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Intermittent fasting: Nutritionist discusses methods for weight loss – TODAY

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March 13, 2019, 2:01 PM GMT / Source: TODAY

By Madelyn Fernstrom

While intermittent fasting for weight loss has received a lot of celebrity attention, it might surprise you to know it’s been around for decades. Strategies like delaying breakfast or not eating after 7 p.m. are effective ways to limit the amount of time spent eating, thus saving calories, resulting in weight loss. Both of these options result in a period of food restriction of about 12–16 hours — an intermittent fast. And while this might sound extreme — you’re likely asleep for at least half of it.

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Evidence continues to mount that intermittent fasting for weight loss can work for the long term, if it’s a plan that connects with you. By making healthy food choices, intermittent fasting can be a safe and effective weight-loss tool for both the short and long term. In fact, this term “intermittent fasting” might be better referred to as “intermittent eating,” because it’s not about deprivation, it’s about boosting mindful eating and a new relationship with food.

Intermittent fasting won’t automatically make you a healthier eater, and will only promote weight loss if fewer calories are consumed weekly, over time.

The types of intermittent fasting diets:

The two main ways to do this are by time-restricted eating (choosing an up to 12-hour period of eating daily) and a 5:2 plan (two days of limited calories of about 500 calories, and moderate intake on the other five).

Like any weight-loss plan, always check with your doctor before making any significant changes in your eating, especially if you have a chronic illness, or take prescription medication. And the ease of intermittent fasting is that you can choose from any balanced eating plan from WW to vegan because you are only modifying the times for eating, not the actual foods.

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Why intermittent fasting works:

Whatever plan appeals to you, here are some top reasons why this approach can help reduce daily caloric intake:

  • Reconnects you with true, biological hunger (not emotional, “head” hunger)
  • Makes it easier to recognize contentment and fullness, to stop eating sooner
  • Provides daily structure
  • Breaks the habit of snacking and all-day “grazing”
  • Helps you accept the slight discomfort of being a little hungry

And the downside? It’s always possible to “eat around” either plan, and overeat at certain times, cancelling out any calorie savings and weight loss. But at the same time, learning a mindful approach to eating will help keep you on track.

Here is some simple advice to optimize time-restricted intermittent fasting for weight loss:

  • Choose the most realistic 8-12-hour eating period
  • Aim to stop your evening eating by 9 p.m. (or at least two hours before bedtime)
  • Pre-plan your eating intervals for at least two meals
  • Limit snacking (two snacks per day, if desired)
  • Be mindful of portion size
  • Stay hydrated with low-calorie beverages
  • Be flexible: Choose a snack of 100-200 calories if you get physical signs of hunger (headache, light-headed)
  • Consume a varied diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of lean protein, healthy fats, low or non-fat dairy; add whole grains if including starchy carbohydrates
  • Choose produce as the primary source of carbohydrates, limiting starchy carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereal
  • Allow yourself a “treat” food daily of around 100 calories

If you’re interested in following the 5:2 plan, here is advice to make it more manageable:

  • Focus primarily on lean protein (eggs, fish, low-fat dairy, poultry, lean red meat) on the low-calorie days
  • Be mindful on your “standard eating” days
  • Maintain structure to avoid overeating
  • Aim for three meals; snacks are optional and limited to two per day
  • Choose a varied eating strategy similar to the time-restricted plan
  • Ease into the restricted days, to find your optimal amount of daily calories (it might be 600 or 700 calories)
  • Stay hydrated with low-calorie liquids
  • Be flexible if physical hunger strikes (headache, light headed, fatigue) and choose a 100-200-calorie snack

Intermittent fasting works best if you are already a healthy eater, and want some structure to eat smaller portions less often. If you’re are a grazer or snacker and want to consolidate and compress your eating, it can also be a good option. Finally, if you’re not in touch with your body’s hunger and fullness signals, intermittent fasting could be a good way to reconnect with your hunger cues.

Remember that this plan will work best for weight loss if you are already making smart, nutrient-rich choices. If you’re not a particularly healthy eater, it’s better to make dietary changes and practice those before adjusting the timing of your eating.

This plan is most definitely not for you if you have anxiety over periods of complete food restriction (and low-calorie drinks don’t help), or have not been cleared by your doctor to give it a try.

If intermittent fasting sounds appealing to you, including the caveats, there’s no harm in trying. As with all weight-loss plans, it will work for some, but not all, people. And, if after a few weeks you find it’s not a good fit for you, then switch to something more compatible with your eating style.

Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD is the NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor. Follow her on Twitter @drfernstrom.

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More evidence links weight gain to meal times – Medical News Today

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A recent small-scale study adds to the growing evidence of an association between eating later in the day and weight gain. Using unique tracking methods, the researchers add more detail to the theory.

A recent study looks again at meal times and obesity.

As adult obesity rates in the United States continue to rise, finding ways to curb the growth is more urgent than ever.

Of course, scientists are investigating a range of options, from surgery and medication to diet plans and psychological interventions.

Some scientists are becoming increasingly interested in how altering what time we eat our food might play a part.

If changing our eating patterns could have even a small effect, it is worth understanding. Sticking to a restrictive, calorie-controlled diet is challenging, but eating at a different time of the day might be more easy to achieve.

The question is, does eating later in the day really make a difference? A recent experiment by scientists at the University of Colorado in Denver uses in-depth personal monitoring to gain fresh insight.

Weight gain and meal timing

Some earlier work has identified a pattern between eating later and increased weight gain. For instance, the authors of a 2011 study concluded that “caloric intake after 8:00 p.m. may increase the risk of obesity.”

However, it is not clear whether individuals who eat later in the day might, consequently, have less sleep overall. This factor is important because experts also believe that sleeping less may play a part in obesity.

The lead author of the latest investigation, Dr. Adnin Zaman, explains that “few studies have assessed both meal and sleep timing in adults with obesity, and it is not clear whether eating later in the day is associated with shorter sleep duration or higher body fat.”

The researchers presented their findings at the ENDO 2019 conference, which took place in New Orleans, LA.

The scientists recruited 31 adults with an average age of 36 years who were overweight or had obesity. To capture as much relevant information as possible, the scientists assessed the participants’ sleep, levels of activity, and diet.

Each participant wore an Actiwatch that monitored their sleep-wake cycles. They also wore an activPAL electronic device on their thigh, which measured how much time they spent both doing physical activity and being sedentary.

The participants kept track of what they ate using a phone app called MealLogger. Using the app, they photographed each meal and snack that they consumed, which provided the time of day that they ate it. The researchers used a continuous glucose monitor to verify dietary intake.

Sleep, meal times, and weight

The analysis showed that, on average, the participants ate their food during an 11-hour window and had 7 hours of sleep each night.

As expected, those who ate later in the day had a higher BMI and greater levels of body fat. Importantly, the researchers also showed that those who ate later in the day still had an average of 7 hours of sleep, implying that a lack of sleep is not the primary driver of these effects.

We used a novel set of methods to show that individuals with overweight and obesity may be eating later into the day.”

Dr. Adnin Zaman

This preliminary trial is part of an ongoing project to look at these interactions in more detail.

Dr. Zaman notes, “These findings support our overall study, which will look at whether restricting the eating window to earlier on in the day will lower obesity risk.”

Experiments such as this one are only possible now due to the prevalence of modern technology in our lives. Dr. Zaman explains, “Given that wearable activity monitors and smartphones are now ubiquitous in our modern society, it may soon be possible to consider the timing of behaviors across 24 hours in how we approach the prevention and treatment of obesity.”

However, because this is a small-scale project of short duration, it is important to approach the findings with caution. It will be interesting to see the final results from the full study. The authors are also keen to run similar experiments with people who have a healthy body weight to see if there is a similar trend among this group.

As the current findings align with those of earlier investigations, the timing of meals may become an increasingly important focus in the study and treatment of obesity.

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Best supplements for weight loss – the 1p a day natural capsules to prevent weight gain – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Making some long-term lifestyle and dietary changes could help patients to lose weight, it said. Weight loss supplements may provide people with a kickstart for their new diet plans. One of the best ways to lower your chances of obesity is to regularly take glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of fibre that comes from a Japanese plant, and could help you to tackle weight loss, said dietitian Helen Bond.

The supplement has appetite suppressant effects, meaning you’re less likely to feel hungry after a meal.

It could even help to improve your cholesterol levels, which subsequently benefits your heart, she said.

“Glucomannan is a dietary fibre extracted from the roots of the Japanese konjac plant, which absorbs water and expands in your stomach to increase feelings of ‘satiety’ [fullness],” said Bond.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal], it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan is also a natural prebiotic, which means it provides food for gut bacteria.

Higher intakes of prebiotics could lead to improved digestion, healthier cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Alternatively, you could also try losing weight by regularly taking litramine supplements, said Bond. Litramine is a type of fibre complex made from the dried leaves of prickly pears.

Litramine supplements – including XLS-Medical Tea – bites up to 28 per cent of your dietary fats in your stomach, she said.

The best way to lose weight is by making some small diet or lifestyle swaps, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, lunch and dinner, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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Best supplements for weight loss – the 5p a day capsules to help you shed the pounds – Express

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Weight loss could be crucial for patients that are overweight or obese. Around 25 per cent of all adults in the UK are obese, said the NHS. Long-term lifestyle and diet changes could help some patients to lower weight, it said. Taking weight loss supplements may provide people with the kickstart they need for their diet plans. You could raise your chances of losing weight by regularly taking glucomannan supplements, it’s been claimed.

Glucomannan is a type of dietary fibre that stems from the root of the konjac plant, said medical website WebMD.

It comes as a powder, or as a capsule, and has been linked to treating constipation, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

It could also help some overweight patients to lose weight, revealed dietitian Helen Bond. But, it comes with a warning.

“As we explore the many ‘quick fixes’ and ‘miracle diet pills’ being offered to us over the season of clean eating and waistline watching, it’s important to be aware that as attractive as they sound, there are no true quick fixes or magical solutions to burn fat and lose inches,” said Bond.

“The key to losing weight and keeping it off is always to eat a nutritionally balanced and varied diet, with appropriately-sized portions and being physically active.

“Glucomannan is approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a ‘proven and safe’ aid to weight loss, and has the added advantage of helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

“But, although glucomannan can help take the edge off hunger [when one gram is consumed with a glass of water before a meal) it’s not a green card to continue to eat whatever you want.

“Rather, you need to take advantage of its mild appetite-suppressing effects and combine this with reducing your intake of fatty and sugary-processed foods, and switching to natural whole foods, in appropriate sizes and moderation, plus more exercise.”

Glucomannan works by slowing down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the gut, said WebMD.

The dietary fibre also absorbs water in the stomach and intestines, which could be used to treat constipation.

But you should always speak to a doctor before starting, or making any changes to your weight loss diet plan.

The best way to boost weight loss is to make some small, simple changes to your diet or lifestyle, said the NHS.

One of the easiest ways to slash the pounds is to eat regular meals – including breakfast, it added.

Drink plenty of water, and be sure to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Fibre-rich foods help you to feel fuller for longer, which stops you from overeating.

Exercise is equally as important as a healthy diet. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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