Common sense will tell you that intentionally fasting for any reason, other than a religious one, is detrimental to your mental and physical health. One dietitian, Leslie Langevin of Whole Health Nutrition, even regards "cutting out too much" as the single biggest mistake you can make when trying to get in shape.
So why is the wellness world so hung up on intermittent fasting? Such was the question on The Coveteur's mind when they reached out to Keri Glassman, RD, MS, CDN, and founder of Nutrition Life. The verdict? It's "not as crazy as it sounds," as it's "more about when you eat" rather than not eating at all. New research has found that it can be an effective tool for healthy weight management and can improve cardiovascular health and boost energy levels.
This falls in line with Glassman's professional definition: "Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating—where you eat during certain times and then fast during others," she explains. "There are many different ways to practice intermittent fasting; one common way is eating all your meals within a six- to eight-hour window and then fasting for 16 to 18 hours." In other words, you're not eating any less, you're just eating your meals in a shorter amount of time.
She does make it clear that "it's essential that you consume nutrient dense foods [during the eating hours] so that you ensure adequate consumption of critical nutrients." She recommends planning out three hearty, non-processed, and well-portioned meals in addition to two snacks, depending on your hunger levels. Of course, "If not done properly, fasting and extreme low-calorie dieting can potentially slow down your metabolism and/or lead to a pattern of yo-yo dieting," she cautions. Remember that everybody is different, and be sure to consult your doctor before adopting any kind of meal plan!
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