Health impact of intermittent fasting

Health Watch

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There’s good news for people who want to lose weight through intermittent fasting!

Dr. Mathew Devine, the Medical Director at Accountable Health Partners and Highland Family Medicine, said there are other potential health benefits as well Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“It’s actually spacing the amount of food you eat within a certain amount of time during the daytime hours, usually when it’s light, and then actually fasting, eating nothing for stretches of periods of time,” said Dr. Devine of intermittent fasting. “Now there are multiple different ways to do intermittent fasting, but I think the majority of them is kind of having a set time that you eat and then you’re essentially having nothing to eat after that period of time.”

Dr. Devine said intermittent fasting can help a person lose weight, but not necessarily more or less weight than other popular diets, such as the Mediterranean diet or Atkins diet. The important takeaways, from his perspective, is the added health benefits of intermittent fasting. “The biggest thing is cutting down on refined sugars, trying to really decrease some of the carbohydrates that you’re in, but having things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables.”

He added, “I think the key takeaway point here today is nothing to eat at night because I think that that’s when everything our circadian rhythm slows down and that’s when we really can gain a lot of the cells that we have that become fat cells. That’s where everything gets stored in there and it’s hard to get it out per se.”

Dr. Devine said people are able to adjust to intermittent fasting over time. “There have been some studies that show that people have eaten from the hours of like 7:00 am to 3:00 pm over a period of weeks, that they’ve actually not lost weight per se, but they’ve decreased their blood pressure, they’ve decreased their risk for diabetes. And what the study did show is their appetite did not go overboard. They weren’t starving after a period of time.”

If you’re unsure about any aspect of intermittent fasting consult with your primary care physician.

Here are our ways Dr. Devine recommends using this information for better health:

1. Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (a sensible, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet).

2. Let your body burn fat between meals. Don’t snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone.

3. Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7 am to 3 pm, or even 10 am to 6 pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed).

4. Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.

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