To Fast Or Not To Fast..
Our food environment has shifted massively, making it easier and easier to surrender to cravings with ultra-processed, high-calorie foods at every turn.
It’s tempting and all too easy, right? There is ‘junk’ food everywhere.
In the context of the world we live in today, maintaining a healthy weight often hinges on controlling one’s appetite.
So, is intermittent fasting the answer to keep those hunger pains at bay?
Intermittent fasting is not some magic pill that will suppress appetite and help with weight loss.
‘Appetite’ isn’t just about satisfying our body’s caloric needs. It includes feelings of hunger, fullness, and desire to eat — a complex mix of biology and psychology. This ‘wanting’ often draws us towards those calorie-dense foods for their satisfying dopamine hit.
A recent paper investigated intermittent fasting’s effects on appetite. In this study, intermittent fasting is defined as alternating between periods of eating and fasting. It comes in different forms like Alternate Day Fasting, 5:2 (eating ~500 calories two days per week), and Time Restricted Eating (fast 16 hours, eat 8 hours).
The study compared fasting’s effects on hunger, fullness, desire to eat, and weight loss with continuous energy restriction (or simply cutting calories).
The study found no clear evidence that intermittent fasting affects hunger, fullness, desire to eat, or weight loss differently from regular calorie-cutting diets. In other words, fasting does not lead to better appetite control or weight loss results.
But here’s the thing — if fasting works for you, that’s great! It’s not about the method; it’s about the results you’re seeing.
Despite its popularity, fasting is just another way to reduce caloric intake. It isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss or appetite control, but another tool that may help you reach and maintain a healthy weight or specific body composition goal.
Understanding the science behind dietary trends like fasting helps us make informed, practical decisions for our health, but ultimately, nutrition usually boils down to finding something that works for you and then sticking to it over a long enough time horizon.
The Best Diet, is the one You can stick to.
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