December 23, 2021

Is Intermittent Fasting For You?

Is Intermittent Fasting For You?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) as a way to lose weight is not new, but it has received a lot of attention lately, perhaps with New Year’s Resolutions on many people’s minds. I have not personally tried intermittent fasting, but I have researched it and I have a few pearls for you.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not a diet; it is a way of eating.

We all fast, at least for as long as we’re asleep at night. The idea behind IF for weight loss is to extend that fast beyond the usual 8-hour sleep window. For example, the most popular IF is the 16/8 fast. You don’t eat for 16 hours, then you can eat during an 8-hour time frame, which you can pick. Some skip breakfast, eating from 1pm to 9pm. Some prefer to skip dinner, eating from 7am to 3pm. The idea is that about 12 hours after you begin fasting, your body begins breaking down fat for energy. Good, right? Well, yes, but breaking down fat doesn’t need a magic window of time. Even if you eat off and on all day, you will still break down fat off and on throughout the day if you have a daily calorie deficit. The only way you’ll be sure you’re eating with the proper deficit is to count your calories. It’s not hard at all; my favorite method is with the MyFitnessPal app, but there are many other apps and methods to choose from.

Some people talk about IF allowing you to stop counting calories or macros – “just eat whatever you like!” As if this method makes healthy eating and caution about portion size unnecessary. Not true! Studies have shown that Muslims sometimes gain weight during Ramadan, their holy month of fasting. It’s because some of them binge eat when the sun goes down.

Common sense must be your guide in both quantity and quality of food. There are many roads to weight loss and healthy lifestyle. IF has worked for a lot of people. It might work for you, if you can follow a reasonable diet during your non- fast window. Phentermine, the appetite suppressant we prescribe, could be a big help during your fast. Before you try IF, though, ask your PCP if it’s safe for you.