Does Intermittent Fasting actually work?!

In recent years, Intermittent Fasting has become an increasingly popular dietary strategy for weight loss and overall health. Intermittent Fasting, or IF, involves alternating cycles of eating and fasting for a set period of time. While there is much anecdotal evidence that Intermittent Fasting can be beneficial, there is also a healthy amount of scepticism as to whether it is a legitimate weight loss tool or just another passing health trend. 

Several studies have been conducted to examine the efficacy of Intermittent Fasting. These studies have focused on different types of Intermittent Fasting, including 12-16 hour daily fasts (daily time-restricted eating) and shorter fasts once or twice a week. Overall, the findings suggest that Intermittent Fasting can have a positive effect on weight loss, body composition and blood markers related to the metabolic system. Most studies to date have lasted up to 12 weeks, with participants following a calorie-restricted diet or no particular diet at all. 

The primary mechanism of weight loss associated with Intermittent Fasting appears to be a decrease in caloric intake rather than an increase in metabolic rate. This is supported by the fact that most of the weight lost from Intermittent Fasting is from fat, rather than muscle. In addition, research suggests that Intermittent Fasting may also reduce levels of inflammation and improve metabolic health. 

Studies have shown that individuals practicing IF can experience improved insulin sensitivity, reduced cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Despite the promising results, it is important to note that Intermittent Fasting is not for everyone. People who are pregnant, underweight, have Type 1 Diabetes, or are currently taking certain medications should avoid Intermittent Fasting, or at least discuss it with their Doctor prior to starting. 

Overall, Intermittent Fasting appears to be an effective weight loss tool and may have additional metabolic benefits as well. As with any diet or lifestyle change, it is important to consult a Doctor prior to beginning. While intermittent fasting may be effective, it is not a one size fits all approach and individual results may vary.

Stephanie Karl

Clinical Nutritionist

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