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CNN's Scott Jennings on his weight loss journey: How did intermittent fasting help?

Mafalda Costa June 14, 2021
scott jennings weight loss
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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After multiple attempts to get slimmer, the on-air political commentator has finally achieved his goal. Here’s what you need to know about Scott Jennings’ weight loss journey, which he recently chronicled in an article about intermittent fasting.

Who is CNN’s Scott Jennings?

Scott Jennings is a Kentucky-born writer and conservative political commentator who is widely known for his work as a political contributor for CNN.

Besides his on-air work, Jennings is also known for writing for CNN.com, the Courier-Journal, LA Times and USA Today. 

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In Jennings’s columns, he mainly tackles policy and political issues affecting the state of Kentucky and the wider US.

Throughout his career, Jennings has worked on numerous political campaigns, including the Bush-Cheney campaign in New Mexico, in 2004.

The CNN contributor is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

In 2018, Jennings won a Society of Professional Journalists award for his Courier-Journal writing.

Jennings officially joined CNN in 2017, where he worked alongside former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

He often appears on shows like AC360, OutFront and The Lead.

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Scott Jennings’ weight loss journey

On 9 June 2021, Jennings wrote a personal piece reflecting on his weight loss journey.

Titled “’My health was off the rails and I knew it’: How intermittent fasting changed everything”, Jennings spoke about how adopting an intermittent fasting diet made him lose 55 pounds in less than six months.

“I started by abstaining from food for 16 hours and eating during an eight-hour window. Basically, I skipped breakfast and then ate lunch and dinner. This wasn’t too hard, although the first few days my brain screamed: ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’”

Scott Jennings, “’My health was off the rails and I knew it’: How intermittent fasting changed everything” via Courier-Journal.

Following the work of  Dr. Jason Fung, among others, Jennings began abstaining from food for 15+ hours and eating during a timed window (first eight, then six, four, and now one-hour window).

Jennings also writes about “killing off” sugar and sugar substitutes.

As for the benefits of following an intermittent fasting diet, Jennings claims that for him, these go beyond weight loss and include enhanced mental clarity, improved gut health, reduced inflammation and improved skin complexion, as well as an increased energy level.

What is intermittent fasting?

According to Johns Hopkins, intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat, instead of what you eat.

With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time, meaning you spend a majority of your time without eating.

According to its proponents, intermittent fasting traces back to prehistoric times, when humans were hunter-gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for long periods without eating.

It is believed intermittent fasting leads to weight loss by prolonging the period when your body has to use its calorie stores – instead of your latest meal – for fuel, which induces the burning of fat. Additionally, reducing the window of time when you can eat may help reduce the overall number of calories, leading to the energy deficit needed for weight loss.

Disclaimer: Doctors suggest the best way to lose weight is to combine exercise with a balanced diet high in vegetables and fibrous foods as well as reducing food intake that is high in sugar, fats and salt.

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Mafalda Costa is a second year BA Journalism student originally from Portugal. Her main passions if life are music, arts and culture, while she's particularly knowledgable on cinema and anime.