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What does Sarah think of the 5:2 diet and intermittent fasting?

By Sarah Wilson |


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A new study has confirmed intermittent fasting produces a host of health benefits. Funnily, it mirrors what Sarah’s research outlines in her book I Quit Sugar For Life. Here she explains the deal.

The study, conducted at Monash University, concluded that fasting might be a key to tackling the obesity epidemic and fatty liver disease. The study had participants stop eating from 8pm at night until noon the following day. The study found that – despite what some think – skipping breakfast didn’t make you eat more later in the day, nor did it affect activity levels.

The study found those who fasted not only lost weight, but also recorded improvements in visceral fat (the fat around our organs), insulin resistance, blood pressure and other measures of liver damage, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

So what did I write in I Quit Sugar For Life:

I don’t like the idea of food deprivation for days on end – it’s too emotionally taxing for most of us. But, I can see the benefit of giving your gut a good rest in regular spurts, and intermittent fasts, such as The 5:2 and the Alternate Day Fast, are backed by some sound science and logic. Clinical trials show that reduced caloric intake a few days a week reduces circulating sugar and fat levels and reduces blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress.

Research at the US National Institute of Aging’s neuroscience laboratory suggests fasting is a mild form of stress that stimulates the body’s cellular defences against molecular damage, thus improving longevity. Other studies show a 14-16 hour food break can have similar benefits.

So what do I recommend:

In my book I advise trying to not eat after 7pm each night and eating breakfast the next day at the end of your morning routine. [Which is much the same as these scientists at Monash share.] Whaddya know? You have yourself a daily 14-hour fast. I find this approach is quite effective for settling my appetite for the day. Try this technique if you’re curious or if you feel your digestion might be over-taxed.

My final advice: Trust your body to tell you what it needs. There are certainly some people who need to eat breakfast as soon as they wake.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did you find it?

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