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Intermittent fasting seems to be all the rage currently. It is not a diet but rather a way of eating that utilizes fasting to achieve weight loss. There are a few different ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, but put simply it is the practice of purposefully skipping meals and eating during a designated time period.

Intermittent fasting can be an effective form of dieting for weight loss, but there are several individuals that won't tolerate this very well. Here is my disclaimer: Talk to your doctor first but if you have an eating disorder, hypoglycemia or are pregnant do not even think about it.

The two most popular forms of intermittent fasting are 24-hour fasting and the 16/8 protocol. You can find a copious amount of information about each on the internet, but we will cover the main concepts of each.

The simplest of all is the 24-hour fast in which you only drink water for 24 hours and feast afterward. This can be a great opportunity to spend some time in prayer or meditation as you anticipate a great meal after the completion of 24 hours. This can make for a great dinner date if you have a partner willing to delay gratification with you to enjoy the rewards later.

The 16/8 protocol calls for a fast over 16 hours and all food for the day is consumed over the remaining 8 hours. The most common practice is to stop eating at 8 p.m. and skip breakfast, not eating again until noon. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Research is mixed, but the most important thing is having a plan and sticking to it. The benefits of this are largely from an overall decreased caloric intake overall.

If you are so bold, try this out for yourself. Experiment and find what works for your mind, your body and your life.

-- Dr. Rex Harris is a family physician practicing in Siloam Springs, specializing in the health and wellness of the entire family. Send your questions or comments to The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Community on 06/13/2018

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