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What is Intermittent Fasting and is it Healthy? - Part 2

What is Intermittent Fasting and is it Healthy? - Part 2

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What is Intermittent Fasting and is it Healthy? - Part 2

Who should not practice intermittent fasting?

Individuals who are chronically ill with uncontrolled health issues like chronic diabetes, chronic stress with adrenal and cortisol dysregulation, insulin users, severe peptic ulcer diseases, pregnancy and breast feeding mothers.

Does Intermittent Fasting Slow Down the Metabolic Rate?

We have always been advised to not skip meals and to be non-erratic with meal timings. This is because our body is designed to program itself and to be optimally functional if it follows a routine. Digestive enzymes are usually very functional if food is consumed at timely intervals.

Therefore, if you chose to do intermittent fasting, you must choose the type that is most suitable to your body type and you need to stick to the routine. This way your body will get used to the schedule and adjust itself.

In intermittent fasting, extremely low- or no-calorie intake is only for short periods. If fasting continues indefinitely without a return to normal calorie intake, then the body's metabolism will slow down. But, short periods like the 5:2 or 16:8 approach, appear to maintain and possibly temporarily increase calorie burning. The constant flux of fasting and normal intake keeps the body on its toes, rather than allowing it to slow.

The other misguided thinking is to equate normal intake to binging or excessive intake. "Normal intake" refers to taking in the body's estimated calorie needs with a healthy variety of foods. It doesn't mean taking in excessive calories or binging on favourite foods.

Nutritional Status

Intermittent fasting does not mean inadequate nutrition. Food that is consumed during the non- fasting periods should have well nutritionally. One of the best things about intermittent fasting is that you do not have to starve yourself.

Make healthier food choices and be careful to minimize carbohydrates and replace them with healthy fats, like coconut oil, olive oil, olives, butter, eggs, avocados and nuts.It typically takes several weeks to shift to fat-burning mode, but once you do, your body will actually burn stored fat and not have to rely on new carbohydrates for fuel.

Final Verdict

Intermittent fasting appears to be a relatively safe—and possibly more effective—way to lose weight, as well as improve health. It's not for everyone though, so don't beat yourself up if this does not work for you. Long-term weight loss results from healthy intake that is sustained, so choose an eating plan that works for you to maintain that healthy state daily. Exercise is also a very important part of the routine. The plan that you chose should give you the confidence to go off it when you want to indulge, like during holidays and celebrations, but also enables you to return to the routine after that.

It is always best to work together with a health practitioner if you wish to practice intermittent fasting to correct metabolic issues so that the best plan can be designed for you.

Contributed by:

Dr Krishnaveni Kanason

Medical Consultant in SOL Integrative Wellness Centre