Risks Of Intermittent Fasting

January 1, 2019  |  
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You’ve likely heard all the rage about intermittent fasting. If you’re not quite sure exactly what it is that’s because it isn’t exactly one thing or another. Many people partake in intermittent fasting, but not everyone does it the same way—nor is there a “right” way to do it. Some people fast by skipping an entire 24-hour period of food, and returning to regular eating the following 24 hours. Some people fast by going food-less for a 16-hour period, every single day. So they’ll have their last meal at, say, 4pm, and not eat again until 8am the following day. The whole idea behind intermittent fasting is simple: to get you to consume fewer calories. Alright, there are some schools of thought that believe it also improves your energy levels, mental clarity, and other things like that. But, for some individuals, intermittent fasting can be problematic. Here are ways intermittent fasting can mess you up and reasons you shouldn’t do it.

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If you’ve had an eating disorder

If you have suffered from an eating disorder in the past, then intermittent fasting is likely not a good idea. Some say that we never really recover from an eating disorder—it just lies dormant within us. Intermittent fasting can trigger some old, unhealthy behaviors.

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If you have children

If you have children who like to mimic everything mom does, intermittent fasting is a bad idea. You don’t want to inspire kids, with young, fragile, developing bodies to fast, too. It’s also hard for you to fast while you’re still cooking regular meals for your family.

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If you have an intense exercise regiment

If you enjoy a truly rigorous exercise regiment, intermittent fasting can be dangerous. The idea behind it is to burn calories, but if you’re already burning a tremendous amount through exercise, you can overdo it and become weak.

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If you binge when you don’t

Intermittent fasting won’t do you much good if you’re prone to binge eating when you’re starving. Should you consume four large pizzas and platters of nachos when you aren’t fasting, you’ll likely end up eating more calories.

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If your schedule is unpredictable

If you are a nurse, doctor, or have another unpredictable schedule, intermittent fasting can be dangerous. You have to guarantee that you can have a meal—and a substantial one—when it’s time to break the fast, or you can feel very sick. Some lifestyles don’t allow you to plan like that.

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If it leaves you lonely

Eating is social. Intermittent fasting can leave you feeling rather lonely. You just don’t get to participate in group brunches and dinner parties as much. If you need a lot of socialization to avoid depression, intermittent fasting may not be for you.

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It can interfere with sleep

It can be hard to sleep when blood sugar levels are too low or too high. So if you’re sleeping through the end of your fasting period, a grumbling tummy can wake you up. If you’re sleeping after breaking the fast, indigestion could disturb your slumber.

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Which makes binging more likely

If you are sleep-deprived, your body will crave carbs and sugar, so the moment you break your fast, you’ll turn to bad foods.

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If you get lightheaded easily

If you are generally a faint person who gets light headed often, intermittent fasting is not for you.

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If you’re still drinking alcohol

If you won’t give up your nightly cocktails, you probably shouldn’t intermittent fast. Drinking alcohol on a very empty stomach can have bad consequences like nausea and vomiting.

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If you only focus on calories

Intermittent fasting tends to focus on calorie cutting, but not on improving the nutrient profiles of the calories we do consume. If you only count calories and don’t eat better foods when you do eat, you could leave your body in worse condition.

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If you won’t do it forever

Unless you plan on making a lifestyle of intermittent fasting, you may not want to try it in the first place. Returning to regular eating can mean packing on the pounds, fast. This transition can mess with your metabolism.

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If you’re doing it for muscles

Not every body responds the same way to intermittent fasting. While some only burn fat, others burn just as much muscle, which can still leave you looking flabby.

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If you have food allergies

If you have several food allergies, it isn’t a great idea to do intermittent fasting. Some nutritionists think allergies can become more severe after periods of calorie-restriction.

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If you have IBS

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, then eating frequently and regularly can be an important part of relieving your symptoms. Intermittent fasting can make issues like constipation and bloat worse.

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