Let's talk FASTING!

Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now. It's been claimed to cure cancer, increase lifespan, perform dramatic weight-loss and much more. 🤔 So what's the deal...is it healthy? Does it actually live up to all of these claims? Will it help shed some pounds? 👉First what IS intermittent fasting? Think of it as a time-restricted diet. There are many different models of intermittent fasting but the most common form is narrowing your eating window to just 8 hours per day (most people eat between noon and 8 pm) and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. While fasting, the consumption of water is encouraged. 👉Eating habits don't need to change during the period of time where people do eat, however some people will "clean" up their diet so to speak and it is often paired with the Keto diet for optimal weight loss (which is a whole other topic). 👉So why are so many people trying out intermittent fasting? Well with the amazing claims this diet boasts, why wouldn't you?! The biggest reasons surround the claimed health benefits such as dropping unwanted pounds, increasing autophagy (a normal cellular process of cleaning up dead/harmful cells in the body), or even reducing the risk of disease and living longer! 👉Well it's time to burst the big amazing cure-all bubble...the jury is out on whether intermittent fasting has any actual beneficial affects on the human body. All of the concrete evidence towards the benefits of intermittent fasting have been done on non-human species such as mice, where we do see weight loss, longer lifespan and autophagy. Scientists don't yet have a concrete way of actually measuring the rate of autophagy in humans. All of the other not so concrete studies that have been done, come back with mixed results some that do show amazing benefits with intermittent fasting in humans, which is great and some that do show concern. It will take a few years to get some good actual studied human evidence on the benefits and downfalls of intermittent fasting. 👉In saying that, you most likely know people who have tried intermittent fasting and have seen it work for them in terms of weight-loss. Why would this be? Well, when you go for a period of time without eating you do naturally rev up your metabolism and burn fat, however this is quickly reversed when you do go to eat again. Most people cut out sugar and processed foods, which will naturally help you to shed weight. People are often more aware of when and what they are eating so their frame of mind is in a "I want to lose weight state" so they tend to make healthier choices and are most likely in a caloric deficit.. 👉All in all, if you or someone you know has tried fasting and love it, that is great! All the power to people who have used restricted eating as a way to get healthier! 👉Keep in mind intermittent fasting is not appropriate for anyone with diabetes, pregnant women, growing humans and anyone with an eating disorder or a past of disordered eating. 👉Is it a necessary diet to try to loose weight? No! You can lose weight by eating a diet full of whole nutrient dense foods. 👉When looking at diets and fads always remember that nothing is a cure all. Many claims are not backed by evidence based science and always remember that we are all amazing unique humans - what works for one will not work for all. 👉Fasting for long periods of time will interfere with your hunger hormones which can disrupt appetite regulation. 👉Dieting no matter what the diet often times isn't sustainable over long-periods of time and have a greater chance of leaving a feeling of failure than wellness. 👉Nutrient-dense whole foods paired with exercise, balance and mindful eating will always do the trick! 👌 👉I am very interested to see what the science will say in regards to intermittent fasting over the next few years! :) 🙃 Have no idea what I am holding in my hand? it's a piece of bread that came out of the bag looking like a smile, which made me smile, so I hope you smile too!

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Emily Manuel, B.A, RHN, CYT

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