Weight loss through intermittent fasting is safe and effective, but is it for everyone?

Weight loss through intermittent fasting is safe and effective, but is it for everyone?

A recent article published in USA Today explored weight loss through intermittent fasting.   This safe and effective form of dieting has grown in popularity and there are different methods of doing these. The article referenced a recent paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine which offers physicians advice on how to guide their patients through diets such as these.

Mark Mattison of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was interviewed by USA Today and said there are primarily two categories of intermittent diets which alternate times of eating and not eating.

One type restricts eating to 5-8 hours per day while another restricts eating to one meal per day two times per week. The eating patterns can increase resistance to stress and improve blood sugar regulation while decreasing blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates, Mattson wrote.

The diets are difficult to maintain for a long period of time and while there are definitely health benefits, people who are diabetic on medication or insulin, the elderly and those with hypoglycemia should avoid these diets.

Intermittent fasting offers health benefits, study says. But diet is not for everybody

Kristin Lam, USA TODAY

Trading indulgences for intermittent fasting could yield health benefits from lower cholesterol to reduced stress, according to a new study.

The dieting method requires patience, researchers wrote in a review published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, but doctors can help patients reach the scientifically-proven benefits or warn at-risk groups to avoid it.

While intermittent fasting diets vary, the practices of alternating between certain periods of eating and not eating fall into two categories, said co-author Mark Mattson, a neuroscience professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. One restricts eating to six to eight hours per day and another limits people to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.

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