11 Things to Know About Intermittent Fasting
April 10, 2019
By Brianna McCabe
Have you ever been so determined to lose weight, you decided to channel your inner Rocky Balboa?
Perhaps you purchased a sweatband online to soak up the puddles pouring off your forehead as you run up the stair climber at a rate of 8 mph blasting “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat, trying to figure out just how many times this sweat-inducing song can loop throughout your 30-minute mission. (For anyone wondering, it’s roughly 8 repeats for the single version.)
But let’s face it—we aren’t all going to be chiseled like Rocky, nor do we have the time for a regimen to attain such a feat.
Don’t be disappointed just yet… there are ways to effectively and naturally shed some pounds in a healthy, sustainable way.
According to Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group physicians Kimberly Cai, M.D., and Nitin Patel, M.D., one method of achieving weight loss in a shorter timeframe is intermittent fasting.
“Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where you withhold food for a certain amount of time and allow your body to use energy more efficiently,” explains Dr. Patel, who has fasted in the past. “Instead of using energy from intake, such as carbs, you are breaking down fats.”
Before committing to intermittent fasting, both Dr. Cai and Dr. Patel recommend that an individual is aware of the following facts:
- There are different methods of fasting, with some of the most popular variations being:
- The 5-2 fast, where an individual consumes his or her normal caloric intake five days a week, and then two non-consecutive days the person limits consumption to under 500 or 600 calories.
- The 24-hour fast, where an individual fasts for a complete day either once or twice a week. The other days of the week, an individual eats within his or her normal caloric requirements.
- The time-restrictive fast, where you limit the times each day you can eat. “You usually give yourself a 6-8 hour window each day to eat within your normal caloric requirements and then fast the rest of the day,” says Dr. Cai.
- The alternate-day fast, where every other day an individual eats ¼ of his or her usual calories.
“The idea of fasting reverts back to our roots if you think about it,” says Dr. Patel. “The whole idea that people need three meals a day with snacks in-between came about in the last few decades—the epidemic of obesity came about then, too.”
If you are looking to get a better handle on your hunger and lose weight faster than with a regular restriction, Dr. Patel recommends intermittent fasting.
“Cutting calories through any type of ‘dieting’ is the main factor behind weight loss,” Dr. Patel adds. “Find what works for you.”
Listen to Dr. Patel talk Intermittent Fasting on the HealthU podcast:
Next Steps and Resources:
- Meet our clinical contributors: Kimberly Cai, M.D., and Nitin Patel, M.D.
- To make an appointment with Drs. Cai and Patel or another provider, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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