Pros and cons of intermittent fasting

 
Dr. Marita Schauch Blog
 

You’ve likely heard about the intermittent fasting craze. Maybe you’ve tried it,  know someone who has, or are unsure if it’s for you.

Intermittent fasting involves 12 - 16 hours of calorie reduction followed by periods of normal healthy eating. While it can seem extreme, there are a few benefits to the method, as well as some pitfalls that are important to take into consideration.

The most important thing to consider when making a change to your diet is whether or not it will be sustainable for your lifestyle.

To help you determine if it’s right for you, I’ve listed the pros and cons of intermittent fasting:

Pros

  • Some research links fasting to a boosted immune function and reduced inflammation associated with chronic disease.

  • Intermittent fasting can help the body’s natural cleansing process by allowing for longer periods between food intake to digest and detoxify.

  • Intermittent fasting can alter your hormones, causing your insulin levels to drop to facilitate the metabolism of body fat.

  • Can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which promotes overall health and well-being.

  • Depending on your body type, intermittent fasting can help you feel mentally clear and sharp.

  • Helps give your digestive system a break, and can even improve gut function.

Cons

  • There’s a strong potential to overeat following fasting periods due to your appetite  going into overdrive when you feel deprived of food.

  • It can be difficult for this diet to be sustainable, especially if you’re not someone who likes rules and structure around eating.

  • May inhibit your performance at work if you find yourself irritable due to the restriction of calories during the fasting period.

  • Can cause you to be obsessive about food, which affects your overall relationship with eating, and in turn, yourself.

  • The lack of food may cause you to rely on caffeine for energy, which can cause adrenal stress and fatigue in the long-run.


I’m a firm believer that there is no one-size-fits-all diet for everyone, therefore if you’re going to try intermittent fasting, I recommend paying attention to how you feel throughout the process. If it isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean you’re failing! It’s so important to listen to your body in order to find sustainable ways to remain healthy.


Riley Webster