Today we welcome Melanie McGrice, a nutritionist and dietitian, to share with us about intermittent fasting. This is where you eat a normal healthy diet on some days but restricting calorie intake on others. Melanie’s comments follow recent results from a 16 week trial conducted by the CSIRO, where participants saw an average of 11 kilos of weight loss and improvements in their self control when it comes to eating habits and improvements in their levels of glucose, insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure. Melanie shares whether this type of diet is good for all of us, some of us, or none of us. She’ll also discuss ways for YOU to decide whether intermittent fasting, or some other type of diet, or no diet at all, is best to help you to live a healthy lifestyle.
What is an intermittent fasting diet?
Melanie defined intermittent fasting as ‘where you eat a normal, healthy diet on some days of the week, but restrict your calorie intake on others. There are a range of intermittent fasting diets available such as the ‘5:2 diet’ or the ‘flexi diet’, or you can have one individually tailored to suit your own personal requirements.’ These are similar to including ‘cheat days’ in your diet (I wrote a post about whether you should have a cheat day in your diet, have a read!). Now to hear Melanie’s thoughts about Intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting: should you do it?
By Melanie McGrice
What’s your relationship with rules like?
My best friend is one of those impressive people who always crosses at the traffic lights, and arrives at every appointment exactly on time (or 10 minutes before). Me, on the other hand, well, I don’t like rules – well, ones that other people put in place for my life, anyway. I much prefer to understand the consequences, then use common sense. In my opinion, rules are always made for people who struggle in a particular area of life, then EVERYONE is made to feel guilty. And if you are rule sensitive, like me, sometimes you become so focused on the rule, that you forget to use common sense.
For example, I received a letter in my mailbox recently from my local Council telling us that they are planning to change the speed limits of local streets to 40. Mind you, in the correspondence (yes, I read it closely!) it said that the average speed of local motorists is already 40km/hr, so in my view, really it’s just an excuse to make revenue off people who may drive at 43km/hr (sorry to all those who disagree). Obviously, that doesn’t mean that I think we should all be driving around at 100km per hour on local streets where little ones could be playing – but I believe that we already know that, which is why most people are already driving slowly. My concern is again that we focus so much on the speed limit, that we forget all of the other important things that we need to consider when driving a potentially lethal weapon.
However, I agree that we need to put our own rules in place for the areas of life that we struggle in. And, what one person struggles in, is different to the next.
Like the look of these Asian inspired healthy tofu vege noodle bowls? Get the recipe here.
Rules, diets and intermittent fasting or just plain common sense?
“What’s this got to do with nutrition?” I hear you thinking…. Well, the topic of intermittent fasting has been hot in the media again (see my latest interview with Channel 7 news below), and so I’ve been reflecting on my views. I believe that it’s beneficial for some people, but not for others….but this got me thinking who is it best for? Who needs these rules? How can YOU decide whether you should be considering intermittent fasting or some other type of diet, or not?
Intermittent fasting – is it for everyone?
The conclusion that I came to is that when it comes to calorie intake, some people are able to listen to their appetite hormones and decide whether or not they should be eating that additional potato, and others of us need some structure. And, if this is an area that you need structure with, calorie counting, intermittent fasting and other dietary ‘rules’ can sometimes be helpful. (Although, as mentioned above I think they are much more effective when we put our OWN rules in place instead of all of society having to follow an intermittent fasting diet!).
Personally, I don’t struggle so much with kilojoule intake, but do struggle with chocolate intake (I’d quite happily swap dinner for equal kilojoules of chocolate)….(did I just admit that to you?!!!), so I have a rule for myself…”No chocolate in the house”. Because, I know, left to common sense, in this area, I can’t be trusted.
I hope that helps as you ponder what diet rules you should follow and which you should leave to common sense.
Have a great week! Melanie x
PS. Would love to hear some of your diet ‘rules’! Which worked and which didn’t? And, why? Comment on this post below!
About the author, Melanie McGrice
Melanie McGrice is a dietitian who specialises in fertility, pregnancy and women’s health. She runs online programs and undertakes personalised Skype consultations, so get in touch with her at www.melaniemcgrice.com.au if you’re thinking about getting pregnant. You can also connect with her on social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/MelanieMcGriceDietitian Instagram: @MelanieMcGrice Twitter: @MelanieMcGrice