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Intermittent Fasting

A review of the medical literature shows that intermittent fasting can lower blood sugar and fat levels, reduce high blood pressure, help people lose weight, and help to prevent and treat diabetes and heart attacks (British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, April 2013). Intermittent fasting can be as simple as reducing your intake of food to fewer than 500 calories twice a week, while eating normally on the other five days. This has been shown in controlled scientific trials to be more effective for weight loss than counting calories every day.

Many studies from 1940 onward have shown that intermittent fasting helps lab animals and humans lose weight. Like exercise, intermittent fasting lowers blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels (Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, April 3, 2011).

How to Fast Intermittently
Eat your normal diet five days a week. Two days a week, not on consecutive days, restrict your intake of food to fewer than 500 calories. You will get the best results if your “normal diet” is a healthful one, but you do not need to try to restrict calories. You should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts. You can include moderate amounts of fish and chicken. I recommend that you restrict red meat, processed meats, fried foods, all drinks with sugar in them, and sugar-added foods and desserts.

For a detailed discussion of intermittent fasting, with instructions and recipes, I recommend The Fast Diet by Michael Moseley.

Checked 12/13/14

November 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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