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As Christmas Day fades into the past for 2023, the festivities continue, offering opportunities to gather with family on Boxing Day or revel with friends on New Year’s. However, amid the merriment of indulgent eating and drinking, there comes a potential cost—your health. For those aiming to shed extra pounds before the arrival of 2024, nutrition and functional medicine expert Dr. Mindy Pelz introduces a unique 36-hour fasting technique.

This method, designed to tackle stubborn belly fat, requires careful consideration before implementation. Dr. Pelz advises consulting with a GP before making any abrupt lifestyle changes. The fasting approach involves abstaining from food for an extended period, specifically 36 hours, followed by a 12-hour eating window. Dr. Pelz explains on the Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett that after 36 hours, blood sugars decrease, triggering autophagy, reducing inflammation, producing ketones, and initiating weight loss.

The technique is touted as an effective means to overcome weight loss resistance, particularly targeting the area most individuals desire to lose weight—the belly. While sharing research on her YouTube channel, Dr. Pelz highlights that participants, following a 36-hour fasting cycle coupled with 12 hours of intermittent eating over 30 days, predominantly experienced weight loss in the belly region.

Dr. Pelz emphasizes the need for sensible implementation, suggesting weekly or monthly adoption, with a focus on safety. During fasting periods, the consumption window must be zero calories, allowing only flavored water, coffee, and tea. While this fasting diet proves effective, it is intense and may not be suitable for everyone. Caution is advised, especially for those with active jobs, individuals underweight or thin, those with existing thyroid issues, a history of eating disorders, and pregnant, nursing, or soon-to-be pregnant women.

Potential health complications associated with fasting, as noted by the NHS, include heartburn, headaches, dehydration, and constipation. To maintain a healthy and balanced diet, individuals are encouraged to consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. Adequate caloric intake is essential for sustaining energy levels for daily tasks, including exercise.

While intermittent fasting patterns like alternate-day fasting may challenge concentration for some, a 16:8 pattern is suggested as a more manageable alternative. For those opting to explore intermittent fasting, suitability and a commitment to a balanced diet during eating windows remain paramount.

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