Friday, October 11, 2013

Food Frequency and Fasting

Q: What are your thoughts on meal frequency and intermittent fasting?

A: Our bodies like consistency.  Metabolism, immunity, the digestive and excretory systems all work together and are able to do so most efficiently when we are consistent in our daily habits. Ever notice that when you travel things seem to get "off"? That is because our bodies like habitual patterns be it eating, sleeping- there is even a preferred time of day your body likes to workout. There is too much conflicting research to make a blanketed statement that this is how many meals you should be having. That being said, how many meals you eat during the day, whether it is 2, 4 or 6 depend upon each individual and how your body responds the best. Pay attention to your energy levels, satiety, appetite, athletic performances and sleeping patterns. By being mindful of how you feel, you will be able to find the frequency that works best for you.

Intermittent fasting has been around for years and is hyped as a method to lose weight and increase longevity. Most studies conducted on intermittent fasting have been done using animals rather than a human model. There is very limited evidence available to prove that it is a beneficial means for sustainable weight loss. If you think about it, we fast naturally every night when we go to bed, hence the need for break-fast in the morning. Success from this diet plan usually stems from extreme calorie restriction and not the act of fasting. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be making any friends or running very far having not eaten for 8+ waking hours. This pattern of eating can be dangerous and is highly discouraged if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic.

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