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This Week’s What Do I Need to Know About……Intermittent Fasting, Calorie Cutting, and Curbing Cravings

There’s a lot of debate on whether cutting calories is a safe, sustainable, or healthy option—with conflicting information on what works and what doesn’t. This week, we take a closer look at the latest research on which methods for cutting calories are the most effective and healthiest for your waistline…and your wallet.

Is doing 5:2 the best way to lose weight?

5:2 intermittent fasting—the practice of eating the amount you desire (but ideally still within the normal range) five days out of the week while eating around 500-600 calories two days a week —is a trendy way to lose some body fat. Research shows it works as well as, but not better than, a traditional calorie-restricting diet. In a study of 5:2 dieting vs. regular dieting, participants cleared fats out of their blood faster than regular dieters and reduced blood pressure by 10%.

Could your next crash diet be bad for your heart?

Everyone knows crash dieting can be a drag on your metabolism—and can sometimes lead to gaining back even more weight with rebound eating. But did you know that if you have a heart condition, drastically cutting calories might put you at risk? New research suggests that a sudden drop in calories—approximately 600-800 a day—can adversely affect the heart’s ability to pump blood. While this usually starts to correct itself after one week, those with heart conditions should take note next time the latest calorie cutting fad diet comes around. Perhaps slow and steady—1-2 pounds a week—does win the dieting race after all.

Which food curbs cravings the best?

According to satiety research—the measure of how full food makes one feel and how well it curbs unhealthy cravings—pulses are a surefire way to help one cut calories. Pulses are dried grain versions of legumes: the split peas, lentils, chickpeas, and beans sold in dry bags—and are also an affordable source of protein. These vegan staples have been used around the world in many cultures to curb hunger, and though they’re considered carbs, their rich fiber content keeps you feeling full a long time, helping you naturally cut calories and control blood sugar. Just make sure to buy your pulses in dry bags and soak them overnight before using them as the base for a delicious, high protein and high fiber meal.

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