Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting

After many years of denigration and scientific doubt, fasting again seduced with benefits on the line and on cardiovascular risk. Indeed, it is often difficult to stop eating several days by drinking broths of vegetables and pressed fruit juices. Many people struggle to follow a low calorie diet: feeling deprived, cravings, social constraints are there to explain that only 10% can diet in time. To combine the benefits of fasting with the absence of deprivation and coercion, some choose to follow an intermittent fasting without underlying religious connotation.

Definition of intermittent fasting

The intermittent fasting consists of alternating periods when one eats with those where one does not eat (but continuing to drink), on a regular basis.

We naturally fast 6 to 10 am every night confirming the adage: “who sleeps, dines”.

There are different ways to practice intermittent fasting

  • Eat 25% less calories every other day
  • s auter a meal every day
  • Dinner 24 hours at least once a week (from 14h to 14h or 19h to 19 pm the next day)
  • eating 5 days and hungry for two days eating only 25% of the usual calories.

What intermittent fasting to choose?

Most of those who follow an intermittent fast do it to lose weight. There are many studies on the slimming effects of intermittent fasting.

Recent studies show:

  • limit food intake to a p e period of 8 hours per day or less (equivalent to I û dinner 16 hours) allows both slim down and imp improve its risk of disease ca rdiovasculaire and Diabetes type II. And, the weight is normal or too lev é é.
  • The comparison of the effects are u I do intermittent and those of a low calorie diet r e among peo ple ob è her, to conclude: “The û I do Intermittent is an effective slimming m ethod, and possibly ê be sup higher ed to r e low calorie diet because it is easier to follow, î came no more fat loss and p re better serves the muscles. 

These studies indicate that intermittent fasting can in a few weeks decrease body fat and waist circumference . The intermittent fasting allows you to lose weight in different ways:

– either because energy consumption is reduced because there are fewer eating opportunities

– or because insulin is lowered (hormone secreted during the digestion of sugars and which promotes the storage of fats) and decrease the resistance to insulin, very common and associated with the metabolic syndrome.

– or because a circadian rhythm is reestablished in favor of weight loss.

Intermittent fasting also reduces blood sugar (blood sugar). However, studies have sometimes reported a deterioration in blood sugar and glucose tolerance depending on the type of game intermittent (eg every other day).

Intermittent fasting is accompanied by positive changes in genes associated with longevity and immunity, a decrease of oxidative stress and inflammation .

How to intermittently fast?

The first step is to ensure that there is no unstable diabetes, which indicates the diabetes by exposing patients to episodes of hypoglycaemia.

You should not eat anything during unfed meals and take inspiration from the attached Mediterranean diet. The latter is now a reference to beneficial food associations for optimal health.

All types of intermittent fasting are possible and everyone can find the period best suited to their lifestyle, family and professional constraints.

A fasting of 16 hours a day (or fasting) is not very restrictive, and compatible with a social life while keeping breakfast if possible, in order to avoid daytime fatigue. Popular wisdom had already evoked this approach, recalling that it was necessary to “breakfast like a king, to lunch like a prince and to sup with a beggar”

One can associate with the fast of 16 hours of the moderate physical exercise. It thus usually accompanied an increase in basal metabolism (calories burned at rest).

While alternate fasting may be a more effective and easier to follow alternative than a restrictive diet, the interest of alternate fasting versus calorie restriction remains very controversial. Indeed, according to the Trepanowski et al study, adherence to the alternate fasting would be less good in time than that to a low calorie diet. Weight loss or weight maintenance at 1 year would be comparable between the two diets.

The place of intermittent fasting in relation to the classic 10-day fast is not yet established. It may nevertheless be of interest to consolidate the benefits of a more comprehensive post-cure approach.


Mattson MP, Longo VD, Harvie M.: Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Aging Res. 2016 Oct 31. pii: S1568-1637 (16) 30251-3. Doi: 10.1016 / j.arr.2016.10.005. 

Alhamdan BA, Garcia-Alvarez A, Alzahrnai AH, Karanxha J, Stretchberry DR, Contrera KJ, Utria AF, Cheskin LJ. Alternative-day versus daily energy restriction diets: which is more effective for weight loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Sci Pract. 2016 Sep; 2 (3): 293-302. Epub 2016 Jul 15. 

Johnstone A: Fasting for weight loss: an effective strategy or latest dieting trend? Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 May 39 (5): 727-33. Doi: 10.1038 / ijo.2014.214. Epub 2014 Dec 26

Trepanowski JF et al.Effect of Alternative-Day Fasting on Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese Adults. JAMA Intern Med, published online May 1, 2017. Doi: 10.1001 / jamainternmed.2017.0936.