Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting – Questions answered
Intermittent fasting is still pretty revolutionary. For a long time the recommendation was to eat every three hours. Then doctor Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2017 Nobel Prize for medicine, proving the benefits of intermittent fasting, things have changed.
No doubt there are proven benefits of intermittent fasting, there are people literally clamouring to tell their success stories, as seen in our other posts.
However, just as there are benefits to intermittent fasting, we should also take note of the dangers that intermittent fasting poses for some people. Intermittent fasting is definitely not for everyone. So who should not do intermittent fasting? Let’s dig a little deeper shall we?
It is now believed that fasting provides autophagy, a self-cleaning mechanism that exists in every cell in the body. When we eat every three hours we accumulate toxins associated with cell death and disease. So a range of people has been researching and adhering to the diet of intermittent fasting.
Is intermittent fasting bad for you?
The answer really depends on the individual. According to Dr. Sofhie Deram, coach in nutrition, every body has their own unique metabolism. This means our bodies respond differently to food deprivation.
So we cannot say, without further analysis, that intermittent fasting is the newest solution to all weight loss issues. There are some people who should avoid intermittent fasting in general.
Who should avoid intermittent fasting – Anyone With A Eating Disorder
Most diets are about reduction of calories, while still consuming foods. However, intermittent fasting is based on not eating for long periods of time, and essentially ignoring hunger signals.
The issue with someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, is they may become focused on the not eating part. When someone with an eating disorder is rewarded with weight loss when they haven’t eaten, this may further compound the unhealthy relationship with food.
While not considered on the extreme end of eating disorders, binge eaters may also have issues with intermittent fasting. Just because you haven’t eaten for 8 hours doesn’t mean it’s okay to dive headlong into the biggest sirloin steak meal you can find.
Robert Collier author of “Intermittent Fasting: The Science of Going Without”
says; The implication being that if you fast, you can devour as much junk as your gullet can swallow during the remaining eating hours.” This is just not the way IF is meant to work, and it’s important not to lose sight of what a healthy diet really means.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe After Bariatric Surgery?
While weight loss surgery can helps individuals lose excessive body weight, reducing heart disease, and conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, is intermittent fasting safe after bariatric surgery?
The short answer is no, and for good reason. Any positive outcome derived from bariatric surgery could well be compromised by deciding to intermittent fast. This is because post-surgery life, your body needs to remain nourished with minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
In the case of bariatric patients, long fasts — as well as poorly managed short-term fast — may mean dehydration is increased. A poor caloric intake could also lead to vomiting.
Julie Parrott, MS, RD, LDN, a Clinical Dietitian Specialist suggests that these types of inviduals avoid intermittent fasting since dietary intake is already limited.
Intermittent Fasting And Stress and anxiety
Every day we are faced with lifes little challenges; is the door locked, did we pay that oustanding light bill, will be late for work and so on. In the case of some people fasting can ramp those emotions up.
This could stem from anxiety about what they should be eating instead of their hunger. But it’s not all in your head: Studies reveal that hunger can very well elevate stress hormone cortisol. This may lead you to binge on those naughty treats later, or just make you plain fed up.
Caffeine, is a drink that many intermittent fasting followers enjoy. But in the case of drinking this in the “fasting hours,” it may raise anxiety and stress. For this reason I would recommend switching to green tea, oolong or a nice herbal brew.
While in some IF may increase stress, in others it has been shown to create a resilience to stress hormones. Some researchers say that just as cells become resistant to exercise-related stress, they do the same in the case of intermittent fasting. This only further shows that our bodies are different, and IF can be positive or negative depending on the circumstance.
Intermittent Fasting And Pregnancy – What Should You Do?
Dr. Christopher Grady, an OB-GYN in Jeffersonville, IN, advices that the issue with intermittent fasting while pregnant is that the right amount of calories may not be taken in, he states;
“The problem with dieting (with the exception of a gestational diabetes diet) is that the proper amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and even fats may not be taken in.”
In studies on mums that fasted, some show little or no effect on newborn babies. However, others suggest issues with the child later in life such as impacting on intelligence and academic ability.
Dr Christopher suggests that women err on the side of caution and stick to a balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy. Also, have a chat with your practitioner for guidelines on what foods are safe to eat and what to avoid, rather how getting hung up on restricting calories.
Intermittent Fasting And Hypoglycemia
As with most of what we have discussed here, caution needs to be taken when intermittent fasting with a preexisting medical condition.
According to research on Intermittent fasting conducted in New Zealand, IF can increase hypoglycemia among patients with type 2 diabetes. However, it should be noted that this test was carried out on those taking hypoglycemic medications.
Brain T. Corley, MBChB, at the Endocrine Diabetes and Obesity Research center at Wellington Hospital rote.
“A very low-calorie diet can facilitate weight loss and improve glucose homeostasis; however, in those taking hypoglycemic medication, such calorie restriction increases the risk of hypoglycemia and the best way to avoid this remains unclear. One form of very low-calorie diet is intermittent fasting.”
While IF worsened hypoglycemia in the patience tested, others such as Lori, have claimed that Intermittent fasting has cured their hypoglycemia. This only proves that everyone bodies will react differently and the best way forward is to speak with a health practioner to find out whats right for you.