Close up view of alarm clock on a plate intermittent fasting diet concept

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Intermittent fasting

Close up view of alarm clock on a plate intermittent fasting diet concept

If one of your goals this year is to get healthier you might want to check out intermittent fasting. While the only studies of this have been done on mice, there does seem to be evidence that it can be beneficial for those needing to lose weight. Besides losing weight, many others claim it’s been beneficial for them healthwise too.

However, groups that should not fast are: athletes, adolescents, people over 65, or anyone with an eating disorder. Diabetics can fast safely but should only do so under a doctor’s supervision

There are 3 types of fasting which we’ll list below. Remember: the best one is the one you think you will stick with! 

The first and most restrictive fasting is alternate day fasting. Every other day, you refrain from consuming any calories. To do this you must stay well hydrated with water or caffeine free tea. 

Modified fasting is about consuming less food instead of none at all. Think about 25% of your normal intake. 500 calories of a normal 2000 calorie diet. You can schedule this like alternate day fasting, or try the more popular schedule of 5 days off then 2 days fasting.

 The easiest and least restrictive is time restricted eating. This puts your eating window at one 8-hour window per day. If you do the math, that’s 16 hours food free. This method is easier for those with families. It’s best to have your eating window earlier in the day, but do what works for you!

Red flags to watch out for when fasting:

Excessive weight loss, especially if you’re already at a healthy weight. 

Feeling light-headed or dizzy.

Feeling foggy or like you can’t think straight. 

These are all signs from your body telling you that you need to break your fast and eat. As long as you are paying attention to your body and successfully getting sufficient nutrients, fasting can be refreshing, safe and beneficial. So if you feel it’s for you, go for it!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago