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Intermittent Fasting Offers Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

Intermittent Fasting Offers Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting is an eating strategy that cycles between eating on a regular schedule and periods of fasting. On an intermittent fasting plan you eat only during a specific time window and fast for a certain number of hours each day.

At the Wellness Restoration Center in New York City, Marcia Harris, MD, provides patient-centered integrative and holistic medicine with the goal of helping you thrive to the fullest. 

Our physician-supervised weight loss programs, including intermittent fasting, can help you safely and effectively shed extra pounds, but intermittent fasting offers additional benefits. 

Intermittent fasting 101

When you follow an intermittent fasting plan, you switch between periods of fasting and eating. There are various intermittent fasting approaches. The 16:8 and 5/2 methods are two of the most common.

The 16:8 method involves eating normally during an eight-hour period each day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. This might look like eating your first meal around 10am and having your last meal by 6pm.

With the 5/2 method you eat normally five days of the week and fast for two days. Some people spread fasting days out over the week, and some may limit eating to 500-600 calories during their fasting days.

No food is off limits while following intermittent fasting, but you need to choose nutrient-rich food when you do eat. No matter which fasting method you choose, focus on building your meals around vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and fruit.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Going beyond the scale, intermittent fasting triggers changes in your cells and hormones that benefit your health in various ways. 

Improves metabolism

Fasting increases growth hormone levels in your body, which not only enhances weight loss, but also improves body composition by stimulating muscle building. 

Intermittent fasting may also improve insulin sensitivity. When cells are more sensitive to insulin, blood sugar remains stable and insulin levels naturally decline. The lower your insulin, the better your body uses energy. Lower insulin also reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Reduces inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of a range of health issues, from arthritis to asthma. While it’s your body’s natural immune response, too much inflammation can cause chronic health problems and oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body.

Intermittent fasting can help tame inflammation. During fasting periods, inflammatory activity declines.

There’s also evidence that intermittent fasting promotes lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, all of which can reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool that you can take advantage of to not only lose weight, but also optimize your wellness.

The best way to find out if intermittent fasting is right for you is to schedule a visit with Dr. Harris. Our physician-supervised weight loss programs are individualized to meet your specific needs and lifestyle. 

To get started, call our Midtown East office in Manhattan or use our online tool to request an appointment. Transform your life today.

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