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THE DANGERS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

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By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training

intermittent fasting

We have been hearing about Intermittent Fasting for a while now but in case you didn’t know anything about Intermittent Fasting. It is usually done by people who want to lose weight. It’s a cycle between fasting and eating within a certain period of time. Usually it involves not eating Breakfast and restricting your eating to an 8 hour period, then fasting again for 16 hours. There is a whole lot of not eating going on here and that is why I want to point out some dangers when going this route for weight loss.

ARE THERE BENEFITS TO INTERMITTENT FASTING

Some people swear by Intermittent Fasting. Does it have any benefits? Many studies have been done on rats and not people. If we know anything about scientific studies it usually shows that what happens to rats in studies are very different than studies done on humans. But there have been some studies done on humans that show some benefits to Intermittent Fasting and they are: helps improve Asthma by lowering airway passages, oxidative stress and inflammation, improves insulin sensitivity and significant decreases in Cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels thus reducing risk of heart disease and it may improve brain function although losing weight does this anyway with or without the use of Intermittent Fasting.

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING THE SAME AS STARVING YOURSELF

Intermittent Fasting is fasting which means not eating. It can make you feel weak, lethargic and overall pretty grumpy. Studies have also been done to show that participants who embark on this type of eating who are used to eating throughout the day will feel cold, have constipation, headaches, lack of energy, bad temper and difficulty concentrating. There are also studies to show that Breakfast can improve cognitive function and athletic performance and this is the main part about Intermittent Fasting that has me concerned. Skipping breakfast is not  beneficial to your brain function and physical performance.  It also has been shown that it is dangerous to anyone with an eating disorder. What does that mean? Well it can have negative impacts on your psyche when it comes to food. If you have had an eating disorder before and you decide to do Intermittent Fasting your disease can  return and you can revert back to your disordered eating thoughts and patterns. 

MORE NEGATIVES THAN POSITIVES

There are more dangers to Intermittent Fasting. The negatives definitely outweigh the positives and there is no research at all that proves that this way of eating is superior when it comes to weight loss versus simple calorie reduction over the course of the day by eating regular meals. More negatives include the risk of binge eating which I discussed earlier regarding eating disorders. If you were prone to binge eating before Intermittent Fasting you will be prone to it during Intermittent Fasting.

You can also have digestive issues on Intermittent Fasting because part of the pattern of eating is to have larger meals in a decreased amount of time. Larger meals needs more time to digest and it just doesn’t give you the proper amount of time to digest the food which leads to cramping and constipation, indigestion and bloating. 

INTERMITTENT FASTING IS DANGEROUS TO WOMEN

With this type of eating pattern there is a risk of nutrient deficiency, not enough electrolytes and may interfere with fertility. This type of eating interferes with reproductive hormones and appetite regulation. 

Intermittent Fasting can also slow your metabolism down because your body is essentially going into starvation mode, pair that with not enough protein or carbs  throughout the day and you’re in trouble. 

In a nutshell Intermittent Fasting is a fad diet. People may not want to call it that, more like a pattern of eating but it’s still a fast way to lose weight without changing your lifestyle for the better. It’s still a short term fix and is not sustainable for most. There are dangerous side effects as well. You are better off eating throughout the day as it stabilizes blood sugar and can provide you with ALL of the nutrients you need to have a healthy, energized, happy life! It’s still the way to go if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28106818

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27890688

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27338458

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3558496/

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