Healthy Living: Is fasting good for you?

(WHTM) — Fasting continues to grow in popularity. If you’re unfamiliar with the diet, it’s a pretty simple concept and there are multiple ways you can do it.

“Time-restricted eating is probably the most popular type of fasting. This is keeping your eating, your calorie intake to just one window during the day. So, most people who do this try and do it within an eight-hour window, so they only allow themselves to eat within eight hours. Periodic fasting is when people kind of look at the week as a whole, and they choose one or multiple days to either not consume any calories or consume a very low-calorie diet that day, like 500 calories,” Registered dietitian Alexis Supan with Cleveland Clinic said.

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But are these approaches healthy for you?

Supan says those who follow time-restricted eating may feel less hungry throughout the day – but neither promise guaranteed health benefits.

Although intermittent fasting can potentially reduce insulin resistance, research on the overall health benefits has been mixed. 

Supan says you should also be cautious if you’re trying to use intermittent fasting to lose weight.

She stresses it’s not a magic formula for weight loss, and you still need to follow healthy eating habits.

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However, it can help people stick to a schedule when it comes to eating and avoid late-night snacking.

“You still need a well-balanced diet. You still need to kind of be mindful of the foods you’re choosing, but it can be a really beneficial rule for people when they’re considering lifestyle changes. So, a lot of people do like to do time-restrictive eating just because it’s a simple rule to follow – there’s not a lot of like calculations or stress around it,” Supan said.

Supan adds people need to talk to a dietitian or doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

That’s because intermittent fasting can be dangerous for those with certain medical conditions like diabetes.

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