WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING – Pros & Cons
There’s always a trend when it comes to fat loss, and recently we’ve been getting a lot of questions about intermittent fasting.
So what exactly is intermittent fasting? How healthy is it? What are the Pros & Cons? Is it safe to give it a try? We’ll be answering all of your questions in today’s blog post.
Defining intermittent fasting:
Simply put, intermitting fasting is a process of going for a long period of time without consuming any calories. However, you are allowed to drink water, black coffee or tea with no added sugar.
The main goal of intermittent fasting is to accelerate fat loss whilst maintaining muscle mass
- Types of intermittent fasting:
- 1. Whole day fasting, alternatively known as the 5:2 diet. On this diet, you fast 2 non-consecutive days a week and restrict yourself to consuming 500 calories on those 2 days. You are then encouraged to get back to your regular healthy diet for the remaining days
- 2. Alternate day fasting: In this diet, you consume 500 calories for the first 24 hours and then can get back to your usual diet for the next 24 hours. Eat, sleep, fast, sleep, eat, sleep, fast, sleep… and the cycle is repeated every 2 days.
- 3. Time-restricted feeding: This is where you fast every day for 16 - 20 hours and only allow yourself to eat within a 4 to 8-hour window, also known as “The feeding window”, for ex: 11 am to 7 pm or 1 pm to 9 pm.
Q1. What food/drinks are allowed during the fasting hours?
A1. No food is allowed in intermittent fasting except water, black coffee, green tea as they do not have any calories. Needless to mention that means no milk or sugar with that coffee!
Q2. Does that mean one can eat whatever they want during the feeding window?
A2. No, certainly no binge eating as this will defeat the whole purpose. You must consume the same type of diet food you eat during a typical day, the only difference is distributing the meal timings.
Q3. If I eat less, will I lose weight faster with intermittent fasting?
A3. It is not recommended to do a major calorie deficit as this will affect your energy and workout performance and could lead to muscle mass loss.
Q4.What are the pros of intermittent fasting?
- - Research has shown that intermittent fasting accelerates fat loss even when the total caloric intake is the same.
- - Easy, convenient and has no side effects.
- - A great option if you don’t prefer to have breakfast in the morning (But you should accommodate your morning calories in the afternoon/ or evening).
- - You are not required to count calories.
Q5.What are the cons of intermittent fasting?
- - It might not improve body composition if you are cutting down on calories.
- - Not suitable for those who have eating disorders/ or disordered eating patterns.
- - There is a possibility of overeating during the feeding window as the person might feel hungry when it’s time to eat, which defeats the whole purpose
- Contraindications of intermittent fasting:
- - Pregnant women as this might affect blood sugar levels, baby development & general health.
- - People suffering from heart problems or high blood pressure as this might lead to electrolytes imbalances or any other medical condition.
- - Children & adolescents as this might affect nutrients absorption growth
When followed correctly, intermittent fasting can actually help in reaching fitness goals, considering that it also does not have any side effects. However, it is essential to seek medical advice from the physician before starting any major change in eating patterns as well as the opinion of a licensed dietitian.
Yours in health,