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Today we discuss the benefits of Intermittent Fasting

If you struggle with a busy morning, weight loss, or even hormonal issues – intermittent fasting might just be the answer. Intermittent fasting can be done in a variety of ways; there is the 16:8 method where you fast for 16 hours, the 12:12 method and the 5:2 method just to name a few. Today, we’ll review some of the benefits, who should avoid it entirely, and our thoughts on the intermittent fasting trend.

The Benefits

  • Weight loss
    • Intermittent Fasting makes insulin levels drop, encourages fat loss and helps to improve insulin sensitivity. When you do eat, remember that quality and quantity still matter!
  • Regulate Hunger
    • Improved insulin sensitivity allows for our body to better understand hunger cues which are released from the hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and leptin.
  • Circadian rhythm
    • Our circadian rhythm is our body’s natural timekeeper. It tells you when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to sleep. Intermittent Fasting helps regulate our circadian rhythm, therefore improving sleep and nutrition habits.
  • Minimize inflammation
    • A study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine showed that Intermittent Fasting helped participants significantly improve asthma-related symptoms having to do with inflammation[1].

We don’t recommend Intermittent Fasting to the following patients….

  • Clinically underweight patients
  • Patients with a history of eating disorders
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing

Final Thoughts:

We at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center believe there is a benefit to intermittent fasting, but not all fasts have to mean long periods of deprivation. The simplest approach for many is a 12-14 hour fast from dinner to breakfast the next morning to give digestion a rest and allow for the body to focus on repair. We do not recommend fasting for longer periods due to the unnecessary severe caloric depletion. Fasting for too long can bring about consequences involving feeling faint or ill, binge eating, and severe drops in blood sugar levels.  Intermittent Fasting isn’t for everyone and should not be seen as the “gold standard” of dieting, but it does show some promising results for certain individuals. Be sure to discuss with your Registered Dietitian at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center if this is right for you!

Always consult your medical professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.

[1] Johnson, James B et al. “Alternate day calorie restriction improves clinical findings and reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults with moderate asthma.” Free radical biology & medicine vol. 42,5 (2007): 665-74. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2006.12.005

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