Royal nutritionist discusses intermittent fasting diet
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There are many different ways for dieters to lose weight and, as a result, it can be confusing. Some experts are in favour of intermittent fasting, while others are sceptical of it. Richie Howey, personal trainer and owner of weight loss service Team RH, sits in the latter camp.
Richie spoke to Express.co.uk about why he is dismissive of intermittent fasting diets.
There are lots of versions of the plan which involve eating at different times or on different days.
Another version that Richie disapproves of is when slimmers eat normal amounts of food for five days and fast for two days.
Richie said he believes this diet is a “fad” that “sets people up to fail”.
He continued: “[Intermittent fasting] isn’t a sustainable weight loss approach.
“The success of the plan is left to the complete chance that those following it fall into a caloric deficit – which is the only physically possible way to shift weight for good.
“Cutting down to 500 calories for two days and then eating whatever is ‘normal’ to you for the rest of the week, without any calorie counting at all, isn’t a feasible weight loss strategy in the slightest.”
He claimed: “Not only is it another fad that sets people up to fail, it’s a cause for nutrient deficiency.
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“Two days of low calorie consumption isn’t enough to even hit your ‘five a day’, which you’d typically be expected to make up for during the other five days of the diet.
“But, let’s face the facts – people are instead going to fall into the trap of binge eating.
“We’re talking takeaways and processed foods.”
According to Richie, on the five days slimmers can eat, “a binge is inevitable”.
He continued: “And within that binge, very little micro-nutrients are consumed which can ultimately lead to eating disorders and malnutrition.”
While he recommended against the diet plan, some slimmers have had success with the plan and results can vary between dieters.
So, which diet does Richie recommend instead of intermittent fasting?
The personal trainer advised focusing on hitting personalised calorie and macro targets that are based on individuals’ current weight, gender, height, and exercise goals.
He said: “Ensuring you’re in a caloric deficit that’s defined by your own unique data is a safe and steady way to lose weight.
“For example, as part of the plan at Team RH, we use weight and activity goal data to set macros that put people in the optimal deficit for fat loss, whilst also ensuring they are getting the nutrients they need in order to keep hunger and fatigue at bay.
“As long as it fits within your calorie intake, any meal goes.”
But exercise is just as important as diet when it comes to weight loss.
Richie added: “Weight loss also comes down to exercise, and daily step counting is a great way to boost what you’re burning.
“You don’t have to go to a gym – you just need to keep your body moving.”
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