What are the pros and what are the cons of Intermittent Fasting? Before you get started, it's crucial to know what you're getting yourself into with Intermittent Fasting. Today, I'm breaking down the pros and cons of Intermittent Fasting so that you can start achieving your weight loss and wellness goals!
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting? [Pros]
Intermittent Fasting has been found to help the body better turn on the fat burning process called lipolysis.(1) This is due to the fact that Intermittent Fasting naturally allows the fat storing hormone, insulin, to dip down during the fasting period. Contrary to popular believe, Intermittent Fasting has also typically been found to reduce hunger levels.(1)
Studies are also finding that Intermittent Fasting shows promise for Diabetes control.(1) In a review of multiple studies with a 16 hour daily fast, participants who used Intermittent Fasting had lower insulin levels, reduced hbA1C (a marker of blood glucose control), significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity.(1)
What Are The Downsides Of Intermittent Fasting? [Cons]
In a 2020 review of studies performed on Intermittent Fasting, it was observed that "no serious adverse events were reported in the 27 IF trials".(1) Although some studies are finding that Intermittent Fasting does not cause disordered eating (2), if currently recovering from an eating disorder, Intermittent Fasting is likely not a good choice. It's important to check in with your doctor to make sure Intermittent Fasting is a good fit for your health history.
The main problem I have found with Intermittent Fasting is when it is done wrong. Some of the most common Intermittent Fasting mistakes that I've seen that can lead to weight gain include:
Not eating ENOUGH during the eating window.
Eating too much sugar/starches during the eating window.
Not eating enough protein during the eating window.
Fasting for too long.
Note, that the vast majority of these mistakes actually have nothing to do with the fasting portion of Intermittent Fasting. It all comes down to what you're eating during the eating window that can make or break your results.
The one notable difference is the 4th mistake: fasting for too long. The reason why this can be a problem is because you aren't allowing for enough time to get the nutrients your body needs with your current shorter eating window.
In fact, you can check out the 10 most common Intermittent Fasting mistakes that I see as a Nutritionist all the time with the video below.