Is Intermittent Fasting a Good Idea?


Intermittent fasting is a concept that’s actually been around for quite some time, but has gotten heavy attention as of late. And although the word “fasting” might make you think of skipping meals and a growling stomach, intermittent fasting isn’t about withholding food until you pass out. It’s more like giving your body time to burn the fuel it already has before giving it more. Which I thought was interesting enough to explore!

You may have heard of the ketogenic diet, yes? I think “going keto” is a little intense and can’t imagine getting all my daily carbs from fruit and even then having to restrict my intake. But what’s happening in your body while you’re practicing intermittent fasting is similar to what happens when you follow a ketogenic diet. The main difference being that instead of following an insanely strict diet 24/7 that basically offers zero carbs and is very fat heavy, you give your body 16 hours of no food, which allows it to balance insulin levels and enter a state of ketosis.

What’s ketosis? Ketosis is a normal metabolic process your body goes through naturally, but as you consume more foods (specifically carbohydrates) throughout the day, your body burns those carbs, aka sugar, as fuel first, rather than ketones (the byproducts produced from burning fat as energy). To enter ketosis, your body must be burning the ketones, which is why the ketogenic diet strictly prohibits eating carbohydrates. When you fast, your body will turn to burning the ketones (fat) when it runs out of carbs, and by extending the time between your last and first meals of the day, you’re allowing your body to burn ketones for a longer period of time.

This is why weight loss is a side effect, or benefit, of intermittent fasting. But there are several other reported benefits such as improved cell function, meaning your body’s organs can function at a higher, more efficient level. You may also experience increased cognitive function, so say goodbye to brain fog, and reduced inflammation throughout your body, according to the info out there.

If you’re looking to incorporate intermittent fasting into your daily routine, the easiest way to do it is to extend the fasting you do naturally while you sleep. Doing it this way is called the 16/8 method. You have an eight hour window to eat and a 16 hour window to fast. Having your first meal at noon and your last by 8 pm is the eating pattern most commonly used.

So now having all of this information begs the question, is this whole intermittent fasting thing a good idea? The answer is probably different for everyone. Of course if you have any health issues like diabetes, you would want to check with your healthcare provider before adjusting your diet. Even if you don’t have any conditions, it’s always smart to have a chat with a health professional before making lifestyle changes – but wanted to share what info I had found!

Has anyone tried intermittent fasting? Anxious to know what benefits you experienced.

You may also like

9 comments

  1. This is so interesting. I hadn’t actually realized this method was gaining any traction. I’m not a professional by any means, but I actually picked up the 16/8 method this year, and it’s been extremely beneficial. I’ve lost twenty pounds, and my relationship with food isn’t so crazy anymore. My energy levels have been a lot better as well.

    Of course, this is just my personal experience. I don’t know if I’d recommend it to anyone.

    Very interesting post!

    amberelb.com

  2. I really enjoyed the benefits and more energy however after doing it on and off every other day for 2 weeks my heart started to race – kind of just pound harder and faster as my body went longer without food. This gave me even more anxiety that something was wrong and led to panic attacks eventually. It took me a few months and quitting caffeine to get back to normal after that. I am not sure if fasting is what caused this but the timing was right along with when I started the diet.

    I now no longer do intermittent fasting, but still routinely do a 12 hour fast at least from 8pm to 8am and my body is totally fine with that.

  3. I’ve been intermittent fasting for a while now and really like the way that it feels! I don’t fast every day, but I try to strive for five days a week. I’ve found that it makes me less hungry overall and helps me feel more awake during the day!

    http://www.modernbeautygirl.com

  4. weeks my heart started to race – kind of just pound harder and faster as my body went longer without food. This gave me even more anxiety that something was wrong and led to panic attacks eventually. It took me a few months and quitting caffeine to get back to normal after that. I am not sure if fasting is what caused this but the timing was right along with when I started the diet.

    I now no longer do intermittent fasting, but still routinely do a 12 hour fast at least from 8pm to 8am and my body is totally fine with that.

  5. I am on my first month of intermittent fasting, choosing MWF as my fasting days. So far I’ve gone down one clothing size when before I was on my way up. It’s definitely challenging but I’m learning to accept being hungry and have less cravings overall. There are some digestive side effects that I did not anticipate, but I’m happy with the results and will continue to fast until I’m down to my goal size.

  6. The only time you should purposely fast is the time between dinner and breakfast when you are sleeping. Doing so any other time is disordered eating and that is not healthy. This intermittent fasting sounds like a fad that is not backed by any medical research. Be careful following diets like this. And regardless of your health you should always check with your doctor before starting any diet. Sorry if I sound soapbox-y. I’m a nutritionist.

  7. While you’re in your 16 hour no food fast, from when you wake up to noon, can you have liquids? Coffee, smoothie, etc? Do liquids count? I want to try this (my boyfriend swears by it) but he still has a protein shake in the morning.

  8. I have been doing so (16/8) for a month now and I love it. My energy level is higher and even though I do my work out in the morning I feel better than when I drank my high energy juice. I sleep better, I am in a better mood and while I miss having breakfast with my family, this new routine makes me feel better. I dont diet while I eat, I eat whatever but I find myself wanting healthy foods. I recoment staying hydrated cause the first week I neglected my watter intake and it was not good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *