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Fit and Well Idaho: Doctor advises against long-term fasting

As soon as the fast is over, people will gain the weight back that they lost, and often go back to eating the same diet as before
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:26 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — While fasting has been around for hundreds of years — for religious and healthy reasons — one doctor at St. Luke’s explains fasting is not very beneficial for weight loss, and in fact can do more harm than good.

Fasting is when a person doesn’t eat food for a certain period of time, which could cause weight loss.

Dr. Jonathan Muretisch said it doesn’t have any benefits for the long-term health of a person.

As soon as the fast is over, people will gain the weight back that they lost, and often go back to eating the same diet as before.

“Some people will do longer than a 3 day fast, and that is the type of fast that should be overseen by a physician, and ideally in an inpatient setting,” Muretisch said. “If you are going to do a longer fast, and then there is a whole host of other risks, too. If you are on daily medications; if you have a chronic disease; if you are already a normal weight. Those types of things can make fasting already more risky for you.”

He said intermittent fasting, which is when a person limits the hours of the day you eat, can be beneficial but should be talked about with a doctor first.

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