With the new year quickly approaching, many consumers are starting to make health and fitness goals. With that in mind, findings from a new study show how intermittent fasting can help improve overall health and contribute to longer life.
According to researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine, intermittent fasting is based in science and produces real results. They say consumers should feel confident about following the diet plan since it’s effective at helping shed pounds and boosting health more broadly.
“Intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle,” said researcher Mark Mattson, PhD.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Mattson analyzed several studies dealing with intermittent fasting while also drawing on his own decades worth of experience utilizing the eating program. His findings pointed to the ways that following a fasting plan can help consumers be healthier and live longer.
His research included studies that tested the effects of intermittent fasting on both humans and animals, and he found that limiting eating in this way can reduce the risk of diabetes or obesity while also promoting improvements in blood pressure, heart health, and brain health.
“We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise,” said Mattson.
Committing to fasting
While the benefits of intermittent fasting could be enticing for consumers looking to lose weight and improve virtually every aspect of their health, Mattson explained that committing to this new way of eating isn’t always as easy as it seems.
For starters, there are two options when it comes to fasting: fasters can opt to either choose two days of the week to consume no more than 600 calories, or they can limit all eating to a six to eight hour window, using the remaining time in the day to fast. A recent study explored the latter option and found that expanding to even a 10-hour eating window improved consumers’ health.
However, it’s important for consumers to know that the transition can be more complicated than just switching up mealtimes. Physicians can be a valuable resource in guiding their patients through any potential negative side effects, which are to be expected, according to Mattson.
“Patients should be advised that feeling hungry and irritable is common initially and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit,” Mattson said.