Intermittent fasting: Lifestyle change to kick-start your weight loss goals

Intermittent fasting: Lifestyle change to kick-start your weight loss goals
(Source: Samantha Morgan)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Intermittent fasting has been leading the health and fitness trends for the last few years but is it worth the hype?

WAFB’s Matt Williams swears by it. In fact, he convinced morning show reporter Liz Koh to give it a try. The two talked about their experiences in the latest Get Fit Red Stick segment.

Liz Koh and Matt Williams are discussing intermittent fasting

Matt will be the first to say he’s no expert, so we contacted an expert to get all the hard facts about this diet trend.

Dr. Kristin Lynch Grimes
Dr. Kristin Lynch Grimes

Dr. Kristin Lynch Grimes is an internal medicine specialist with Our Lady of the Lake. With only a few exceptions, she feels intermittent fasting is a rather low risk plan that could have some dramatic results.

“The most important thing is to figure out if this is something you can sustain for a lifetime because it is a lifestyle change,” she said. “If you go back to your regular lifestyle, then you will probably gain the weight back.”

There are a few different ways you can operate within the intermittent fasting spectrum.

  1. 16/8: You skip breakfast and restrict your daily eating period to 8 hours. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
  2. Eat-Stop-Eat: You fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week, by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  3. 5:2: You consume only about 500-600 calories on two consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

No matter how you slice it, Dr. Grimes says the most important factor for any weight loss regimen is knowing what is going in your body.

“Try to maintain a well-balanced diet. When you’re planning your meals, there has to be a bit of education behind that,” she stressed. “Getting education from your provider, a trainer, books, online; doing a little research about what are the healthy foods to eat is very important.”

And before you do anything dramatic, make sure you loop in your primary care physician.

“Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about going on a diet or thinking about changing your lifestyle, which I think is a great thing. Make sure that you’re not doing anything that will harm your body.”

Those who suffer from Type I or II diabetes are not ideal candidates for intermittent fasting, for example.

“I wouldn’t recommend this for diabetics on insulin because insulin is very much regulated by what you take in,” she explains.

Additionally, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are also best advised to avoid this diet plan.

But for the rest of you, this could very well be a great option for you if it’s something you can sustain.

“Diets do work,” she said. “They actually work, but the big part is whether or not it’s something you can be consistent with. That is the key to any change. Is it something that can continue?”

For Matt Williams, it was a game changer. For Liz Koh, it’s working right now, but will she be able to keep it up? Make sure you’re following her progress on the Get Fit Red Stick Facebook group. And while you’re there, share your story. Where has your health journey taken you?

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