What is intermittent fasting? The diet plan loved by Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel and more

Intermittent fasting has become a popular diet in recent years, with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, Chris Pratt, and Jimmy Kimmel praising its benefits. However, they often don’t elaborate on the specific health benefits they gain from it.

Many people online claim that intermittent fasting has helped them achieve their weight loss goals. This might make you consider trying it too. However, health experts advise caution and suggest understanding the caveats and exceptions before diving in.

Registered dietitian Jamie Nadeau warns against restrictive dieting, stating that it is unnecessary and often counterproductive for most people. Not only do most people regain the weight after the diet becomes unsustainable, but it can also lead to disordered eating behaviors. This can leave individuals feeling like something is wrong with them or lacking willpower, when in reality, it’s the diet itself that sets them up for failure.
Before trying intermittent fasting, experts want you to know a few things about it. Intermittent fasting is a diet that involves creating specific periods of time for eating and fasting. There are different schedules you can follow, such as an eight-hour eating window daily or only eating one meal a day two days a week. However, it’s important to note that research hasn’t proven intermittent fasting to be more effective than traditional diet and lifestyle changes. While it may help some people stay in a calorie deficit, there are also potential negatives to consider.
A recent preliminary study has raised concerns about intermittent fasting, which involves following an eight-hour time-restricted eating schedule. The study found that this type of fasting was associated with a 91% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to those who eat within a 12 to 16-hour window.

Johns Hopkins Medicine advises against trying this diet plan for individuals under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding, those with type 1 diabetes, or those with an eating disorder.

According to Nadeau, a nutrition expert, intermittent fasting’s strict structure and rules around eating times can be detrimental to individuals with a history of disordered eating. It is best for them to avoid it as it may worsen their condition.

For individuals looking to lose weight, Nadeau suggests focusing on small habit changes. This includes incorporating more physical activity into daily routines, consuming more fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich and protein-rich foods, and increasing water intake.
According to Nadeau, the allure of new diets can be captivating, leading us to believe that we have finally found the perfect solution. However, the reality is that restrictive diets are not sustainable in the long run. If you can’t imagine yourself sticking to it indefinitely, then it’s not going to be effective. Instead, focus on making dietary changes that can be integrated into your lifestyle permanently, ensuring that you can maintain your health and results for the long term.