Fasting: Is it for you?

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Looking for a diet to control your physical health can be overwhelming with the many diet plans to choose from.

But one diet tactic that’s been gaining traction in recent time is fasting.

Weight Watchers, keto, Atkins, the list goes on and on — all promising to help you control your weight. Marty Dargen has been doing weight watchers for about six years but recently decided to try something new.

“I was just kind of tired of doing the same thing so I wanted something new,” Dargen said.

After her brother lost 18 pounds through a fasting diet she was ready to test it out — and in just two weeks she’s lost five pounds.

But this plan is less focused on what you’re eating but instead it’s when you eat that matters.

Registered dietitian Lizzie Kasparek says there are various forms of fasting, including intermittent, alternate day, or what Dargen is following– time restrictive eating.

“A lot of people, when they’re referring to intermittent fasting they’re actually referring to time restrictive eating. So maybe they’re restricting their eating to 6 or 8 hours of a day. So most people might start eating around 10 o clock in the morning or noon, essentially like skipping breakfast, and then they might stop eating earlier in the evening,” Kasparek said.

Dargen eats between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., only having water or coffee outside of that window.

“I think it’s best for people who maybe are already skipping breakfast, maybe they’re already a breakfast skipper and they’re really focusing on eating those high quality meals,” Kasparek said.

While there isn’t a strict diet to follow during a fast she says it’s still important to eat nutritious meals.
And while not always easy, Dargen says the plan helped her cut out unnecessary snacking.

“Like after 7 o’clock at night after you’ve eaten your dinner just because you’re bored or something. And the first couple days it was hard, but it’s going good now,” Dargen said.

Kasparek cautions that it isn’t for everybody, including pregnant women or people struggling with eating disorders. Her advice is to check with an expert first.

“You always want to be working with a professional. Your physician, a registered dietitian, just to make sure that the foods that you’re eating are in alignment with your overall goal,” Kasparek said.

Kasparek adds that more research needs to be done into the effectiveness of the diet — but says everyone should incorporate healthy meals into their routine.

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