What’s the Deal with Intermittent Fasting?
By Lauren E., RD, LD, and Phalen M., LN
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Have you heard all the hype about Intermittent Fasting? This diet trend is endorsed by celebrities, and even some medical professionals, but is it really the best method for weight loss?
Intermittent Fasting involves limiting one’s eating to a set period of time. There is no standardized definition of Intermittent Fasting, so it can be anywhere from 16 to 48 hours without food, but there are no instructions on what to eat after the fast. Intermittent Fasting (IMF) or Time Restricted Feeding (TRF) often does not include guidelines on nutritious food choices or moderate portions.
This is cause for concern for nutrient deficiencies or muscle loss if meals are being skipped and nutrients are being missed, particularly for older adults . Eating consistently every 2 to 3 hours, as you do on the Livea plan, helps you receive all the nutrients you need by the end of the day.
Does Intermittent Fasting help you Lose Weight?
There are some weight-loss and metabolic benefits from Intermittent Fasting, but they are comparable to the benefits of a reduced calorie diet that does not include a time restriction, such as the Livea plan . Many of the studies on IMF are short term, typically 8-10 weeks, so it’s unclear if this is a dietary pattern that one can maintain for a long period of time.
It would be hard to predict who would be able to maintain this type of diet, due to many biological, psychosocial, environmental and behavioral factors that affect someone’s ability to stick with a diet . Most of the benefits of IMF have been studied in rodents, so more research needs to be done to determine if these same benefits are applicable in humans.
Conversely, the type of meal plan that Livea uses has over 10 years of proven success and includes your Lifestyle phase to make sure that you have a long-term meal plan that works for you.
Why Does Livea Recommend Small, Frequent Meals vs. Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting does not automatically equate to a healthy lifestyle choice. Starting a fast can cause your body to try to conserve the energy it stores and can slow down your metabolism . Going long periods of time without eating can lead to rebound eating or overeating because of extreme hunger . Some other concerns with fasting for long periods include ignoring hunger cues and disrupting hormones.
For example, starvation can increase the stress hormone cortisol, and that increase can prevent weight loss . Intermittent fasting can also make it harder to maintain stable blood sugars, particularly in people at risk for hypoglycemia. Low blood sugars levels can lead to depleted energy, anxiety, increased irritability, and can be fatal for people who are hypoglycemic . The Livea program focuses on eating every 2-3 hours to help stabilize blood sugars, which in turn can help with maintaining weight and weight loss.
The bottom line is that eating small, frequent meals on the Livea plan gives the body the consistent nutrition needed to lose weight safely and effectively. Livea is backed by trained professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists who monitor and guide clients in a healthy and safe way to lose and maintain a healthy weight.
To learn more or get started with a custom meal plan from Livea, schedule a time to speak with one of our experts!
- Rynders, C. A., Thomas, E. A., Zaman, A., Pan, Z., Catenacci, V. A., & Melanson, E. L. (2019). Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Feeding Compared to Continuous Energy Restriction for Weight Loss. Nutrients, 11(10), 2442. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102442 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836017/
- Nutrition’s Role in Sarcopenia Prevention
By Becky Dorner, RD, LD, and Mary Ellen Posthauer, RD, LD, CD
Today’s Dietitian Vol. 14 No. 9 P. 62 https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090112p62.shtml
- www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Livea Guide pg. 34
- Yuko,N., Walker, B.R., Toshikazu, I., (2016).Systematic review and meta-analysis reveals acutely elevated plasma cortisol following fasting but not less severe calorie restriction https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26586092/
- Mayo Clinic. Hypoglycemia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypoglycemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20373685