Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s just start this post by stating that when it comes to diets, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Ever heard of the diet where you only eat for 7 hours out of the day? How about the cabbage diet? Grapefruit diet anyone?

Intermittent Fasting ranked No. 28 of 31 on U.S. News’s Best Diets Overall rankings list…which should already clue you in to how ridiculous this fad diet is.

If you want more information on this diet, we suggest reading “The Case for Skipping Meals” published by US News, but the general theory behind it is that our bodies were programmed for periods of feast and famine. As such, we should recreate these feast and famine days in order to lose weight and live a longer life.

Told you…ridiculous.

On this plan (aka The Fast Diet), dieters select two non-consecutive days each week to eat 500 or 600 calories, depending if they’re a man or woman. On fasting days, low-glycemic-index and low-glycemic-load foods are recommended since they take longer to digest, which in turn makes you feel more satisfied. Recommended foods include vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes (including beans and lentils), and some fruit. Dieters are recommended to follow their regular exercise regimen during fasting days. As trainers, we strongly advise against exercise without food. This can lead to dehydration, lightheadedness, weakness, injury, and potentially just a bad workout.  During the remaining five non-fasting days, you can eat whatever you wish.

Basically – you may lose weight because your overall intake at the end of the week may be less than usual. You also may not lose anything because you overcompensate during the other 5 days by eating more than usual.

If you read the article, you will see that they have highlighted a few “pro’s” like exercise is allowed and no food group is removed, but we just can’t find any pro’s with this diet (and frankly any diet that does not allow for exercise should be ignored completely). So here are the con’s:

• Much of the scientific evidence regarding intermittent fasting is controversial.

• With sub-optimal calories consumed twice a week, you may become deficient in several important nutrients.

• Eating so few calories can result in uncomfortable side effects such as headaches, irritability and hunger.

• Lifelong healthy eating habits aren’t promoted. On the days when you can eat whatever you want – most people will run towards the french toast not the avocado toast. Also – two slices of pizza can come in around 500 calories. So theoretically, you could eat pizza on your fast days if you want.

We will end this post on yet another fad diet with the mantra from the first post:

Choose to eat CLEAN.

If you want to “health up” your diet, by all means do. But rather than going with a fad diet, try this:
  • Do eat three to five smaller meals a day.
  • Do include some protein at every meal and snack.
  • Do include foods with color at every meal or snack.
  • Do include some healthy, whole grains at every meal.
  • Do include a little fat at each meal, such as nuts and high quality oils.
  • Do be selective with some of the less healthy foods – sweets and high fats.

We generally share a recipe related to the diet we are highlighting for you, but since this is about fasting that is hard….

BUT – we don’t want to you follow the “Fast Diet”, so here are some delicious and healthy smoothie tips from a great blog that would make an excellent breakfast or snack.

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups water or coconut water
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • Ice
  1. Tightly pack 2 cups of leafy greens in a measuring cup and then toss into blender.
  2. Add water and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
  3. Add mango, pineapple and bananas and blend again until smooth.

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