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Fasting 101: What you need to know

Nutrition expert Regina Topelson shares some of the benefits of fasting.

There is so much talk these days of fasting, it’s worth a deeper look at the science to understand it better. 

Is fasting a new fad diet?

Fasting is not a new phenomenon, it has been done for centuries as a religious practice and as part of ancient health systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Western research going back as far as 80 years has shown that calorie restriction, a form of fasting, can extend lifespan.

What is fasting?

Fasting is defined as the act of avoiding or limiting one’s food intake. 

Are there different types of fasts?

Yes! Intermittent Fasting or Time-Restricted Eating involves eating with your circadian rhythm and limiting food intake during a certain period of waking hours. For example, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Calorie Restriction is reducing caloric intake by eating smaller portions. Studies have shown that reducing food intake by as little as 20-30% overall calories significantly increases health and lifespan. Restriction of protein and certain nutrients is even more beneficial than just calorie restriction.

5-2 Fasting entails eating normally five days out of the week and fasting two days of the week. They do not have to be consecutive or the same days each week.

Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) allows you to continue to eat food, while tricking your body into thinking it is fasting. So you get all the benefits, without too many of the discomforts. This is safer than a water fast because you don’t disrupt the integrity of the gut lining.

What are the benefits of fasting?

Benefits include slowed aging, prevents obesity, improves metabolic health, improves mental performance, preserves lean body mass, lowers inflammation, reduces risk for Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Nutrition expert Regina Topelson will be doing a 5-Day FMD Challenge the week of February 17-21. If you would like more information you can find it on her website

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