In the post, they addressed how they did not supply references or relevant information that is essential.
"We have been criticised heavily for not supplying references, and we can accept this, but we do not believe that this is a practical approach for Instagram – one short post could require pages of references to be attached.
"We also didn't expect this kind of backlash with regards to evidence, as the science of fasting is something that is internationally renowned.
"There is an enormous amount of evidence for fasting, and the evidence is also clear for short-term fasting (as we advocate to our clients) – which is allowing 4-6 hours of fasting in-between meals and trying to eat all meals within a 12-hour period.
"For those who are interested, please see the following references (and please note that this is just a snippet of the science that's out there which supports our approach):
"Dr Michael Mosley: numerous easy to read books that are well-referenced – EG: The Fast 800 and The Blood Sugar Diet.
"Professor Satchin Panda: Time-Restricted Eating for Modern Disease Mitigation – this is very recent research where Professor Panda discusses the power of time-restricted feeding.
"Dr Nasha Winters: The Metabolic Approach to Cancer – this book is very recent and well-referenced, with numerous articles on fasting.
"Please also read articles on the Migrating Motor Complex – these are the waves of electrical activity that sweep through the intestine every 45-180 minutes in-between meals. It cannot function during the feeding phase. This is incredibly important for the gut to function in a healthy manner. It can be read on Wikipedia.
"Over the past 10 years, we have attended numerous conferences and seminars on obesity, diabetes, mental health and other topics related to improving general health. These have been national and international events with renowned experts from all over the world and are attended by medical practitioners (general practitioners and specialists, nutritionists, diabetes educators, physiotherapists – to name a few).
"We live in a world where we have so many options, especially when it comes to weight loss. We also don't agree with a lot of other people's approaches, but we accept that this is their opinion and, invariably, that there is some evidence to back it.
"As we mentioned earlier, the weight loss journey is unique to each individual and that is why we love the health coaching approach, as it enables people to work with us and create their own journey. We learn about the science and impart this knowledge to our clients, and then we work with them to see how they can incorporate it into their unique lives.
"We hope that this helps clarify our approach. We'd also like to take this time to thank those of you who supported us through this incredibly challenging time – it means so much to us."
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We reached out to Amelia Trinick from The Butterfly Foundation to get their opinion on the original post.
They had major concerns about the post, stating that it:
- Imposes unhealthy ‘diet culture’ on people, particularly to a younger (social media inclined) demographic who are already at an increased risk of developing disordered eating behaviours.
- Promotes restrictive diets as an effective and sustainable weight management strategy which research evidence does not support. Research shows that restrictive dieting is the single biggest risk factor for the development of a clinical eating disorder. Intuitive eating and an individual’s ability to listen to what their body needs (i.e. nourishing the body when it's hungry, engaging in movement of the body etc) is highlighted as a protective factor.
- Does not take people’s individual requirements into consideration which may result in a person feeling hungry, experiencing low moods, lacking in energy levels and developing poor health.
- Suggests restricting the amount of food you eat which can be a very dangerous practice. When the body is deprived of nutrition this can lead to a reduction in our natural ability to nourish ourselves intuitively which can result in dangerous cycles of binging and restricting.
- May have an impact on social behaviours and engagement in social events that are based around food or where the person may not get to choose what they’re eating.