There has been a recent craze for diets that claim to help you lose weight through intermittent fasting, but some nutritionists say this is a bad idea.
People on the so-called “5:02” diet can eat whatever they want for five days a week, but must fast for the remaining two. On fasting days, people should eat one fourth of their typical daily diet, about 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
While it is true that eating fewer calories than a person burns will result in weight loss, nutritionists have concerns that this diet will lead to an unhealthy diet.
Hunger can make people think too much about food, and possibly overeat on the days they allow themselves to eat freely. If people eat a lot of cakes and cookies on their “boot” days and don’t think about diet, it could potentially lead to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition, nutritionists say.
Research also shows that people generally do not follow a diet that requires fasting. People who limit their calories for five days a week will not lose weight if they fast the other two days. This way of eating does not lead to weight loss even in the short term.
Some susceptible individuals may develop an eating disorder during the diet. However, there is no evidence for this. But experts say this diet is clearly not for people who already have an eating disorder, who have type 1 diabetes, who are pregnant, or who are under 18.
On the positive side, dieting can help people pay more attention to what they eat on normal days. People should try to eat healthy and include a variety of foods in their diet: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.