The Daily Three

"Health, Wealth and Happiness"


Maintain Healthy Eating Habits With Intermittent Fasting

People face a variety of food choices everyday. You might be craving for some take-out from your dependable Chinese restaurant. Maybe the new corner cafe looks interesting. Simply walking over to your refrigerator and heating up some tasty leftovers is of course, an option. There is always an opportunity to grab a bite to eat. It is however important to maintain healthy eating habits.

maintain healthy eating habits

Eating without a doubt is often a pleasurable and comforting experience. Nevertheless, there is also a need to pause from it every once in awhile. Intermittent fasting allows us to do this. It does not contemplate a prolonged break from eating, though it does entail disciplined and timed breaks. This form of diet regimen however will not have the same effect on everyone. Consult with your doctor to ask if this is suitable for you.

Calorie deficit not surplus

Dr. Stephen Freeland is an associate professor of urology and pathology of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, USA. He found that the progression of cancer in mice slowed through fasting. Dr. Freeland stated, “Caloric restriction, undernutrition without malnutrition, is the only experimental approach consistently shown to prolong survival in animal models.”

This does not mean however that you should overeat on your non-fasting days. You must be able to still regulate the amount of calories you take in. Bingeing should not cancel out the benefits gained during periods of fasting. Food portions must remain regular to low instead of high to low. The same goes with the time intervals between meals. It should be regular to infrequent instead of frequent to infrequent. This is one way to maintain healthy eating habits.

healthy choice

Habitual behavior

Brad Pilon, the author of the best-selling weight loss book Eat Stop Eat suggests that fasting is more than just dieting. It is a lifestyle. His version entails doing a 24-hour fast once or even twice a week, but not on successive days. The program’s flexibility allows you to choose when to do it provided it is within this weekly period. When he was interviewed by Roger Collier of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Pilon shared this philosophy, “Rather than just looking at it as fasting, which can have a negative connotation, it’s more about breaking the cycle of thinking you can’t take the occasional break from eating.”

Looking at it from this perspective does indeed make the task seem more achievable. The sense of urgency to eat at pre-established meal times of breakfast, lunch and dinner seems less rigid. It gives the body a chance to rest from digesting food and focus its energy on other physiological functions. This type of fasting can lead to weight loss of around two pounds. It however entails a calorie reduction of about 30% a week.

Maintain healthy eating habits

The purpose of fasting is not to drastically lose weight. It is to help your body heal and perform more optimally on less food. Keep in mind to get into this gradually. Your body does not need to feel the sudden shock of food depravation. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman who wrote the book Eat to Live, “Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast.”

alternative food choices

It is sound advice that is worth remembering. Alter your food choices along with the amount you take in. This will prepare you to look for the right types of food on your next meal. By now, most of us already know that sugary and processed foods are a big no-no. Consider steadily weeding these unhealthy items out of your diet.

Slow and steady

Stick to the basics by eating your fruits and vegetables. You might even want to venture into sampling some exotic variants that some may consider as superfoods. As a result, you train your body to survive on a restricted amount of calories coming from the right nutrients. Whatever your approach to intermittent fasting may be, please do it safely and with the proper guidance. By the way, the occasional (once a week?) treat is ok. You would like to maintain healthy eating habits but the transition should ideally be as enjoyable and painless as possible.

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