Celebrities like Chris Martin tout the benefits of intermittent fasting — but is it good for you?

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Coldplay frontman Chris Martin made headlines recently after he revealed on an episode of Conan O’Brien’s podcast that he doesn’t eat food after 4 p.m. — a trick he picked up from Bruce Springsteen.

The practice of intermittent fasting — only eating between certain hours of the day — has become increasingly common over the last few years, and there’s been particularly high praise of it from Martin’s ex-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. But is intermittent fasting good for you? Michelle Wilson, a registered dietitian from Branz Nutrition Counseling, told KMOX that the fad diet is becoming more popular.

“Some people might find that a bit easier for them to do because they don't feel restricted by the types of foods that they have,” Wilson explained. “But it can cause a lot of limitations for being able to be social and have dinner with your family and go to events. So that can cause a lot of challenges with being able to interact with other people.”

Wilson explained that by cutting off your food intake at four, you could end up going to bed hungry, or even feeling “hangry” at times.

“You might have a little bit of issues with that later into the evening, you might start losing some energy and kind of want to go to bed early,” she said. “You might even have food preoccupation that can happen if you're not eating regularly. So if your body's telling you that you're hungry, and you're not eating, you might even be thinking more about food.”

That food deprivation can lead to restriction or deprivation binges while you are able to eat, she said — that means eating as much food as you can earlier in the day during the hours you’ve chosen to eat.

Wilson said one of the most important things when managing your diet is to learn to eat intuitively. That means understanding your hunger cues, which can be thrown off by things like caffeine or water intake. She said there’s no need to set certain times to cut ourselves off, because it means we’re not listening to our bodies anymore.

She added that while fasting has its purposes, especially for religious reasons, it’s not good for everyone, particularly people with diabetes or for athletes. She also said it’s important to eat within the first hour of waking up to get your metabolism working.

“And our body actually needs to eat about every three or four hours, if not more often with some snacks in between,” she said. “So if you're feeling a little hungry before bed, it's okay to eat something. Sometimes people might have trouble sleeping, because they have not eaten enough throughout the day. So it's good to have a little bit to make sure that you're full and satisfied prior to going to bed.”

Hear more tips on how to understand your own personal dietary needs from Michelle Wilson:

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