Not eating anything during certain parts of the day or week would help you lose weight. But the side effects of such fasting and the risks for some categories of the population are not negligible.
Intermittent fasting or fasting is a food mode that consists of alternating periods of fasting (deprivation of food but sometimes also water restrictions!) and periods of normal feeding.
Fasting is not suitable for pregnant, breastfeeding women, and for people who suffer or have suffered from an eating disorder. Intermittent fasting can, for example, promote bulimia attacks. Athletes who want to improve their performance, people with hormonal problems and, of course, people with diseases such as diabetes, should avoid fasting, says the Hello Giggles website. This practice can also contribute to stress in people who are sensitive to it.
If you want to try intermittent fasting, start slowly to make sure you always meet your body’s nutritional needs. Wait a few more hours before eating to see how you are feeling. If you don’t feel well, if you are hungry, or if you shake, stop. If fasting seems natural, so much the better! As long as you listen to your body and don’t force things, everything should go well.
Why do you need to fast intermittently?
Intermittent fasting is a quick way to lose weight in the short term, especially fat mass. In the long term, better appetite regulation, good life expectancy, prevention of certain chronic and degenerative diseases that cannot be refused but also better cognitive performance.
Let us not forget, however, that at the base, intermittent fasting was mainly followed for religious reasons such as Ramadan, for example.
How does the body react to food deprivation?
When the body is deprived of food for a relatively long period of time, more than 12 hours, the level of insulin in the blood decreases. The latter plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. In parallel with this decrease in insulin secretion, the secretion of growth hormone increases, resulting in the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream, resulting in a loss of fat mass. Weight loss guaranteed but is this a good enough reason to practice it in the long term?
Intermittent fasting is not only beneficial. Undesirable effects too because there are some! First and foremost, dehydration. But also a state of drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep, a little irritability. Where the problem lies: a possible storage of fats and there it goes against the desired effect. Indeed, alternating food consumption and then deprivation is not desirable. Unpleasant side: the bad breath (halitosis) that this fast causes!
What are the health risks?
Do not turn a blind eye to warnings about observing intermittent fasting. It can cause muscle loss and pose a risk to people with heart problems. Not to mention the risk of unbalanced eating habits. Indeed, during normal feeding periods, food consumption is based on foods rich in sugars, fats and sometimes in large quantities. The opposite can also be observed with a reduction in intake during normal periods.
Contraindications to intermittent fasting
You have a heart condition, you have diabetes, you are on medication at fixed times…? Consult your doctor for advice. It is imperative to be followed by a nutrition professional when you want to follow this type of food.
Precautions to be taken beforehand
Do a blood test before starting this type of program. You must be in good health because this type of diet can expose you to deficiencies!