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Health expert: Intermittent fasting works!

Intermittent fasting is the latest health trend, but a registered dietitian says it really works. Here's why.

WASHINGTON — It's 2020 and you're ready to lose weight and keep it off, but which health plan are you going to choose? 

We consulted registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition CPR, Jaime Coffey Martinez about the hottest lifestyle change: Intermittent fasting. 

"It's a huge trend, but there is a lot of sound research behind it, so I think it's here to stay," Martinez said.

There are three different types of intermittent fasting to choose from according to Martinez, which include:

  • Eat-Stop-Eat
    • Normal eating for 24 hours, then stop eating for 24 hours (while staying hydrated). You can do this method at a minimum of once a week and at a maximum of three times a week. However, don't go beyond 24 hours without eating!
  • The 5:2 Method
    • Five days of the week you eat as you would normally, then the other two days of the week set a low calorie intake of about 500-600 calories. Again, spread your days out so your two low calorie days are non-consecutive.
  • The 16/8 Method
    • You fast for 16 hours and then for an eight-hour block of time you can eat. You can choose your start and stop times. 

She said intermittent fasting works because it's how our ancestors ate and metabolized. Our ancestors hunted, gathered, ate and then rested. Nowadays eating is 24/7. We can eat whenever we want and whatever we want and that's what gets people into trouble, she says.

Martinez said remember it's very important to stay hydrated when you're doing any sort of fasting. And really it's important to stay hydrated anytime!

The major benefits of intermittent fasting, according to Martinez include: 

  • Weight loss
  • Hormone balance
  • Longevity and anti-aging
  • Cognitive function
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved blood pressure

However, like all lifestyle changes you have to be sure it's right for you, Martinez said to check with a healthcare professional before you start intermittent fasting. And she said you should stay away from intermittent fasting if you have the following conditions: 

  • Diabetes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Underweight
  • Eating disorders

Lastly, Martinez recommends that mamas who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive should also stay away from intermittent fasting.

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