Weight loss diet: the long-term effects of intermittent fasting are unclear

Quarantine 15 still disappointed you? Using intermittent fasting to lose weight is not a new idea, but as a strategy to improve overall health, it has gained more and more attention in 2021.

In March, Gwyneth Paltrow claimed that she used a form called “intuitive fasting” to help relieve the lingering symptoms of COVID-19.

Actress tells Inside story She compares “intuitive fasting” with This ketone Eating to improve her metabolism, which in turn helped her lingering COVID-19 symptoms.

However, health experts say these claims have not been confirmed by current research. Although studies have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to short-term weight loss, the long-term effects of calorie restriction in this way are still not fully understood.

Current research is still mixed with pros and cons, showing that intermittent fasting is not the correct weight loss strategy for everyone, and caution should be exercised.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting Pay more attention to when people eat instead of how much they eat. The diet includes periods of fasting or calorie restriction. It is separate from fasting in many cultures for religious or spiritual purposes.

One of the most popular forms is the 16:8 method, in which people only eat in an eight-hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Another way is to simply reduce the time for meals within 24 hours. For example, eating only within a six-hour window.

Other advocates prefer a 5:2 diet, in which people consume only 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week. Some dieters prefer to fast for 24 hours during these two days. However, others prefer to fast or restrict food every other day, or eat only one large meal a day.

Why is short-term fasting so effective? Health experts say it stimulates changes at the cellular level. When cells run out of stored energy, they convert more fat into energy.

It is said that this process (called ketosis) can increase the production of ketones, which are an alternative fuel source produced by the liver. Mayo Clinic. Higher levels of ketones are associated with better weight loss and other health benefits, including Reduce seizures Improve children’s cognitive ability, improve the health of the heart, heart and tissues.

“Fasting also affects the body’s metabolic process,” Mayo Clinic said. “These processes trigger many reactions, including reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar regulation and better coping with physical stress. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can also bring other health benefits, but more research is needed.”

Mixed pros and cons

Although intermittent fasting has been used for many years, research into its possible benefits and side effects continues to produce conflicting findings.

A kind Harvard Medical School Review 40 studies found that using this method, dieters lost an average of 7-11 pounds in 10 weeks. Individual comment It has also been found that intermittent fasting can help stabilize blood sugar, lower blood pressure and blood lipid levels.

according to Dr. Shilpa RavellaGastroenterologists at the New York Presbyterian Church/Columbia University Irvine Medical Center have also shown that fasting for two to five days a month can reduce the biomarkers of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

She explained that reducing the level of insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the body will increase the maintenance capacity of cells, thereby slowing down the aging process and reducing the risk of disease.

However, not all studies have given a enthusiastic review of intermittent fasting.

some studies It has been found that it works best when combined with other diets. Eating a lot of breakfast, and then eating less lunch and dinner, will be very effective, especially for reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Another study Found that it is not more effective than simple calorie counting.

One of the latest research It is found that there may be some undesirable long-term effects. This suggests that intermittent fasting can cause muscle loss.

Researchers specifically studied the 16:8 method and were surprised to find that the weight loss was moderate at best, and was accompanied by a greater than expected reduction in lean body mass, including muscle.

Participants who fasted intermittently lost an average of only 2 to 3.5 pounds, only slightly more than the control group. Their fat mass, fasting insulin, blood sugar or blood lipids did not improve significantly.

Those who fasted lose 65% of their lean body mass, instead of the usual 20% to 30% weight loss expected. Experts say that muscle loss can affect mobility, increase the risk of falls, and negatively affect metabolic health.

Some critics expressed concern about the validity of the research results, believing that fasting for 16 hours is not enough to lose weight. Others say that following the diet plan is problematic. Overall, compared with the control group, the fasting participants reduced the number of steps taken per day by about 2500, which may explain why their weight loss was small.

Should you try?

Lovers of intermittent fasting like to eat whatever they want during restricted periods, but the various methods may make it difficult for people to reach any consensus on the benefits or side effects of fasting.

One thing most experts agree on is that more research is needed on the long-term consequences of different forms of intermittent fasting.

Dr. Guy L. Mintz, Director of Cardiovascular Health and Lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bath Heart Hospital in New York, previously told USA Today Intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone, especially for diabetic patients who are taking medication or insulin.

He said that low blood sugar (when blood sugar levels plummet) increases the risk of falls.

Other experts warn that too much fluid and food restriction can also increase the risk of severe dehydration and increase the risk of eating disorders.

Kelsey Smith, a nutritionist and nutritionist who works at STAT Wellness in Atlanta, told Atlanta Magazine For people with thyroid disease, high blood pressure or heart disease, intermittent fasting is not recommended.

Ravella added that people who decide to adopt a restrictive diet need to make sure that they are still eating a very healthy diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and eating much less.

Experts believe that the best strategy for overall health is to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits, and keep them consistent over time.

It is recommended that anyone considering intermittent fasting consult with health care providers and dietitians to ensure that they are fasting in a healthy way.

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