TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – According to the National Institutes of Health, intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that includes hours or days of no or minimal food consumption. Some Topeka health experts shared the idea that some fasting is necessary for everyone.
“Most people eat from sun up to sun down, and we are getting very little sleep,” said Amber Groeling, Stormont Vail dietitian. “We live in a fast pace culture. So we aren’t ever really fasting. Maybe just a four or five hour break from food. And our bodies really need 10 to 12 hours without food, to get our metabolic system realigned.”
The two common ways to intermittently fast are:
- Alternate Day Fasting: Where you eat normal for five days and restrict calories for two.
- Minimal Hours of Eating: Typically only eating for about an eight hour time period each day.
“Basically what it does, is it gives the body some rest,” said Dr. Partha Bhurtel, a surgeon at Stormont Vail. “So when you eat, the body produces some insulin. And insulin promotes weight gain. So if you eat for less than eight hours a day, your body is only producing insulin and is busy digesting food for eight hours a day. The rest of the day your body gets a rest,”
Groeling added that fasting is only one part of the process.
“It really is a strategy that goes along with a healthy diet,” Groeling said. “So it’s really important to keep in mind, this is just a helpful addition to a healthy diet that we would recommend focusing on lean protein, lots of veggies and fruit.”
Although intermittent fasting is sustainable and recommended for many people, it is not recommended for someone who is prone to binge eating.