It is becoming increasingly popular to start the new year with goals and ambitions, especially for weight loss. Different forms of dieting and trying to find fast ways to lose weight come to mind in order to achieve our goals in short periods of time. Intermittent fasting is something that has taken popularity in the world of dieting and ‘lose-weight-fast’ schemes. There are always going to be positive and negatives of certain diets, but intermittent fasting shows both sides of being beneficial to a person’s health but also being quite dangerous.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet that gives the individual only a certain time window to eat, while also restricting the types of foods being consumed. For example, if you didn’t eat between 8 pm and 8 am that is a 12-hour fast—only water is permitted. Like many diets, it will show results, especially because the amount of food you can eat during those specific times will demonstrate result in weight loss.
Usually, these diets have a bad rep for being too restrictive in what the body needs because it is a form of fasting. According to Mark Mattson, professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, there are more positive benefits from intermittent fasting than negative ones. He states, “Recent randomized controlled trials in human subjects have demonstrated that IF, including diets that mimic some aspects of FMDs [Fast Mimicking Diets], are achievable in humans and improve many health indicators in healthy individuals and in those with some chronic diseases.” He goes on to discuss how it helps “maintain blood glucose levels in the low normal range”; this definitely is a benefit for those who need to maintain their glucose levels. In Mattson’s case, he argues that intermittent fasting has true long-term benefits, in which medication may not provide. He also mentions that the results he has gotten for weight loss studies are not fully accurate because of other factors, though it did help the subjects with weight and asthma.
Intermittent fasting seems to be safe for the most part, but it is a caution for those who live a very active lifestyle because you are basically burning the remaining fat on your body. There are sources that state that this method of dieting is easier to do rather than counting calories mentally.
In some ways, this specific method can benefit your body when done right. Restrictive diets do not usually have long term effects because the weight always comes back unless there is a complete lifestyle change at the end of the diet. Doing this diet for long periods of time can affect your body negatively since the purpose is to only be done for a certain amount of time. Though this diet does aid in regulating blood sugar levels and help with weight loss, it is definitely not for everyone and should be further researched before starting.