Intermittent Fasting: What Is It And Is It The Best Weight Loss Method For You?


SAN ANTONIO – After the holidays are over, many of us will be trying to lose weight. More will fail than succeed, but is it because we are not doing it the right way? Here we take a look at a popular trend called intermittent fasting.

Statistics show that 19 out of 20 people fail to diet and that half of the weight we gain occurs while on vacation. If you are looking to shed a few pounds, intermittent fasting may be right for you.

So what is it? For that, we turn to Brenda Morgan, personal trainer and owner of the wellness business “A Health Warrior”. She described the practice of intermittent fasting as “not eating at certain times of the day when you choose not to eat, or you can choose on certain days when you don’t eat.”

Morgan claims it’s more effective than just cutting back on calories because it gives the body a chance to repair itself.

Dr Vidhya Illuri, an endocrinologist at the Texas Diabetes Institute at University Health, said the benefits of the weight loss method boiled down to the individual.

“I think we all need to think about our motivation for intermittent fasting,” Illuri said, adding that while it could be a good way to lose weight, other issues could develop. “I think a lot of people do it to lose weight fast. And I can see it as problematic if it creates eating disorders.”

For some, it can even become downright dangerous.

“If you go into the cycle of fasting and bingeing,” Illuri said.

According to Diet vs. Disease, by skipping breakfast most people will save around 500 calories. Studies show that those who fast intermittently lose 4-7% of their waistline in six months.

Morgan says fasting can even increase your brain power.

“It increases the neurotrophic factor derived from the brain, which improves the functioning of your brain,” she said.

There are several types of intermittent fasting that you can follow:

1. The 16/8 method, in which you fast for 16 hours and eat only for an eight hour daily window.

2. The 5: 2 diet, in which you eat regularly for five days and only 600 calories on each of the other two to complete the week.

3. Spontaneous fasting, in which you fast for a period of 12 or 24 hours several times a week.

4. Alternating fasting, in which you fast one day and eat normally the next day, following this pattern.

Valérie Romo started intermittent fasting two and a half years ago.

“I had a lot of stomach issues so I went to see a gastro and he was the first person to introduce intermittent fasting to me,” Romo said.

She landed on the 16 hour a day fasting method.

“That doesn’t mean you have to stick to it every day. I’m just going to eat between 12 and 8. You can change it.”

Jessica Regalado follows a similar method to Romo. She has lost over 50 pounds and even started a Facebook group to help other women called “Sisters of the Blessing Intermittent Fasting”.

“We literally support each other and give advice on intermittent fasting,” she said.

If you are able to skip a meal without complaining, want to lose belly fat, spend less on food, do less cooking and cleaning, and even use the bathroom a few times less each week, the intermittent fasting may be for you.

But, Illuri stresses that it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first.

“Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are considering starting a nutritional program or a different diet,” she said.

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