistance, decrease inflammation, and reduce “bad” cholesterol to improve heart health.

This cycle may also promote new nerve cells in our brains, which can help us fight such diseases as Alzheimer’s. It might even slow our overall aging process; however, it’s too early to tell. People with certain issues, such as diabetes, low blood pressure, or eating disorders, or those trying to get pregnant or taking various medications, should consult their doctor before
fasting for any significant length of time.

The bottom line
Fasting daily or a few times a week can decrease overall calories to help you lose weight. When you fast, your nervous system transmits norepinephrine to your fat cells, causing them to break down fat so it can be used for energy. For many, fasting also makes losing weight simpler. It may also help psychologically to have a designated point where you stop eating each day.

In the long run, you still need to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Intermittent fasting is not a free pass to eat everything you want. It’s simply another tool to help you shed unwanted pounds.