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The health, lifestyle, and fitness industries have been experiencing a curious contradiction for the last few decades. On one hand, fad diets, programs that promise a 20-pound weight loss in a month, and stringent, exhausting weight loss methods, all based on little or zero research, have become increasingly popular. On the other hand, obesity and lifestyle diseases continue to rise. The increasing availability of fast food chains, lack of motivation for outdoor activities, late-night schedules, increasing office hours, and rising dependence on take-out and microwave meals have led to a predominantly sedentary lifestyle (Ganesan et al., 2018). The overwhelming dependence on having things at a hand’s reach leaves fewer people with the ability to take control of their lives. They become controlled by commercial food advertisements, addiction to junk and processed food, and hurt themselves in the process.
In 2016, the World Health Organization brought out a report marking 1.9 billion overweight and 650 million obese people all over the world (Obesity and Overweight, 2020). Obesity in turn contributes to other problems like cancer, gut problems, chronic inflammation, arthritis, and coronary heart problems. The time for lifestyle changes is here. Galani and Schneider propagate such changes as an effective way to reduce cardiovascular problems. Based on their study, the former also reduces metabolic abnormalities. The focus has to be on a healthy lifestyle with proper eating patterns and dietary counsel (Galani & Schneider, 2007).
Here’s the take-away. There are no fad or crash diets, 7-10 day programs, or starve-yourself-till-you-get-there programs that will help you in the long run. At best, they will allow you to lose some amount of water weight and body muscle, make you weak, and push you to binge and gain more weight than what you initially had. Lifestyle changes are the only interventions that will help you lose weight healthily. If you’ve gone back and forth between gaining and losing weight on crash diets, imagine how stressed your body is!
When we think of fasting, our immediate response is negative. We associate it with depriving and harming our bodies. We don’t think it is a long-term solution. To add keto diets (which focus on reducing carbohydrates) to intermittent fasting (which focuses on reducing the time-window of your meals) sounds formidable! But, there are several reasons why the marriage of the two works, and why they may be the key to all the weight loss and lifestyle goals you’ve been waiting for. Are you ready to find out why? Listen on.