It May Be Dangerous If You’re Taking Certain Medications
If you want to give intermittent fasting a try, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first, says Dr. Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain conditions, such as diabetes. Some people who take medications for blood pressure or heart disease also may be more prone to imbalances of sodium, potassium, and other minerals during longer-than-normal periods of fasting.
Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, expresses another concern: “People who need to take their medications with food to avoid nausea or stomach irritation may not do well with fasting.”
Intermittent Fasting And Working Out
Fasting and exercise dont always mix because theyre both stressors. In this chapter, well dig into what science tells us about intermittent fasting and exercise, how to balance your workout schedule with your fasting schedule, and when to do low intensity, high intensity, and active recovery workouts.
Schedule #: Fasting 1
On this plan, you fast for a full 24 hours once or twice per week, eating sensibly the other days of the week.
What it involves
Its flexible: You can choose whichever 24 hours you want.
People who benefit
This is an advanced fasting schedule.
It works best for people whove tried either meal skipping or a one-day fasting experiment and thought, Gee, that was interesting. Lets see what happens if I push this a bit more.
Note that if youre not ready to fast one or two days a week, theres a nice half step. You can just fast for 24 hours occasionallysay, once a monthas a refresher to remind yourself that hunger is no big deal.
If you try it
- Start with just one fasting day. Two fasting days can be stressful .
- Take an honest look at the rest of your life. Fasting doesnt pair well with things like the sleep deprivation that comes from being a new parent or exhaustion from training for a marathon.
- Train on your non-fasting days. This is especially important if youre exercising intensely.
- On your non-fasting days, eat real food. Were talking plenty of lean protein, colorful veggies, healthy fats, and minimally processed carbs.
- On your fasting days, practice radical self care. Relax. Drink plenty of water or tea. Wrap yourself in a cozy blanket. Breathe deeply and find comfort in ways that work for you.
- Plan for how you will break your fast. Have food you feel good about eating ready to go. Take a few breaths before your first bite. Slow down and enjoy.
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Could Help Promote Balance In Other Areas Beyond Food
When we think of intermittent fasting we immediately think of food, since that is what we are limiting. But could we benefit from taking a break from other things in our life?
The basic concept of fasting is to abstain from something for a specific period of time, so what other things could we fast besides food?
Television, social media, and video games to name a few may all be things we could use a break from that may positively impact our health and well-being.
At the end of the day, consciously choosing to reduce or shift our habits can help us create health and wellness goals based on our values and beliefs.
What Is Intermittent Fasting Explained In Human Terms
A phenomenon called intermittent fasting is currently one of the worlds most popular health and fitness trends.
It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating.
This article explains what intermittent fasting is, and why you should care.
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So Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Sounds
I was very curious about this, so I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr. Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them.”
So, heres the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes.
Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.
But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Shed Those Kilos Here Are 7 Things You Should Know
After drinking bubble tea over a month, Talking Point host Steven Chia decided to put intermittent fasting to the test. And he got some tips about this weight-loss regimen from a few experts along the way.
To lose the weight he gained previously, Steven Chia went on a two-month intermittent fast.
SINGAPORE: In the past two years, intermittent fasting has become one of the top weight loss trends worldwide.
In most intermittent fasting regimens, you avoid food for a certain number of hours of the day and eat normally within a specified time.
So can it help return you to your ideal weight and body mass index ?
That is what Talking Point host Steven Chia wanted to see after he gained about two kilogrammes from drinking bubble tea over a month, for a recent investigation into the effects of bubble tea.
Is Fasting An Effective Weight
If you are obese or overweight, fasting is an effective weight-loss method, if you stick to it. But it is no more effective than a diet that restricts your daily calories. We know this because there were no additional weight-loss or cardiovascular benefits of fasting two days per week, over an ordinary calorie-restriction diet, in a study of 150 obese adults over the course of 50 weeks.
But you should also consider how difficult the diet will be to stick to. In a study of 100 randomized obese and overweight adults , the dropout rate was higher with those who were fasting, 38 percent, compared with 29 percent for calorie restrictors and 26 percent for those who kept eating as they normally did.
Some people really struggle with having to monitor their intake and constantly record food in an app every day. So the takeaway of the study was if daily calorie restriction doesnt work for you, maybe alternate-day fasting would be a little easier, said Krista Varady, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the senior author of the study. Theres nothing magical here. Were tricking people into eating less food, in different ways, she said in 2017.
There is some new evidence that shows different forms of fasting are not equal in part because some are easier than others, but also because some forms of fasting better match our bodys natural circadian rhythm, thus lowering insulin levels, increasing fat-burning hormones and decreasing appetite.
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Intermittent Fasting May Cause Older Adults To Lose Too Much Weight
While intermittent fasting shows promise, there is even less evidence about the benefits or how fasting might affect older adults. Human studies have looked mostly at small groups of young or middle-aged adults, for only short periods of time.
But we do know intermittent fasting could be risky in some cases. “If you’re already marginal as far as body weight goes, I’d be concerned that you’d lose too much weight, which can affect your bones, overall immune system, and energy level,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Helps Improve Heart Health
With heart disease being the number one cause of death worldwide, it is important to find ways to reduce the numbers and ultimately lower the risk of heart conditions.
Intermittent fasting has been studied for various heart health benefits. Fasting has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, as mentioned previously. Yet, there are many other factors fasting can improve.
Studies display that intermittent fasting methods can lower blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL. All of which are key drivers of heart conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease and cholesterol. Reducing these factors can lower the risk of heart disease and improve heart health.
Is Intermittent Fasting Truly For Everyone
5 min read.Shrabonti Bagchi
The fasting method not just helps in losing weight, but can improve the gut microbiome, insulin efficiency and mental acuity. But can everyone do it?
For probably the first time in the history of diets from the vinegar and biscuits bamming of the Regency era to the modern paleo and keto diets one diet type has got an overwhelmingly positive nod from nutritionists and doctors. They may disagree on the finer points of how one practises it, but experts across the panel largely agree that periodic fasting is good for the human mind and body, and positively impacts a large number of functions, from enhancing the diversity and health of the gut microbiome to increasing insulin efficiency in the body and kickstarting a sluggish metabolism.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can change the makeup of the gut microbiome, encouraging the growth of good bacteria like Akkermansia muciniphila associated with decreased intestinal inflammation and a healthier gut. Other studies on animal subjects have shown a link between IF and reduction of brain inflammation, ultimately slowing down the neuro-degenerative process that causes diseases like Alzheimers in humans.
Weight Loss And Fat Loss
Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume. It may also help boost metabolism.
Research from 2016 reports that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while resistance training showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants maintained their muscle mass throughout.
In contrast, a 2017 study found very little difference in weight loss between participants who practiced intermittent fasting in the form of alternate-day fasting rather than 16:8 fasting and those who reduced their overall calorie intake. The dropout rate was also high among those in the intermittent fasting group.
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Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Some studies suggest that adopting an intermittent fasting practice may help with weight loss, improve memory and mental performance, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments .
While much of this research comes from animal studies, emerging human data has offered promising results – especially related to the potential for helping with weight loss and improving some aspects of nutrition-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease .
It’s important to note that the long-term effects of intermittent fasting have not been fully established, but current research shows some promising short-term benefits that we’ve outlined in our list below. Additionally, while the potential benefits of fasting are exciting, there is not enough research to proclaim it is more effective for weight loss or improving health than a basic healthy eating approach.
Intermittent Fasting Schedules To Follow
There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting for weight loss. The following are some of the most popular schedules:
Time-restricted eating: This involves consuming all of your meals within a period of 4-12 hours in a day. For example, you could choose to have your meals and calories between 8 am and 6 pm. Limiting your calorie intake to daylight hours is called eating with the sun. Time-restricted eating is particularly beneficial if you eat your meals before sunset. Not only does this help you eliminate bad habits like late-night snacking, but it improves your sleep and blood sugar control. Over time, time-restricted eating can lower your blood sugar levels, make you more sensitive to insulin, and reduce your blood pressure.
One-meal-a-day : This involves packing all of your days calories in a single meal that you consume within 1-2 hours. A small study conducted by Dr. Jason Fungs research group showed that fasting for 24 hours 3 times a week and eating only dinner on fasting days, eliminated the need for insulin in type-2 diabetic patients. This fasting approach also resulted in improved HbA1C, lower body mass index, and reduced waist circumference.
What intermittent fasting schedule is right for you? Find out here.
The Intermittent Fasting Fad
The popularity of intermittent fasting may be to its detriment. Google what is the most effective diet to lose weight, and the number one response lists intermittent fasting as the top diet. Lets be clear about this, IF is not a diet it is an eating pattern of alternating intervals of fasting with periods of normal eating. There is no need to count calories or determine if you are meeting your macros when practicing IF unless you combine IF with a diet strategy such as Keto, Paleo, low carb, slow carb, or carb cycling.
When something becomes intensely popular too quickly in todays environment, though, it runs the risk of becoming a fad. Fads are not good consider the social media hype of meme stocks. If fads are not good in the investment world, they are open season when applied to weight loss and dieting.
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I think you get my drift. Fads, especially as they pertain to health, weight loss, and dieting, are bad. But, what if the diet has an origin in legitimate science? What if there have been decades of valid laboratory research and human clinical trials to support the practices health benefits?
Unfortunately, with mainstream popularity comes the potential for marketers to exploit and distort the facts, exaggerate health claims, and downplay risks. The science gets lost in the marketing.
How Do I Start Intermittent Fasting
There are several different methods of intermittent fasting. Choose one that picks your lifestyle the best and try it for a few weeks.
- Eat-Stop-Eat. Choose one or two days a week to fast from dinner of one day to dinner of the next. This constitutes a 24 hour fast.
- 5:2. Choose 2 days during the week to only eat 500-600 calories.
- 16/8 Method. Fast for 16 hours and follow that fast with an eating window of 8 hours. This is typically done by fasting from 8pm until noon the next day. Eat during your 8-hour window and then repeat. You can also adjust your eating window so it is longer or shorter . Adjust the length of your fasting time until you find something that will work for you.
- Alternate day fasting. Every other day, reduce your caloric intake to 500-600 calories. On your non-fasting days eat normally.
Remember, it’s important to still eat a balanced diet even while sticking to an intermittent fasting eating pattern.
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It May Cause You To Overeat
There’s a strong biological push to overeat following fasting periods because your appetite hormones and hunger center in your brain go into overdrive when you are deprived of food.
“It’s human nature for people to want to reward themselves after doing very hard work, such as exercise or fasting for a long period of time, so there is a danger of indulging in unhealthy dietary habits on non-fasting days,” says Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
A 2018 study found that two common effects of calorie-restricted dietsa slowed metabolism and increased appetiteare just as likely when people practice intermittent fasting as when they cut calories every day. And in studies of time-restricted eating, evidence is accumulating that eating that misaligns with a person’s circadian rhythm may led to metabolic trouble.
Benefits To Fighting Inflammation
Inflammation is your bodys normal response to containing and fighting infection and repairing tissue damage. But chronic inflammation can occur when this immune response lingers, causing oxidative stress. This is linked to heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases and other conditions.
Intermittent fasting has the potential to manage or prevent chronic inflammation, according to some researchers. A study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found that in some groups, ketones produced during fasting improve the ability of cells to suppress inflammation and repair damage.
A separate study by a team at Mount Sinai hospital in the US found intermittent fasting reduced the release of pro-inflammatory cells called monocytes, and put them into sleep mode. Given the wide range of diseases caused by chronic inflammation, researchers said there was enormous potential in doing more research into the anti-inflammatory effects of intermittent fasting.
Research is ongoing into whether these benefits stem from the weight loss or the fasting.
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