• Aya Mustafa

To Fast or Not to Fast

New “ground-breaking” diets and eating patterns continue to bombard the media, each claiming they have the secret to guaranteed weight loss. Currently taking the lead in popularity, however, is an eating pattern that promises benefits that go beyond just weight-loss: intermittent fasting. What exactly is intermittent fasting, and does it work?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Unlike most diets that are based on prohibiting certain foods, intermittent fasting allows the consumption of all foods but prohibits when they’re consumed. While many methods of intermittent fasting exist, the most common include daily 16-hour fasts or weekly/biweekly 24-hour fasts. Regardless of the method, intermittent fasting promises weight loss as a result of reduced food intake.

Losing weight by going long intervals without food, but then being able to eat whatever you please may seem too good to be true; but it isn’t, as long as, and here’s the catch, that you’re watching the amount of food you’re eating. To make sense of this let’s explore the energy balance equation:

calories in (energy input) - calories out (energy output)

If the difference between the energy input and output is: