Is this the death knell of intermittent fasting?

If you know anything about Natasha is wide eyed, (or even if you don’t)   she is an ardent fan of intermittent fasting.

Having practised it for more than 10 years she believes it has been the single biggest game changer for her health. Above even changing the food that she eat.

Pre aged 40 she had lived in diet misery, with bouts of calorie restriction, success and then subsequent weight gain, ad infinitum.

Intermittent fasting and understanding how important the type of food she ate led to freedom from the weighing scales and a transformation in her health that to her, was miraculous. And has since gone on to help many clients do the same.

Now that she is in her 50’s and well into perimenopause it has helped alleviate symptoms and shift stubborn hormone-related weight gain.

So, imagine the blow, when she became aware of the conclusion of a very thorough study in The New England Journal of Medicine, April 2022, titled “Calorie restriction with or without time-restricted eating in weight loss.” The conclusion being that time restricted eating had no more benefits to weight loss than calorie restriction.

Now, on the face of it, you might think that the tried and tested, and frankly, ingrained counting of calories, is still the way to go. But if you look deeper into the study, you see a slight flaw in its design. Because although some of the participants had an “eating window” they were still restricted to the same number of calories as the people who could eat when they liked.

The trouble with calories is that they don’t recognise the quality of the food. You could have 1500 calories of dessert or 1500 calories of vegetables. And furthermore, if the food was low fat, high carbohydrate then the time restricted eating would not have had the same efficiency as if the food had been high fat, low carb and therefore increasing the body’s chance of using stored fat as fuel. It is these two strategies combined that make fasting a sustainable weight loss tool, especially in people with a lot of weight to lose.

No wonder there wasn’t much difference between the two groups as they were basically all on the same regime.

The great thing about having a fasting period and an eating window when the food is high fat, is that you actually look forward to the food. If you move to eating only unprocessed full fat meat, fish, eggs, dairy and vegetables, you naturally restrict calories without trying and have enough energy to see you through the fast. That’s certainly been NaTasha’s experience and that of her clients. She couldn’t stick to calorie-controlled diets for more than a few months in the past.

So, In conclusion, of course, is that the combined strategies she uses in her nutrition consultancy, is still a safe bet for those who want to lose weight but can’t face another day of yo-yo dieting. Phew!

If you’d like to give intermittent fasting a go, here is my YouTube video the beginners guide to intermittent fasting over 40, in menopause or with stalled weight loss.

And if you’d like one to one help with how to use food to change your health for good visit natashaiswideeyed.com. Treat yourself to a bigger slice of life.

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