Intermittent fasting benefits and side effects
Intermittent fasting diet became very popular during the past few years. It was introduced into science to conclude whether the occasional restrictive calorie restriction is more effective than the continuous restriction. Basically, scientists wanted to find out if eating 500 calories a day for 2 – 3 days would be better than eating 1200 kcal a day. We guess you are wondering something like that – whether it will have beneficial effects on your workout routine, or if you are trying to lose weight. So let’s see all the good sides and possible side effects of this way of nutrition.
What exactly is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves limiting your calorie intake at certain times. There are different types of intermittent fasting diet:
- The 5: 2 – This diet limits calorie intake to two days per week to 500 kcal per day for women and 600 kcal per day for men. For the remaining 5 days, women should eat up to 2000 kcal and men should eat 2400 kcal.
- Diet 6: 1 – this implies regular food intake for six days a week and 24-hour fasting once a week.
- Eat-Stop-Eat Diet – A 6: 1 diet variation that can include two 24-hour fasts per week.
- Diet 16: 8 – implies eating 2 meals for 8 hours a day, and the remaining 16 hours fasting.
And now that we know what it is, let see all the benefits and downsides of intermittent fasting. Also, you may be wondering also about any additional exercising during Ramadan fasting, so keep on reading!
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Weight loss during intermittent fasting
To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit. It would be wise to discuss your goal with some of our best personal trainers in Dubai. Studies have shown that with intermittent fasting, you can lose weight as efficient as with continuous restriction.
It is an easily applicable method, it does not require any special preparation or nutrition programs. It’s easy to fit it into your daily routine in Dubai because you don’t have to keep track of what you’re eating. In some programs, it’s advisable to eat food high in fat and low in carbs.
More food in a shorter time frame
Some people are more comfortable eating a lot for one meal and staying satisfied later. Interval fasting can have a beneficial effect on nighttime overeating, overeating after work, etc. It is because you have enough calorie intake unlike with low-calorie diets.
All of this sounds nice, but let’s also see the possible side effects.
Side effects of intermittent fasting
We all know that eating is not only a food intake but also a social activity. Imagine being used to going out with a coworker for lunch and now you can’t. The question is, then, would you even go when you are not already allowed to eat, thus denying you companionship. Or even if you go for lunch, how comfortable will you be?
Reduced energy and productivity
No one is in a good mood at all times, and during such time stages, it is not uncommon for you to be more hungry, nervous… Therefore less productive, especially when there is a habit of snacking between meals and when stressed. With intermittent fasting, this is even more enhanced, so you may be unwilling, tired, lacking concentration… For those who work hard, it can be very bad as all of the above will reduce your ability to do something successfully.
The danger of obsessive overeating
Since this type of fasting includes not eating for several hours (or days), it may happen that you eat a lot more calories than you would normally. It’s that classic fear not to be hungry since you know you won’t be able to eat anything for hours. So even intermittent fasting does not make a point if you are not in a calorie deficit and you can also easily gain weight if you overdo it.
It can be dangerous for some people
Fasting is definitely not for everyone. For example. it can be very dangerous for diabetics (a massive drop in blood sugar is very dangerous). Also, people who take medicines because of high blood pressure may be more prone to electrolyte abnormalities.
If you feel bad when you are not eating for a long time and are more comfortable eating more often, or less or have a problem with some eating disorders, this is definitely not for you. For those who obsessively overeat, it can only create more chaos, both physically and mentally.
A sudden decrease in caloric intake can lead to your body responds with a physiological adjustment resulting in weight gain after fasting, which is certainly not your goal. This claim has not been confirmed as there have been no long-term studies testing the viability of this diet.
However, it is still much better for most people to eat several meals a day normally as this stabilizes insulin and blood glucose levels, which prevents overeating at the end of the day.
This type of diet is considered an alternative to classic calorie restriction, but the fact is that there is not enough research to confirm its effectiveness but also the negative long-term consequences. Either way, before you embark on this journey, be sure to consult with your doctor and nutritionist.
In general, a fasting of any kind can be detrimental to health because it increases insulin resistance, reduces significant liver detoxification functions, badly affects muscles as well as physical strength globally. It also has a bad effect on immunity.
When we look at all of the above – we come to the conclusion that there is no universal solution for weight maintenance and weight loss. In this way, intermittent fasting can be considered, but at the same time, all potential risks and insufficient evidence of the impact of fasting, in the long run, should be considered.
Overall, there are many conflicting conclusions regarding intermittent fasting, but one common message is that more evidence is needed to examine the effects of this method, especially the long-term effects.