You are unique and so is your body! Before starting any new health routine, always be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for your needs.
Intermittent fasting has become one of the hottest trends in the health & wellness world over the last several years, but does it really deliver on all of its promises?
What Exactly is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating approach that incorporates regular periods of fasting. Common approaches include the 16:8 or 5:2 methods. During the fasting period, you are able to drink certain beverages (water, plain tea, black coffee) because they will not break the fast.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
A quick web search will give a long list of possible benefits from intermittent fasting, ranging from weight loss to improved energy all the way to cancer protection. While there is some debate about which claims are true, intermittent fasting has been shown to:
- Help with weight loss
- Reduce inflammation
- Shift hormones (insulin, HGH, cell repair, gene expression) to favor fat burn
- Reduce insulin resistance
- Protect the brain from cognitive decline
These amazing benefits are just a few from a long and growing list. However, is intermittent fasting for everyone?
Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?
If you are interested in trying this approach to help you meet your health and fitness goals, you should consider talking with your doctor.
You should also consider whether or not intermittent fasting is sustainable for you. Do you plan to do this forever? Will intermittent fasting make your life easier or more complicated? Many people try fasting to lose weight quickly, only to regain the weight when they stop. Consider how intermittent fasting might fit into your daily life to determine if this approach is sustainable for you.
Have you had any history of disordered eating? For many people, restricted eating times naturally leads them to eat fewer meals or calories. While some say that this makes nutrition easier, people with a history of disordered eating may find fasting to be a trigger for unhealthy behaviors. Fasting of any kind can lead people to undereat as well as binge eat.
While under eating may seem like a way to drop weight fast, it can backfire by putting your body into starvation mode, slowing down your metabolism and causing your body to hold onto weight. This leaves you hungry and struggling to lose the pounds – no thanks! Restricting calories can also lead people to overeat when it is meal time, completely defeating the purpose of the fast. Additionally, many people fall into the trap of fasting only to eat overly processed food that has little-to-no nutritional value. This not only causes us to miss on our health goals, it also robs our bodies of the nutrients it needs to benefit from the fast.
Are you having any hormonal balance issues? While fasting can be great for different systems in our body, acting as a kind of “cleaning day,” it can also impact our hormone function and balance.
The Bottom Line
No matter what your goals are, talk with your doctor first before giving intermittent fasting a try. You may find that this diet suits your lifestyle and needs, or you may discover an even more effective approach.
Our bodies are incredibly sophisticated and can propel us to achieve more than we imagined possible. As we work to care for ourselves, it is important to remember that food is amoral. It is neither good nor bad. Food is fuel that helps us live our best lives. So whether you are fasting or fueling, the quality of what you put into your body is top priority. It will give you the energy and strength you need to perform at your best during your workouts, leading to the results you want.
Let Us Help You Embrace the Journey
At Baer-Fit, our certified trainers work closely with you to understand your unique fitness goals and design customized workout and meal plans to get you there. Not only do we provide you with the roadmap to get you where you want to go, but we are with you each step of the way, holding you accountable and celebrating all the milestones.
To learn more, visit our Contact page and send us a message! We can’t wait to learn more about you.