Dance Medicine: Intermittent Fasting
Dr. Samuel Ling - Orthopaedic Surgeon
Translation: Stacey Yeung - Dance Science Researcher
05 March 2020
Standing in front of a mirror for >10 hours daily induces a certain amount of body consciousness. Many dancers try different methods of weight loss and this article will briefly explore one of the popular diets we have all heard about; Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a dieting trend that has infiltrated popular culture in recent years. The main attraction of this diet is that it seems like a sustainable lifestyle; meaning the rebound weight gain, which typically follows the most extreme diets, might be reduced.
Intermittent fasting works on the premise that a period of caloric restriction modulates insulin sensitivity. Lipolysis (the switch to burning fat instead of glucose) is said to begin after ~12hrs of fasting. Various strategies have been used to implement this ‘fasting period’; and the most common will be the 16:8 where you fast for 16hrs and eat freely in a window of 8hrs. This typically means simply skipping breakfast (although that might have its own drawbacks such as increased stress hormones). Omitting dinner might be the more effective option; since some studies report that for the same overall caloric intake, a heavier breakfast with lighter evening meals may be more beneficial (but this timetable is much harder to adhere to).
So, weight control using intermittent fasting might not be complete fiction.
However, is this a diet for Dancers?
A dancer’s body might be aesthetically graceful on stage, but we all know the strength and power demanded is very similar to those of elite athletes. Most dance repertories consist of intervals of high-intensity technical feats which are largely powered by burning sugars for energy. Studies show that fasting decreased the speed, lessened the power and reduced the endurance in athletes performing high-intensity exercises.
This means that although some evidence shows it helps weight loss; I would say that intermittent fasting may be a potential lifestyle choice for low physical demand professions (like sedentary professors), but should not be recommended for the elite dancer.
作者：凌家健醫生 - 骨科醫生
中文翻譯：楊子慧 - 舞蹈科學研究員
近年來，間歇性斷食是一種飲食趨勢，並已滲透至流行文化中。這種飲食的主要吸引力在於它似乎是一種可持續的生活方式，或可減輕大多數其他極端飲食法引致的後果 — 體重回彈。
間歇性斷食的運作機制在於熱量限制期對胰島素敏感性的調節。據說，脂肪分解（由燃燒葡萄糖改為燃燒脂肪）會於禁食約12小時後開始進行。 坊間採用各種方法來進行“禁食期”； 最常見的是16比8，這代表你要禁食16小時，並可在其餘8小時的空檔中自由進食。一般來說，這只代表不吃早餐（儘管這做法可能有缺點，例如增加壓力荷爾蒙）。不吃晚餐可能是更有效的選擇。由於一些研究報告指出，對於相同的總卡路里攝入量， 較豐富的早餐配合較清淡輕便的晚餐可能會更有益（但要堅持跟隨這個時間表困難得多）。
1. Levy E, Chu T. Intermittent Fasting and Its Effects on Athletic Performance: A Review. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2019;18(7):266-9.
2. Cho Y, Hong N, Kim K, Cho S, Lee M, Lee Y, et al. The Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting to Reduce Body Mass Index and Glucose Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of clinical medicine. 82019.
3. Patterson RE, Sears DD. Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annu Rev Nutr. 2017;37:371-93.
4. Cherif A, Roelands B, Meeusen R, Chamari K. Effects of Intermittent Fasting, Caloric Restriction, and Ramadan Intermittent Fasting on Cognitive Performance at Rest and During Exercise in Adults. Sports Med. 2016;46(1):35-47.
This article was accomplished by the author in his/her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the view of the official statement of CUHK and HKADMS. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with an appropriate professional for specific advice related to your situation.
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