Health expert slams raw food guru’s diet
THE Cairns Taipans' dietitian has issued a stark warning to anybody considering a no-water fasting diet after the death of prominent raw food guru Robert Lockhart.
Health Management Dietitians owner Mitch Smith said not a week passed without a client coming to him for advice on extreme fasting fads.
His advice was always the same when it came to withholding fluids - do not do it.
"There can be some benefits from fasting with food, but only for a maximum 16-hour window," he said.
"That would generally be fasting overnight from, say, 8pm to noon the next day.
"It can help with hormone control and resetting the stomach in terms of overeating.
"When we are continually overeating, the stomach expands and needs more and more food to make us feel full.
"Fasting can help reset our hunger issues."
Mr Smith warned food fasting should not be a long-term practice and should be seen more as a good way to get things back on track.
He said water fasting should never be practised - especially in the sweltering tropics during summer. "Fasting of fluid should never happen under any circumstances," he said.
"There is no benefit to it whatsoever.
"Our body can go weeks without food but it cannot go days without water."
The effects of dehydration - extreme thirst, fatigue, organ failure and death - are well documented.
The jury is still out on the benefits of withholding food for short periods.
Mr Smith said food fasts appeared to work for some people, but a chicken-egg scenario often came into play.
"A lot of people who do intermittent fasting have just come from a place where they have eaten terribly and drank a lot of alcohol," he said.
"All of a sudden they flick a switch and go full bull.
"In those cases it probably isn't the fasting - it's that they are cutting out the junk food, alcohol and eating less."