New Year Diets For 2019: A Look At Intermittent Fasting

A belly with a woman measuring her waistline.. In black and white.
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Having seen Christmas out of the way, the New Year soon beckons. New Year resolutions will often feature a desire to lose weight and improve fitness. With this comes a renewed attempt nearly every year to adopt a new diet. Many of them are probably fads and we have looked over the years at a few but it is worth just checking what the current trending diets are. These are the ones that people are talking about if not raving over.

Intermittent Fasting

The latest trend is to adopt intermittent fasting. The latest interest in the media and heavily featuring on Google Trends is the Dubrow Diet. Before we look a little more carefully at this particular diet, the idea of intermittent fasting has been around for a little while. The idea is to restrict what is eaten at various and different times of the day or week. It is designed to generate a deficit in calorie consumption with periods of starvation.

The one we are most familiar with is the 5:2 diet which means a fast of 2 days in the week followed by five days of normal eating. This diet is one favoured by doctors according to media sources and is still pertinent even now as one adopted by many looking to reduce the stress and strain of reducing food consumption. The hourly one is the 8:16 diet which involved a fast of 16 hours every day and 8 hours with normal feeding. This diet is very similar to the Dubrow Diet.

The Dubrow Diet

The Dubrow Diet has been developed by TV personalities Heather Dubrow and her husband Terry Dubrow.  The diet is supported by a variety of TV actors who have relied on the diet to help improve their fitness and shape before taking on various film and stage roles. What has made it so poplar is the idea that you can eat all the foods you like in a certain time period without the guilt. It is certainly not the keto diet which is still the current number one diet.

The Dubrow Diet is split into three different phases and with each phase there is a recommended period of fasting. The phasing is staggered to help the body adjust to the new regime which involves fasting. On the face of it, this appears relatively sophisticated.

In phase one, the idea is to radically alter the way in which the body responds to hunger over roughly a week. It entails a fast for 16 hours per day. This might mean eating only in an eight hour period say from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The plan is adopted for just 5 days. No alcohol is allowed so wine and beer needs to be put aside over that period. Given the Christmas period of feasting that is not a bad idea to have a period of abstinence.

In the second phase or phase two, there are three different ways to fast based on the length of time for the fasting period. We have a slow, medium and quick weight loss approach in this diet. The book states the following:-

  • Fast 12 hours per day and eat during a 12-hour window to lose 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per week. There is one cheat snack for the week.
  • Fast 14 hours per day and eat during a 10-hour window to lose 1 to 2.5 pounds per week. You have one cheat meal for the week.
  • Fast 16 hours per day and eat during an eight-hour window to lose 2 to 4 pounds per week. You have one cheat day for the week.

The three different phases means that there is some leeway in how much weight is to be lost depending on how fixed or onerous dieting means to you.

The diet suggests a number of healthy options ranging from lean protein, healthy fats and green vegetables. So plenty of nuts, chicken, fish, cabbage and kale, beans, avocado, coffee and tea, various yogurts etc. Really all the foods that are associated with a healthy diet.  It appears the diet encourages planning and lost of vegetables to be eaten.

The book upon which the diet bases itself is  “The Dubrow Diet: Interval Eating to Lose Weight and Feel Ageless”. The book has been the number one seller on Amazon in this category in recent months. There are a few others which are worth exploring including:-

(1) Dr. and Mrs. Guinea Pig present the Only Guide You’ll Ever Need To The Best Anti-Aging Treatments.

(2) The Ultimate Unofficial Dubrow Diet Journal: A Daily Guide for your Health!

(3) Dubrow Diet Cookbook: Discover over 70 Easy Recipes to help Supercharge your Energy,Feel Younger and Lose Weight Fast.

These are also worth checking out if you are looking for suitable ways to adopt the Dubrow Diet approach.

A number of other claims are made concerning autophagy which is improved cell turnover and the production of better and younger looking skin. Whilst that remains to be proven it fits with the ‘plastic surgery’ comparison and the profession of its male author.

Generally the scientific research is still being collected on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Back in 2015, a review by Tinsley and la Bounty reported in Nutrition Reviews on 21 studies associated with  the intermittent fasting regime. They looked at this type of fasting to see if body composition and clinical health markers associated with various diseases improved. Such a study is difficult when so many involve different fasting periods but there is a general trend towards weight reduction up to 7%.  Other features such as body fat, total cholesterol and levels of triglycerides also dropped. But to varying degrees and were assumed to associated with the degree of obesity of the subject following the fasting diet. It is largely acknowledged that reducing food intake is strongly associated with weight reduction so an intermittent fast should help achieve this result.

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