Schroeder says it’s important to consult with a qualified medical provider or dietitian before starting any new diet to help ensure it’s appropriate and safe for you. She does not recommend fasting for anyone who is pregnant, has diabetes or has experienced an eating disorder.
And for the rest of us? Instead of focusing on a short-term diet plan, she says it’s best to focus on establishing a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
“Some research studies have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss, but there is limited research showing the long-term maintenance effects of intermittent fasting,” she says.
The best way to shed pounds while staying healthy is to work with a dietitian to create a plan specific to your needs, she says.
“If you’re interested in modifying your diet, consider a consult with a dietitian. It’s our job to help create individualized plans that will work for you,” she says.
Any time you are considering a change in your diet, Schroeder says it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions:
- Does the diet sound too good to be true?
- Is the diet sustainable – can I follow it the rest of my life?
- Does it eliminate important food groups?
- Is it customized to my lifestyle, medical and eating history?
If you can’t answer affirmatively to all of those questions, she says, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.