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The truth about fasting and intermittent dieting

It consists of eating normally for five days and fasting for two; help to maintain after dieting or to compensate for excesses

Surely you have heard of a diet plan that promises to lose weight, alternating days of fasting with days of absolute freedom. Apparently, nonsense that does not teach how to eat correctly, if it is well raised it helps to lose weight without losing health.

To unravel its keys and find out what its limits are, we listened to Dr. Paula Rosso, a nutrition specialist at the Lajo Plaza Medical Center in Madrid :

What are intermittent diets? “They were designed by British physician, journalist and television host Michael Mosley, in collaboration with journalist Mimi Spencer, after experimenting with different intermittent fasting regimens.”

“Intermittent diets are based on eating normally for five days and fasting for two or, for faster weight loss, eating normally for four and fasting for three days, alternately. Once you have lost weight, during the maintenance phase you have to maintain one fast day a week (6: 1).

Dr. Rosso explains that, through studies, it has been proven that this diet is effective in losing weight (it achieves, in women, a loss of approximately half a kilo per week and a little more in men), but not there are studies of the health benefits it brings, something that the creator of this plan proclaims.

“The only way that this diet does not affect health is by eating a healthy and relatively varied diet during the days of fasting and without committing excesses during the days off with fried foods, processed, alcohol or sugar,” warns the doctor.

How to do the intermittent diet:

-During fasting days, you should reduce your usual caloric intake by approximately 75%. Normally, it would be about 500 calories for women and 600 for men.

-It is up to the air (because Mosley does not specify) what can be consumed on days off. Dr. Rosso estimates that to achieve weight loss, you should not exceed about 2,000 calories.

-On fasting days, you have to consume a series of specific foods, which should be rich in protein and fiber (meat, skinless chicken, fish, and vegetables with a low glycemic index) and complex carbohydrates should be avoided: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, legumes.

-During the fasting phase it is very important to hydrate properly.

-On a fast day, the intakes should be well distributed throughout the day.

“This diet should only be carried out by those who are in good health and as long as they take it as a specific measure, not as a regular diet or as an eating style.

Expert opinion:

After explaining how it works, Dr. Rosso gives her verdict: “Nutritionists always prefer less radical diets, which is why I prefer 5: 2. But most important of all, pay close attention to what you eat on days off. If we eat 5000 calories a day on days off, not only will we not lose weight, but we will end up gaining weight ”.

In which cases would it be recommended? “ To maintain weight after following a weight loss diet or to compensate for excesses if you tend to gain weight. We all have seasons where, for different reasons (from a trip to family celebrations or times of great stress), we eat more than usual or we eat worse, increasing our caloric intake. My advice is to compensate for these excesses as soon as possible, not allowing that extra kilo or two to settle ”.

Meal plan for fasting days:

For breakfast, choose between these three options:

-Coffee or tea with 100 ml. skimmed milk + 2 skimmed yogurts
-Coffee or tea with 100 ml. milk + 1 skimmed yogurt + a piece of small fruit
-Coffee or tea with 100 ml. milk + 4 slices of natural turkey + a skim cheese

For lunch and dinner, this plan:

A portion of lean meat, fish or grilled chicken, boiled, papillote or steamed of 100 grams and a portion of raw, baked or steamed vegetables of approximately 200 grams.

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