Amidst the mounting evidence showing the health benefits of intermittent fasting, the practice has become a hugely popular trend among the health-conscious. It’s a great and safe way to lose weight and stay fit. Its simplicity and flexibility allows it to be easily incorporated into any lifestyle.
Unfortunately, however, intermittent fasting just isn’t for everybody. This article will help you make an informed decision about whether intermittent fasting could be for you or whether you need to avoid it.
Who Should Intermittent Fast
Anyone who is reasonably healthy and not suffering from malnutrition can fast intermittently, whether for weight loss or better overall health. It’s not gender-specific although women are recommended to eat more iron-rich foods or take iron supplements while fasting.
It goes without saying that children under 16 should not be allowed or encouraged to fast as their bodies are still developing. Intermittent fasting affects the Human Growth Hormone.
For a typically healthy person, there are no risks and the side effects are minimal and usually related to hunger, such as irritability, grumpiness and headaches. However, most intermittent fasters report that the symptoms lessen dramatically as their bodies adapt to the fasting plan.
Who Shouldn’t Intermittent Fast
When it seems like torture
Intermittent fasting involves not eating for hours, and most plans also include one 24-hour fast once a week. Try it by all means if you think you can withstand it.
But when it starts to feel like torture, when you suffer from severe hunger pangs that affect your ability to concentrate, when you find yourself counting the minutes until feeding time, then it’s simply not for you.
You don’t have to put yourself through it if it’s just too difficult. There’s nothing wrong with that; not all of us are built the same way or have the same hunger threshold. There are other eating and more suitable health plans to consider.
Watch “Is Intermittent Fasting for You?” Video
Intermittent fasting eating plan is unhealthy
Some people are just so hungry after a fast that they can’t resist tucking into heavy, calorie-packed meals. Other people tend to overeat and gorge themselves during feeding hours.
Intermittent fasting must be enforced with good nutrition, a balanced diet and moderate portions. If intermittent fasting causes you to adopt poor eating habits, then there’s just no point in doing it.
If you have diabetes
Intermittent fasting changes insulin resistance levels and is therefore not recommended for people with diabetes. If you are a type 1 diabetic, it is absolutely not recommended. If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to try intermittent fasting under the strict supervision of your doctor.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Intermittent fasting also affects hormone levels, which does help to promote weight loss. It’s not recommended if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeeding as your natural hormone levels need to remain stable.
If you are recovering from surgery or ill with a fever
Intermittent fasting when you’re ill or recovering from surgery can only make things worse. Your body is in a weakened state and requires good and frequent nutrition to heal and repair tissues and cells. Going without food for several hours may cause complications.
If you have had an eating disorder
It’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor if you have a history of eating disorders. Intermittent fasting may further enforce the disposition, causing you to relapse.
If you have a mental condition or are taking prescription medication
It’s vital that you consult your doctor and never decide to fast intermittently on your own. Some prescription medications may need to be taken with food, while some mental health medications may not work or cause adverse side effects if combined with fasting. Your doctor can help you organize your fasting plan around your medication if this can be done. If not, then you should not fast,
Intermittent fasting not suitable for everyone
Intermittent fasting, although relatively safe and risk-free, is just not for everybody. Certain people simply can’t skip meals due to medical conditions, while others may simply not have the disposition or ability to go without food for hours.
If intermittent fasting isn’t for you, take heart. It’s not the end of the world. Whatever your health goals may be, you will certainly be able to find an eating plan that works better for you.