PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Losing weight is always a top New Year’s resolution. This year, a lot of people are talking about and trying intermittent fasting as an option to lose weight.
Becca Fischer decided to give it a try after her boyfriend committed to fasting at the start of the new year.
“For the last few months, I’ve taken advantage of all the holiday food and really not paid attention to what I was eating. I felt myself gaining weight and craving sugar and all the bad foods,” Fischer told KDKA’s Heather Abraham.
Fischer does the 16/8 Fast, which means she fasts for 16 hours and is allowed to eat during eight hours. She goes without a meal or snacking from 8 p.m. to noon the next day.
“When I make it to noon, I feel good that I made it there,” said Fischer. “I feel strong and even though I’m hungry, I feel like I’ve accomplished something by waiting until noon.”
If you do a quick search online, you’ll find a ton of purported benefits to fasting. Some say it can promote autophagy, which is broken down to mean self-eating, a process which helps the body break down old or damaged cells and has other health benefits.
Registered Dietician at UPMC Magee Alleda Rose says, however, a lot of research still needs to be done on autophagy and fasting.
“You would have to be fasting for longer than 18 to 24 hours and there’s still not significant research to show that you would produce that type of response from your body,” says Rose, adding that there have been animal studies but not enough in humans.
“Yes, it’s still what we consider a trend and not an evidence-based practice,” said Rose. “Fasting, with the research that’s out there is just comparable to following a low-calorie diet.”
Even so, Fischer says she is seeing results.
She admits part of the reason why could be because she’s more aware of what she’s eating and most likely limiting her calories intake.
“I love carbs. I love bread, I love pasta. I love all of that stuff. So, I don’t want to limit myself from having those things. But just being more conscience during those eight hours of what I’m putting in my body,” Fischer said, who’s already lost a few pounds.
Fischer says she doesn’t consider intermittent fasting a diet, but more of a lifestyle change. She also says it’s not sustainable for her long term, but plans on continuing it until she reaches her goal.
There are several ways to do intermittent fasting.
Here’s a link to some of the most popular methods: https://www.eatright.org/health/weight-loss/fad-diets/what-is-intermittent-fasting