Intermittent fasting (IF) was one of the most popular weight loss methods of 2019, and in 2020 it remains a leading choice among people looking to shed unhealthy pounds. However, there are many misconceptions about intermittent fasting and how it works for weight loss. So, you might wonder, “is intermittent fasting safe?” or “will it work for me?”. Below we’ll answer some of your most important questions about IF, so you can make the best dietary decisions for your health. The team here at Vail Medical Center & Weightloss is also happy to help you learn more about IF and create a plan that fits your unique medical needs.

How does intermittent fasting work?

In clinical trials, IF promotes weight loss as successfully as traditional caloric restriction. You can lose up to 15 pounds of fat per month with IF without losing muscle mass! However, it also promotes other benefits as well because of the way in which you restrict your caloric intake.

The most popular method of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method. With this plan, you will eat only during 8 hours of the day, fasting for the other 16. To ease into this eating schedule, you may begin with a shorter fasting period during the day. Then, you can gradually settle in to the 16:8 schedule as you adjust. You may also utilize prescription appetite suppressants and meal replacements to help you stay full and focused during your fasting period. Any caloric intake will break your fast—including liquid calories—but you can drink plain tea or coffee, which are natural appetite suppressants themselves.

Is intermittent fasting safe?

When it comes to answering the question “Is intermittent fasting safe?”, it’s important to consider that safety guidelines will vary for different individuals. In general, IF is safe. However, it isn’t right for everyone. For example, teens, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic illnesses should not follow an IF plan. Therefore, it’s integral to follow a clinically supervised medical IF plan. That’s what we offer at Vail Medical Center & Weightloss. Your plan will begin with a body composition analysis and overview of your medical history. Thus, it will be tailored to your needs and safe for you to follow.

What are some other benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss by limiting your caloric intake. When you don’t eat during as many hours of the day, you will naturally eat less. However, IF is unique because it causes other changes in the body. During a fasting period, your body will experience a metabolic switch in which it begins to burn its own fat for energy. As the body breaks down fat in the liver, it produces ketone bodies that signal other changes in the body. For example, cell regeneration is kickstarted by intermittent fasting, which has far reaching benefits for your health. Here is a closer look at what happens in your body through continued fasting:

  • Reduced oxidative stress, which improves focus, slows down aging, and improves skin and hair health.
  • Improved gut biome, better balance of bacteria and microbes in the digestive tract
  • Reduced insulin resistance, improvement in diabetes or prediabetes symptoms
  • Reduced inflammation, improvement in blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Does IF work long-term?

More research is needed to determine the long-term safety and weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting. Still, current research indicates that IF is a safe and effective form of weight loss that can be continuously followed for ongoing success.

If you’re ready to discover the benefits of intermittent fasting for yourself, schedule an appointment with Dr. Azam and the team at Vail Medical Center & Weightloss. We can get you on the right track with a customized, healthy weight loss plan to help you meet your goals.

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