The term intermittent fasting covers a lot of different types of diets.The most studied approach is not really fasting at all, but two consecutive days of where calories are cut by 30 to 40 percent or the same calorie restriction on alternate days. The other approach that falls under this term is total fasting on alternate days.
In my opinion, none of these approaches are superior to a continuous lifestyle approach using protein-rich meal replacements along with colorful fruits and vegetables and a healthy active lifestyle. They are popular because they play into the widespread fear of food that many dieters have. They sometimes skip breakfast which is a very bad idea as it is the most important meal of the day. Research shows that a high protein breakfast with healthy carbohydrates can help control hunger while maintaining muscle mass or even building muscle protein when combined with high intensity interval training and resistance or weight training.
From a behavioral point of view, getting comfortable with eating foods and losing weight is an important skill to get. So aside from the potential loss of muscle protein, it is unwise to encourage avoidance of foods as a long-term strategy.
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