A plate used as a clock to show the intermittent fasting method: sixteen hours diet, eight hours eating time.

The pros, cons, and why it doesn’t suit everyone

This monthly feature was written by Nutrition Science Services Practice Director Caitlin Boylon and Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Nutrition and Performance Center Neri Dardarian of Drexel Nutrition Consulting and Nutrition Services Department at the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Intermittent fasting (IF) has become an increasingly popular diet over the past few years. While IF may lead to results such as weight loss, increased cognition and an improvement in overall body composition in the short term, it is not very sustainable for many interested in making long-term lifestyle changes. There is a lot of research to be done on IF, especially in humans, so it’s important to get the facts right.

IF . pros

  • It’s easy – there are a few rules
    • No need to give up your favorite foods or keep track of calories.
    • Choose a new eating schedule and stick to it.
      • Consuming foods only between 12-8 pm is an example of the 16/8 method where one fasts for 16 hours and eats only 8 hours a day.
    • Don’t count calories, protein, and macronutrients
      • Get rid of tracking apps and food magazines! IF is based on the idea that only eating within certain hours of the day will lead to health benefits. It is not necessary to count calories; However, it is essential to ensure that you consume enough nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fluids daily.
    • Weight loss
      • The wide popularity of IF is likely in the fact that it leads to weight loss. Several studies also indicate that fasting helps individuals lose overall body fat.

IF . Cons

  • energy loss
    • Eating only during certain hours of the day may lower energy stores, leading to increased hunger and fatigue.
  • overeating
    • It is common for overeating, usually during the post-dinner hours, to occur in those who do not eat consistently throughout the day. If this continues over a long period, weight gain is likely.
  • minimal human studies
    • The most compelling studies of IF have been conducted on animals, which means that the same results may not apply to humans.
    • Research in humans has small sample sizes as well as very specific population groups (eg, overweight individuals with diabetes or well-trained athletes). Therefore, studies on IF in the general population are needed.
  • Unsustainable in the long term for many
    • While one may see quick results with IF, it is an unsustainable lifestyle for long-term engagement for many. Learning how to eat well-divided, balanced meals and snacks on a consistent basis throughout the day to ensure proper energy recovery is key to long-term sustainability.
  • Does not teach balanced, unrestrained and mindful eating habits
    • Intermittent fasting is a form of eating restriction. Research consistently demonstrates that food restriction triggers a later binge eating response, which leads to weight gain over time.

In general, it is important to discuss your diet and eating plan with an expert, preferably a registered dietitian, to determine what is best for your health. Sign up for Drexel University’s Nutrition Consultation session today by emailing NutritionAppts@drexel.edu to learn more.

#pros #cons #doesnt #suit

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