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Why the potential intermittent fasting benefits are not worth the risks



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Photo: [19659003] mactrunk / Getty Images

Any dietician or nutritionist will likely admit he has a list of the most frequently asked questions from customers. This list is usually based on the latest trends in nutrition and wellness – a few years Everyone wanted to talk about the Paleo diet, and as long as the Whole30 delusion is still alive and well, I now get many more questions about the keto diet, one others who are just big: intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is more of a "eating habit" than an actual diet. It is characterized by cycles between eating and fasting times. There are several approaches, but the most popular ones are those that either require 1

6 hours of daily fasting, where you eat all your food in an eight-hour window, or an IF pattern that fasts or 24 hours, usually twice per week. There is also the 5: 2 plan, where you eat five days "normal" and then consume only about 500 to 600 calories for the other two days. Although there are exceptions in general, IF patterns tell you when to eat but not necessarily what to eat .

What are the intermittent fasting performances?

Now it's probably time to be in the lead: I'm not a fan of intermittent fasting.

While research has shown some potential benefits for IF, as a nutritionist and health coach focused on sustainable wellness, I can not do so on board recommending that someone should not eat. Fasting can mean a slippery slope to unhealthy habits and a supposed relationship to food.

This does not mean that I do not want to work with someone who wants to research IF – it just means that we need to discuss why you are interested in using this method to achieve your goals, and if there are other options to support your efforts in a more sustainable way.

Weight management is probably the biggest reason why people ask me about IF. While studies have shown that intermittent fasting can contribute to weight loss and improved metabolism, this eating behavior has also been studied for its effects on insulin resistance and its potential to reduce inflammation, improve cell repair, and support a healthy gastrointestinal tract , Sounds good, right? Not so fast.

Here are the health concerns regarding intermittent fasting.

The main thing that comes up is sustainability – that is, you can maintain that kind of food, and even more: should you ? Many people feel great when they follow an IF plan, but they have difficulty trying to stay there for a longer period of time. If you want to find out how to incorporate these fasting and mealtimes into your work and social life, and to be able to adequately recharge and recharge your workout, this can be both a logistical nightmare and a health challenge. This is especially true if you work long days, get up very early, or go to bed very late. It can also be difficult for people who have no routine in everyday life. While some people found it motivating to follow a more consistent schedule, many were frustrated because they could not keep it. If your self-esteem is hit this way, it can get into other areas of your life. (Must read: Why you should give up the restrictive diet once and for all)

I have seen many people bounce up and down the IF train and start getting rid of their hunger and bloated feelings. This separation of body and mind can make it difficult to establish a healthy long-term diet. In certain individuals, this may lead to disordered eating behavior or reappear. (By the way, have you heard of orthorexia? It's the eating disorder that masquerades as a healthy diet.)

If you still want to try intermittent fasting …

If you've consulted your doctor, then you said that and / or your certified nutritionist, and intermittent fasting still sounds like something you want to try, here are a few tips you should consider.

Set the Why.
You hope to lose weight with intermittent fasting? Is there another health reason? Have you tried other approaches to achieve your goal? If so, why did not you work? Focusing on what you hope to achieve and the motives behind it will help you prioritize foods and strategies that will help you get there in a healthy way.

Think about how to do it.
Decide if a daily 16/8 approach or something more like a weekly 5: 2 plan will work better for your abdomen and schedule. When do you usually get hungry all day? What time do you wake up and go to bed? How often and at what time of the day do you exercise? All of this helps to determine when you are in fasting mode. For example, if you routinely hit the sack after midnight, close the kitchen at 18:00. it probably will not be that easy.

Make intermittent fasting around you.
Consider when you sleep and wake up. Then think about when you want to exercise. What is your work schedule? How about your social life? This will help you figure out how to spread your fasting and eating phases so that you never starve, are moody, and struggle to maintain your energy and focus.

Do you have an exit strategy?
Are you thinking of IF as a long-term plan? Although I do not recommend it as such, if you want to temporarily fast forever (poof), make sure that you have a plan that will help you re-establish a more regular eating plan in your life. I see a lot of people stumble when trying to get out of an IF cycle because they do not seem to be familiar with their appetite and hunger again. If you are serious about doing IF in a healthy, mindful way, you should work out a post-IF plan (possibly with a dietitian) for you to lead.


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