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Dance Medicine: Intermittent Fasting 舞蹈醫學:間歇性斷食

Updated: Mar 24

Author: Dr. Samuel Ling - Orthopaedic Surgeon

作者:凌家健醫生 - 骨科醫生

Translation: Stacey Yeung - Dance Science Researcher

中文翻譯:楊子慧 - 舞蹈科學研究員


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.



每天站在鏡子前超過10小時會引起一定程度的軀體意識。許多舞者嘗試不同的減肥方法,而本文會簡短地探討大家都聽說過的一種流行飲食:間歇性斷食。

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)。

因此,採用間歇性斷食來控制體重未必是天方夜譚。

但是,這是舞者該有的飲食嗎?

舞者的身體在舞台上可能很優美,但我們都知道他們所需具備的力量與精英運動員不遑多讓。大多數舞蹈劇目都是由劇烈的技術動作組成,而身體主要是靠燃燒體內的糖來提供能量完成這些動作。研究顯示,禁食會降低速度、力量,及運動員在進行高強度運動時的耐力。

儘管有證據顯示間歇性斷食有助於減肥,但我想指出:間歇性斷食對於體力需求較低的職業(如慣於久坐的教授)可能是一種可取的生活方式, 但不建議精英舞蹈者採用。

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Dept of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine CUHK

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