The Benefits Of Fasting Vary From Person To Person
Fasting diets can result in weight loss and possible health benefits, but they don’t work for everyone. As Zürl found, fasting isn’t optimal for muscle gain, and it can be problematic for those with disordered eating habits, as Insider’s Gabby Landsverk reported.
Christy Harrison, an anti-diet registered dietitian who hosts the Food Psych podcast, told Landsverk that imposing food timing rules has the potential to trigger binge-eating.
Avoid Intermittent Fasting If You Are At Risk For An Eating Disorder
Intermittent fasting has a high association with bulimia nervosa, and as a result, individuals who are susceptible to an eating disorder should not undergo any diet associated with fasting. Risk factors for an eating disorder include having a family member with an eating disorder, perfectionism, impulsivity and mood instability.
Intermittent Fasting Affected My Mental Health
“If I saw a friend struggling like this, I knew I’d step in and help her. I had to be that friend for myself.”
Dealing with intense hunger made me cranky, bingeing made me feel guilty , and constantly thinking about food and how to lose the weight that bingeing was causing all took up so space in my brain.
Lydon explained that intermittent fasting can also interfere with your social life, since you may avoid plans with friends that involve food. Fasting definitely affected plans with my family, depending on which method I was doing at the time, and that’s one of the parts about IF that I really hated.
I also felt sad about not being able to cook and bake when I wanted to. I’d sit in bed flipping through my vegan cookbooks, or watching vegan recipe videos on YouTube, just to satisfy that need. It was so sad. I felt like I was missing out on so many levels.
My husband noticed my weird behavior around food, and he was definitely worried. He felt bad that I was imposing all these lame food rules on myself. I finally realized that while IF did have positive effects on my health at first, I had taken it too far. If I saw a friend struggling like this, I knew I’d step in and help her. I had to be that friend for myself.
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I Loved Intermittent Fasting But Here’s Why I Need To Take A Break
When I started intermittent fasting, it was during a period when I didn’t feel I had much control over anything. I was a year out of college and still working at my “for now” job: something I wasn’t passionate about but that was related enough that I took it “for now” while I looked for other jobs.
The search was long, frustrating, and demoralising. But what really drove me crazy was my living situation. My job was hourly, and the pay wasn’t nearly enough to cover an apartment in the San Francisco area, so I lived with family to save money. I was grateful for their generosity, and it did let me save thousands of dollars a month, but it was in no way an ideal situation, for either me or them.
I’ve always been independent, and it grated on me that I couldn’t live on my own. Food was where I felt especially stifled I wanted to buy the exact food I wanted and cook it the way I wanted. And I did cook, but living with three other people meant I had to take other dietary preferences into account, and they were often a lot different than my own.
What Happened To My Weight When I Fasted
At only 5 foot tall I weighed around 56kg , which was not massively overweight, but being small meant I could really see it. Plus, my jeans didnt fit anymore. I didnt have a target weight in mind, but knew I just needed to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothing.
I lost a lot of weight for my size and build. In around 5 months I was about 8kg lighter. It was amazing, I suddenly looked a lot better and my clothes actually got too big for me. It was exciting when I had to start wearing a belt and didnt have to worry about rolls of fat appearing when I sat down.
Of course, I had to tell everyone about it! My husband joined me and also lost a lot of weight, which he was delighted with as it meant he was much lighter on his bike, which helped him with his cycle races. The friends who tried it with me also shrank before my eyes.
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The Dangers Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a predetermined period where an individual purposely doesnt eat food. From a 12-hour fast to alternate day fasting, many kinds of intermittent fasting diets are becoming increasingly popular. Health professionals argue that intermittent fasting is not necessarily dangerous, but many also agree that intermittent fasting is not safe for everyone.
Returning To Fasting After A Break
If youve taken a break from fasting for whatever reason, returning to fasting is super-easy. Just start! Depending on the reasons for you having stopped fasting, you might think about how to reduce the chances of the same thing happening again. Perhaps you found that your fasting method was difficult to fit into your life, perhaps you developed a famine reaction, perhaps your stress levels were too high. It is worth considering how best to make fasting a permanent part of your life so that you can reap the health benefits and keep control of your weight into the future. Maybe a different approach to fasting may help. This might mean a different fasting method or eating differently on non-fast days, or perhaps some other lifestyle changes will help.
A visit to the FastDay forum is sure to yield some helpful advice.
Myth#6 If Can Impair Your Mental Alertness And Focus
“There are some negative impacts of intermittent fasting such as hunger pangs, headaches or muscle cramps but mental alertness and focus have not been documented as side effects,” says LaMantia.
That said, if you jump into fasting too quickly, you may experience a temporary drop in mental alertness and focus. This is why if you’re new to fasting, starting with a 12-hour fast is the best way to give your body time to adapt, suggests the diet specialist.
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.
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Youveadapted To The Fast
The body adapts to fasting by becoming more fat-adapted and stimulating certain pathways that promote stress adaptation and energy efficiency. Fasting can indirectly lead to the growth of new mitochondria by activating SIRT1, AMPK, and FOXO3. This increases the bodys energy efficiency, which is great for longevity and energy production, but it can also create mild metabolic adaptation because the body begins to need fewer calories.
It is true that if you do the same kind of intermittent fasting every day,it begins to cause less stress on the body. This is great because youllexperience less of the side effects like hunger and tiredness. However, it canalso create some metabolic adaptation.
To overcome the metabolic adaptation from fasting you have to change thesignal youre sending by either going for a longer fast or going back toeating more often for a while. This will reset your sensitivity to thestimulus.
The caveat is that if you go back to eating 3 or 5 times a day, you mayjust start to subconsciously over-eat calories. Some people also get used tolarger meals with IF and thus have to be more cautious with portion control andsatiety. Thats why I think going back to regular eating isnt the best optionfor most. Instead, you can still do time-restricted eating, just extend youreating window by a few hours first and see what happens. Then, having a 48-hourfast is also great for breaking plateaus.
Improves Insulin Resistance Which Can Help Diabetes Prevention And Management
Intermittent fasting and weight loss may help reduce fasting blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity through lowering concentrations of leptin, the hormone produce by fat cells to regulate hunger, and increasing adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism.
In some studies where fasting was used as a weight-loss intervention and strategy for maintaining a healthy weight, people who intermittently fast had lower levels of blood glucose which happens to be a central goal in the prevention and treatment of diabetes .
These possible benefits may be driven more by reductions in body weight and body fat percent stemmed from caloric restriction influenced by intermittent fasting, but research still shows an overall positive effect on blood sugar levels when intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting may help improve glycemic control and insulin resistance with a reduction in weight in those with diabetes and those without.
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A Potential Downside Of Intermittent Fasting
A rigorous three-month study found that people lost little weight, and much of that may have been from muscle.
Intermittent fasting is a trendy weight loss strategy. But a new study found that a popular form of intermittent fasting called time-restricted eating produced minimal weight loss and one potential downside: muscle loss.
The new research, , is one of the most rigorous studies to examine time-restricted eating, which involves fasting for 12 or more hours a day. Many followers of the diet, which has been popularized in best-selling diet books and touted by celebrities, routinely skip breakfast and eat all their meals between roughly noon and 8 p.m., resulting in a daily 16-hour fast.
Research over the years has suggested that the practice spurs weight loss and improves metabolic health, although much of the data has come from animal experiments or small studies of relatively short duration in humans. Experts say the diet works because it allows people the freedom to eat what they want so long as they do it in a narrow window of time, which leads them to consume fewer calories over all.
My bias was that this works and Im doing it myself, and so I was shocked by the results, he said.
Studies have found, for example, that overweight adults lose more weight and have greater improvements in their cardiovascular risk factors when they eat a large breakfast, a modest lunch and a light dinner, compared to when they eat a small breakfast and a big dinner.
Myth#7 Intermittent Fasting Slows Down Your Metabolism
On the contrary, fasting, when done for short intervals of time, like in the case of most intermittent fasting plans such as 16:8, has been shown to actually boost metabolism and improve its adaptability. “Your metabolism is the sum total of all the chemical processes going on inside your body,” says Dr. Gillaspy. When you fast, your body is provided with the time and rest it needs to create chemical and hormonal advantages that boost metabolism. “Certain regulators of metabolism, such as norepinephrine and growth hormone are increased through fasting. Not only does fasting help your body keep metabolically important hormones high, but it also makes you more metabolically flexiblemeaning, your body can adapt quickly to the fuel source that is most readily available,” Dr. Gillaspy explains.
Intermittent Fasting Myths You Should Stop Believing
Intermittent fasting is currently enjoying a surge in popularity as an effective approach to weight … loss.
Intermittent fastingaka the IF dietis witnessing a meteoric rise in popularity as an effective approach to weight loss. What’s more, even Hollywood fitness icons like Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry swear by this eating pattern.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this trend, intermittent fasting is a diet strategy in which you intentionally alternate a period of eating with a period of fasting. “You do this already when you sleep, but intermittent fasting tends to expand on your normal fasting window by making the fasting part of your day longer or by alternating days of fasting with days of eating throughout your week,” says Jean LaMantia, Toronto-based registered dietitian and author of the Complete Intermittent Fasting: Practical Guidelines and Healthy Recipes to Lose Weight and Improve Wellness.
“There are multiple approaches, such as 5:2 , 18:6 /or similar variations,” says Cara Harbstreet, registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Street Smart Nutrition. “Depending on which school of thought you abide by, IF may involve other dieting behaviors paired with fasting, such as vegan or gluten-free eating, while others dont apply limitations on what can be consumed during the eating window so long as the timing is followed,” the dietitian explains.
Reason : Restricting Calories During Your Eating Window
It seems counterintuitive, but you can sabotage your weight loss by restricting your calories on intermittent fasting.
One of the big problems that some people have when they start IF is they continue to cut back on calories during their eating window.
They figure that this must make intermittent fasting even more effective.
But it doesnt. You need to listen to your body and eat nutritious foods during your eating window until you feel full.
Start tuning into your bodys signals. Your body will tell you when youve had enough food.
Eating until Im satisfied during my eating window is one of my favorite things about intermittent fasting. I never have to count calories, or points or other metrics.
BUT.if you are having a hard time feeling your bodys signals and you cant really tell if youve had enough food, I recommend using a calorie calculator to determine approximately how many calories you should be eating.
You may need to track your calories for a few days if you discover you arent eating enough.
After a few days, your body will get used to your new way of eating and you will intuitively eat as much as you need during your eating window.
To make sure youre not undereating , figure out how many daily calories you should be eating using a calorie calculator and make sure youre eating enough healthy nutrient-dense foods during your eating window.
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Myth#1 Intermittent Fasting Essentially Means Skipping Breakfast
“While this may be true for some people who adhere to IF, this is perhaps a very simplified definition,” says Harbstreet. “In my experience, those who follow IF tend to schedule their eating windows later in the day, which allows more flexibility for socializing at meals and may better align with their hunger patterns,” she adds.
Why Might Changing Timing Help
But why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body? An in-depth review of the science of IF recently published in New England Journal of Medicine sheds some light. Fasting is evolutionarily embedded within our physiology, triggering several essential cellular functions. Flipping the switch from a fed to fasting state does more than help us burn calories and lose weight. The researchers combed through dozens of animal and human studies to explain how simple fasting improves metabolism, lowering blood sugar lessens inflammation, which improves a range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and even helps clear out toxins and damaged cells, which lowers risk for cancer and enhances brain function. The article is deep, but worth a read!
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Myth#3 All Intermittent Fasting Is The Same
There are several types of intermittent fasting plans. “For example, time-restricted eating patterns split your day between periods of eating and fasting. The most popular form of TRE is referred to as 16:8meaning that you fast for 16 hours and consume all of your daily calories within an 8-hour eating window,” says Dr. Gillaspy. “Other common TRE patterns employ daily eating windows ranging from 12 hours down to one hour, a practice referred to as one meal a day fasting,” she adds. Meanwhile, “multiple-day eating patterns that fall under the umbrella of intermittent fasting include alternate day fasting schedules that split your week between periods of eating and fasting and extended fasting schedules that last for more than 24 hours,” notes the health coach.
An Unhealthy Relationship With Food
For some people , it can encourage an unhealthy relationship with food, and I am definitely one of those people. The hours when I was fasting, all I could think about was what I wanted to eat and indulge in. It encouraged a binge and restrict mindset which I believe can easily lead to disordered eating and compulsive food behaviors.
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Why I Stopped Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health trends. IF is based around the idea of cutting down your eating window and increasing the time you DONT eat. Its less about what you should eat and more about when you should eat. And for some people, intermittent fasting can be amazing.
IF can be performed in a few different ways, most notably:-> 16 hour fast: usually done overnight and through the morning hours. -> 24 hours fasting: typically done twice per week.
Fasting has been a part of human traits throughout our evolution, partially due to lack of food access. Think about it this way no refrigeration, 7-Eleven, supermarket, preserved, pre-packaged foods or fast food drive thrus . food had to be hunted or foraged, then cleaned and cooked. Food was eaten and not saved. Constant nibbling wasnt an option.
Evidence-based benefits include weight loss, reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation on the body, blood sugar balance, lower insulin levels, body-induces important cellular repair processes, and its great for brain health
Sounds pretty dang good! So why arent we all doing it?
First off, there can be some basic challenges, like how it can be super tough to not eat or nibble for extended periods of time, especially when everyone around you is chomping away. Or when you walk down the street and smell the wafting garlic from the pizza parlor or the sweet smokiness from the bbq gill. oh wait, that can be anytime. Not just when fasting