Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | ePaper

The latest diet mantra: Eating and fasting

Intermittent fasting allows you to eat within a period of few hours in a day and fast for the rest

  • Print


Weekend Plus Desk :
here is no magic bullet for fighting flab. The truth is, it is simply impossible to oversimplify or package solutions to complex eating patterns, diet and food facts within a formula.
Though most diets and exercise trends have their origins in science, the facts tend to get distorted by the time they achieve public popularity. The benefits are exaggerated, the risks are downsized, and science and prudence get overshadowed.
For almost a century, proponents of ‘breakfast being the most important meal’ gave birth to a whole industry around sugar-laden breakfast cereals. Breakfast was promoted as the foundation and pre-requisite to good health. Many people who did not feel comfortable eating in the morning started stuffing themselves to adopt a healthy habit.
Another popular weight-loss mantra that has been around is ‘small and frequent meals’ and ‘eating every two hours.’ With the growing popularity of intermittent fasting the wisdom of both these hugely popular concepts of good health have been demolished. Obviously, these and the numerous other conflicting diet theories, including calorie counting, are simply not working to combat the obesity explosion.
Time and again, a new diet mantra appears and promises to be the fix. We hope that intermittent fasting does not meet the same fate. Intermittent fasting is a method that allows you to eat within a period of few hours and fast for the rest. Typically, it involves an eight-hour period of eating.
The common intermittent fasting method involves daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Fasting as a concept is not new and has been acknowledged as valuable practice by traditional health practitioners.
Science has now established that fasting has definite health benefits for the body and the brain. If done properly, it gives the body time to recover, rest and detoxify. It helps clear metabolic waste, restore digestive health and prevent constipation. However, overenthusiastic followers may actually lose out on the legitimate benefits of fasting. A concern is that promoters of intermittent fasting can also encourage feasting or extreme behaviours such as binging.
Often, people are shown eating heaps of high-calorie, high-sugar and high-fat junk food in the eating phase, implying that if you fast two days a week, you can devour as much junk as you like during the remaining five days .
So, what needs to be encouraged is a healthy diet and not unhealthy junk. Calorie restrictions and prudent choices must be an outcome of the diet. According to research, the benefits will accrue only when there is overall calorie intake (if, that is, you don't overeat on non-fasting days) which could create a caloric surplus instead of a deficit.
Caloric restriction and undernutrition without malnutrition is the only experimental approach consistently shown to prolong survival in animal studies.
The other concern is the non-specific time flexibility. The eight hour of eating should ideally be tuned with the circadian rhythm or body clock.
Eating according to one’s peak hunger time and in the early part of the day. Rather than later. Must be emphasised. Else it can lead to late-night binging, which can be counterproductive.
The method also needs to be adapted for those with unstable blood sugar levels, diabetics on insulin, people with serious health conditions and sports persons.
The diet should also consider food sensitivities and a ‘one size fits all’ approach is unlikely to succeed.
Tips to achieve weight loss and health goals with intermittent fasting:
1) Eat healthy, avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, healthy grains, proteins, and healthy fats (a Mediterranean type of diet).
2) Allow the body to burn fat between meals. Don’t snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone through yoga, light weights and some form of aerobic physical activity.
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 7:00am to 3:00pm, or even 10:00am to 6:00pm, but avoid the evening time, or right before bedtime).
4) Limit snacking or eating all the time, especially at night.

More News For this Category

Some vacation ideas that even your kids will love

Some vacation ideas that even your kids will love

Weekend Plus Desk :Children are a tough crowd to please, especially when it comes to keeping tweens and teens entertained on vacation. Tour operators, hotels and cruises have responded

Monsoon munchies: Satiate snacks craving with these easy recipes

Monsoon munchies: Satiate snacks craving with these easy recipes

Weekend Plus Desk :onsoon is almost here and while sitting by the window and watching the rainfall, as the world goes by, sounds like a lovely idea, getting something

Teen girls more  vulnerable to bullying than boys

Teen girls more vulnerable to bullying than boys

Weekend Plus Desk :eenage girls are bullied more often than boys, and are more likely to consider or attempt suicide, a study has found. Researchers from Rutgers University in

POEM

The Holy Ramzan-Anis FatemaThe whole world is enlightened as the Heavenly 'Noor' is on earth,The noblest desires are blended with joyous Muslims' heart.Let us uphold the flag of whiteness as

POEM

Short StoryJourney for turtleArisha Naveennce upon a time, there was a girl named Lily.  At that time there were no iPhones, nothing to learn if animals were friendly or not,

Great Poet Omar Khayyam

Literature Desk :mar Khayyam, Arabic in full Ghiyath al-Din Abu al-Fat Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami was born on May 18, 1048, in Neyshabur (also spelled Nishapur), Khorasan in

Novelist Shawkat Osman

Novelist Shawkat Osman

Syed Azizul Huq :hawkat Osman (1917-1998), educationist, novelist, short story writer, was born on 2 January 1917 in the district of Hughli, Paschimbongo, India. His real name was Sheikh

POEM

POEM

A poem for 1st May-Sukanta BhattacharyaRed fire flames had spread from one skyline to another,What more can it be while living a dog’s life? How long will you be pleasedAt all

Poet Sukanta Bhattacharya

Anik Mahmud :oet Sukanta Bhattacharya (1926-1947), Marxist poet, was born on 15 August 1926 at his maternal uncle’s home in Kolkata. His paternal home was in Kotalipara in Faridpur.

Hard water can harm  baby’s  sensitive skin

Hard water can harm baby’s sensitive skin

Weekend Plus Desk :n the past few years, environmental factors have become very crucial when it comes to their impact on health, including air pollution or the kind of