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Can Fasting Help in Weight Loss?

Intermittent fasting could be strikingly effective for quick weight loss and slowing down aging.

fastingAccording to sources, Washington Univeristy researchers have designed an intermittent fasting process that is easier than daily calorie count and equally effective for quick weight loss. Their entire focus is on analyzing whether fasting can really help with weight loss and slow down aging. Researchers have appointed 40 participants for this study. Some of them are overweight. A few participants are slightly obese.

However, the fasting process designed and implemented in this research is not the usual one that many people are aware of. There will be no complete diet withdrawal. Instead, participants have been instructed to restrict their calorie intake to 500 during fasting, and normal for the rest of the week. It’s going to be a year long study where half of the participants will be doing intermittent fasting for the whole 12 months, and the other half will be on a regular diet for six months and on intermittent fasting for another six months.

People have different things to say regarding the effectiveness of intermittent fasting. Some sayfasting-diet fasting should never be an ideal weight loss process. They believe it’s a strenuous way of losing weight which can make one weak and trigger complications like low blood pressure, irritability, bad breath and anxiety in the long run. However, the intermittent fasting process initiated by the researchers from the Washington University is different. It doesn’t advocate any such diet restriction.

Although the research is going to last for some more time, sources say a few participants have already reported an encouraging change in their overall weight. A participant named Poonam Bhandari has been able to drop 10 pounds in last 5 months. Her body mass index was slightly above the recommended BMI, which is why she was considered overweight. A person’s BMI should be ideally below 25 to be called healthy. But Poonam’s BMI was above 28 when she started the fasting. Now her BMI is 25.8.

Poonam Bhandari, who was a senior scientist at the Washington University, was advised for a three day a week fasting. Her weight loss was quicker than other participants, almost 2 pounds a week. After getting an idea about Bhandari’s daily diet, it became clear that nothing like the so called dieting is part of her intermittent fasting. Poonam Bhandari prefers to have only tea without milk in her breakfast, 1 ½ cup steamed vegetables for lunch and 2 ½ cup steamed vegetables for the dinner. She doesn’t mind drinking lots of water throughout the day to keep her food craving down.

Some argue that Bhandari’s intermittent fasting can lead to overindulgence during the non fasting days. Poonam Bhandari herself admits that she sometimes overindulges in the evening. However, after continuing the same routine for a couple of months, she now feels the diet is far easier than daily calorie count. This is why she is eager to continue the same lifestyle in the future.

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The recommended diet during the intermittent fasting should ideally be non-starchy vegetables. If a person prefers to have salads, maximum two tablespoons of olive oil a day is allowed. There is no restriction on the use of vinegar. As for now, the participants didn’t show any noticeable side effects except fatigue and temptation of overindulgence. They take multivitamins to offset nutritional deficiency. They have been advised not to indulge in any strenuous physical activity or exercises during the fasting days. Researchers keep track of their cardiovascular effects and metabolic rate on a regular basis.

Washington University professor Dr. Luigi Fontana believes intermittent fasting can also extend life expectancy. With its help, many major medical complications, like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and  Alzheimer’s can be prevented. Unfortunately, there are no real evidences so far to back up his faith. The good news is that researchers have plans for some future studies which will determine if Mediterranean diet can extend a human life.

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