Intermittent Fasting I – Should I try it?

Intermittent Fasting I – Should I try it?

In a previous article we looked at The Ketogenic Diet: putting the body into ketosis where muscles run off converted fatty acids and the brain uses ketones for energy. We saw how this can be beneficial and doable in the short-term, but may not be optimal over a longer period of time.

We can also see the ketogenic diet as repurposing the effects of fasting for our desire to be able to eat all the time. The main function of ketosis is to help us use stored fat energy in periods of food scarcity. Intermittent Fasting is choosing to go through periods of scarcity by not eating even though food is available.

Let's start with how you know you shouldn't give it a go.

Fasting is not recommended for pregnant women. During pregnancy, the main goal should be giving the body consistent, adequate nutrition. Periods without eating set off alarm bells in our bodies that are not conducive during this time.

If you have health issues such as gastric problems, autoimmune conditions, or abnormal thyroid function, We’d recommend discussing it with your doctor first. Fasting may be beneficial, but you need to know how to notice the results and identify if they’re beneficial.

Contrary to popular online marketing, it is also not a good system for weight loss; allow us to explain why.

For someone who is overweight, has struggled with exercising and tries trendy crash diets from magazines, this will be another one. Such a person’s body is unlikely to be content operating in the fat-burning state required for tapping into fat stores when fasted.

If someone is very overweight they also often have a poor relationship with food and no concept of how many calories or how much sugar is in what they eat. So, when they come out of each fast they’re likely to binge, and actually make fasting detrimental.

The issue though, is they tend to view fasting as “starving themselves” as opposed to “intentional restricted eating”. It’s a question of mindset.

In this situation, a well-executed ketogenic diet is a much healthier first step. One is able to eat whole, nutrient dense foods, whilst learning to be conscious of sugar content of their food. They don't need to count calories or time eating windows (which can lead to obsessive behaviour and promote viewing food in a negative light).

The Ketogenic diet also allows one to keep regular meal sizes and be mindful of not overeating but consuming what they need to fuel their body. The effects of sugar removal on hormone function and toxicity levels will often result in immediate weight loss. Adding to this a slow, controlled calorie reduction will increase this effect and usually produce results. We’d always recommend working with a nutritionist for guidance through the process.

So how do you know if fasting is worth trying for you?

If someone appreciates food as something our bodies need to operate, and not a means of setting off receptors and providing a feel-good kick.

If someone is capable of removing carbohydrates from their diet as and when they wish, and doesn’t consume simple sugars often.

If the motivation behind fasting is to enhance their health.

If fasting is an experiment with eating and their relationship with habits, self-restraint and meal regularity.

Then it can be extremely beneficial. If that sounds like you, then stay tuned for our upcoming articles of Joompa where we take you through everything you need to know to give it a go!