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Intermittent fasting: trend? Healthy?

Diet gains popularity, experts weigh in
Posted: 6:22 AM, Jan 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-04 12:44:57Z
Intermittent fasting: trend? Healthy?
Intermittent fasting: trend? Healthy?

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -  Up there on a long list of New Year's resolutions, fitness and health are included as many look forward to 2018.

South Beach, atkins, paleo - maybe pescatarian - many of us have tried a fad diet or two in our life.

In recent years, current trends point to intermittent fasting.

"Intermittent fasting is just basically taking long bouts of time of when you're not eating," said Dr. Paul Estabrooks from UNMC College of Public Health.

Think beyond skipping your work lunch. For a short window of time, say eight hours, you're only allowed to eat food then.

For Dontae Franklin, 36, a trainer at Life Time Fitness, he credits a lot of his weight loss to intermittent fasting.

In 2011, Franklin said he decided he needed to make a change.

Or, I was going to die, he said.

Currently, the trainer said he shaved nearly half his former weight in seven years.

Typically, the busy father and husband says he wakes up at 4:30 a.m. He won't have his first meal until after his workout, which is around 1 p.m. or so.

Franklin likes to eat three to four meals, including a protein shake as a snack from 1 to 9 p.m.

Though fasting for shorter periods of time such as religious reasons isn't groundbreaking, the popular diet trend poses a safety question.

"There doesn't seem to be any negative impact on the short burst of fasting," said Dr. Estabrooks, based on early research stemming from observation on people and animals.

It appears the benefits don't stop at the weight scale.

"Since you're not taking food in, the energy you're using tends to come from your body fat and it tends to improve your insulin sensitivity which also starts to use more fat based energy," said Dr. Estabrooks.

Other health benefits include reducing inflammation and perhaps improving brain acuity.

For Franklin, intermittent fasting is not a diet.

It's a way of life.