Q&A: Does Fasting Really Do Anything? What Do You Mean When You Say “Fatty” Foods?
In this week’s edition of Q & A we wanted to focus on some of the popular questions we get around the topic of nutrition.
Before we get into these questions it is important to understand that everyone has different nutritional needs, dietary preferences and as such – this information is purely supplemental to your knowledge.
With that said – let’s talk about fasting and fatty foods.
Q: Does Fasting Really Do Anything?
A: Fasting is a process that requires you to limit the number of calories you intake for a certain number of hours each day. The most popular fasting techniques are OMAD (one meal a day) and the 8/16 method – where you fit all your meals into a 6-8 hour window and fast the remaining hours of the day.
The question is – does fasting really do anything?
Well, yes and no.
Either way, it’s not magic
There is actually a considerable amount of research that shows that fasting can improve metabolic function, seems to help with ageing, can assist in weight loss and overall seems to aid the body in healthy function.
For those who like to read studies – this link will take you to a great meta-analysis that reviewed the findings of 146 different studies.
How to Fast Safely
It’s not rocket science – but it does need to be done correctly in order for it to work effectively. Here are some basic rules that you should keep in mind when fasting:
- Consume all of your calories in the smallest time window possible >> 5-7 hours is best.
- Try to eat fresh, whole foods full of fiber – this will keep you fuller for longer
- Stay hydrated
- Manage your hunger – and don’t stress if you need to eat something, listen to your body
Fasting can be a great way to promote weight loss and improve overall health – but in most cases, those who are eating a balanced diet and following a structured exercise routine are already on the right track to success.
At the end of the day, it is always about a caloric restriction. Fasting is not magic but if you consume fewer calories you are able to lose weight over the course of many weeks/months due to the caloric deficit.
Q: What are “Fatty” Foods?
A: You might hear the phrase – “watch out for fatty foods”, kicking around the gym or local coffee shop – but what does it actually mean?
First off – fat is not bad for you. In fact, it is a macronutrient required in large amounts – just like carbohydrates and proteins.
The reason many people try to restrict the amount of fat they intake is due to their high caloric content (more than 2x that of protein and carbs) and their association with conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Fortunately – not all fat is made the same.
Fatty Foods Considerations
- a) Foods that contain trans fats like baked goods, cookies and process foods are foods you should avoid whenever possible.
- b) Foods that contain saturated fats like red meats, butter, and milk are foods you should do your best to limit. Some saturated fat is okay and can actually be a great source of protein.
- c) Foods that contain unsaturated fats like olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and avocados are good sources of fat and should make up the bulk of your fat intake.
Avoiding fat is not the solution to a healthier body. Rather, the solution should be to always try and consume fresh, whole foods like nuts, seeds, fish, and lean meats.
Process fats like baked goods and to some degree – oils should be limited whenever possible.
Thanks again for all your amazing questions!
Without questions, we don’t have answers and without answers, we cannot find the correct solutions for you guys.
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