Intermittent Fasting – Good or Bad??

Do you feel like the world of nutrition is constantly changing? Or sending conflicting information that leaves you feeling confused?

Eat fish…wait, no don’t eat fish as it is too contaminated

Don’t eat too much fat…wait, good fat is great and doesn’t contribute to cardiovascular conditions like once thought

At times, it can be confusing…so it is my mission and privilege is to present you with the latest nutrition information to keep you and your family as vibrant and healthy as possible.

A common belief is that if you don’t eat you are going to store weight, and negatively impact your metabolism. This is true. Continuous caloric restriction can result in lowered thyroid function and long term can impact metabolism and cause individuals to gain more weight.

Intermittent fasting however is not continuous caloric restriction. In fact, it has been shown to kick-start and spark metabolism and also brain function.  

Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase a protein in your brain called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) that plays an integral role in stimulating the growth of new brain cells and the performance of existing neurons.  It has been theorized from an evolutionary perspective that when we were in famine and searching for food the survival mechanism kicks in and allows your brain to be sharp and alert and able to find food.

A study performed at the University of Illinois by head researcher Krista Varady found that people who fasted every other day could lose 1-2 pounds per week while reducing their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. If that process sounds daunting, preliminary research is suggesting that similar benefits can be achieved by fasting for 12-16 hours per day.

The more I coach individuals on weight loss and health optimization I learn that there is not a one size fits all approach. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and before doing this please check with your health care provider.

It is however a very useful tool that I have been integrating in many of my clients treatment plans.

Some individuals choose to do a full fast day, while others simply focus on trying to fast for 12-16 hours per day. This is usually done by eating dinner, and then not eating for 12-16 hours until breakfast the next morning.

If you are struggling with weight loss, this could be a very powerful tool in your program. If you would like more information please come in and see if it is right for you!

 

For more information on the impact on brain health with intermittent fasting please visit David Perlmutter’s blog:

http://www.drperlmutter.com/fasting-brain-health/

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