Things to bear in mind about IF
You can have too much of a good thing
If you give fasting a go and love how it makes you feel, you might think upping your number of fast days will only speed your weight loss journey.
This is not quite right. Some people do find success with alternate day fasts, in effect eating one day ‘on’, one day ‘off’, but overdoing your fast can actually damage your metabolism and stall progress.
You don’t want to freak out your body by depriving it of calories for too long. It might start adapting to hold onto extra fat instead, and then you’re just hungry and tired for no reason.
Women, take extra care
No, I’m not being sexist. There is evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting may not be as great for women as it is for men. Some women report their periods stopping while on IF, and it’s not recommended if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.
As a woman, I feel pretty confident with the less hardcore methods of IF, like 16/8 and 5:2. I’m not as keen to include full day fasts in my weekly schedule (mainly because I don’t have the willpower and I get super hangry). Just be careful if you do and consult with a doctor if you have any concerns.
All in all, experts reckon it’s very unlikely for fasting to go wrong for a healthy, well-nourished adult. After all, it’s nothing more than not eating for a few extra hours. Unless you’re severely undernourished or underweight, you’re not going to die.
Don’t forget your mental health
As I always say, drastic changes in eating patterns or caloric intake is not for every body and it’s not for every mind. If you have suffered from disordered eating in the past, or think you might be susceptible to obsessing over food and calories, it’s probably best not to risk it.
Just proceed with caution and self-awareness. Consult closely with a doctor, nutritionist or counsellor before starting, and keep a very close eye on your mental wellbeing at every stage of the process.
It is not worth straining your relationship with food and yourself to lose a few extra pounds. Beach season is not that big of a deal. Look after yourself.
That’s it for today!
We’ve covered the basics of intermittent fasting, and explored some of the ways people are incorporating fasts into their routines. Again, there is no pressure to try this technique, it’s just one of many ways you can reach your personal goals.
As always, eXtreme nutritionist Emily is here to answer any questions you might have about IF while in Cabarete. Booking some one-on-one time with Emily is a great way to safely kickstart some good habits on your active holiday!
Join us next time as we get deep into the science of what goes on in your body when you’re fasting.