Is intermittent fasting right for you?

Studies show benefits, but Consumer Reports says it’s not right for everyone

SAN ANTONIO – Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health and fitness trends in recent years.

People do it for various reasons, including to lose weight and improve their health.

Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that focuses more on when to eat than what to eat. Typically, people eat only during an eight-hour period or only every other day. Studies suggest that intermittent fasting may have benefits, including improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight.

“When done in a healthful way, intermittent fasting can help control inflammation and may even lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers,” said Tisha Calvo, with Consumer Reports.

But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. It could be too extreme for older adults, people with diabetes, and those who take medications at certain times.

As Consumer Reports explains, even if you don’t follow the intermittent fasting approach to the letter, incorporating just a few strategies can help maintain a healthy weight and metabolism.

Be sure to include foods that have plenty of fiber and protein, such as fruit, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and eggs. Foods like these will help keep you satisfied until your next meal.

If you gravitate toward sweets and dessert, CR suggests having them before 3 p.m. Your body is more efficient at processing carbohydrates during the morning and early afternoon.

Another thing you can do is have an early dinner, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Late-night eating has been linked to a greater risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, Calvo said.

She suggests slimming down your dinners to around 600 calories and including more veggies, which are lower in calories.

Another thing you can do to promote healthy eating and weight loss is to get a proper amount of sleep.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health. Lack of sleep can lead to overeating, which can cause weight gain and metabolic problems.

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About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.