Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?

Recently, there has been an endorsement of increased consumption of healthy fats as well as re-emergence of ketogenic diet for weight loss and management of chronic degenerative diseases. Among these, intermittent fasting (ITF) is the easiest and probably the oldest method used by novices and professionals, and is often included as part of a comprehensive ketogenic diet regimen.

What is Intermittent Fasting? In simple terms, ITF is occasional starvation done by a person in a “strategic way.” The goal is to cycle their periods of regular eating and fasting. During the fasting period you severely restrict calorie intake or don’t consume any at all. There are different types of Intermittent Fasting one being the 5:2 diet which is when a person restricts calories for two non-consecutive days a week and eats without restraints on the other five days. Some celebrities, including Jimmy Kimmel, credit their weight loss to this method. Another approach, commonly used in our Fit in Your GENES Weight Loss Program, is an overnight fast of 12 to 14 hours. During such an extensive fasting time, the body depletes glycogen (stored form of sugar) and breaks down fat for energy. There are pros and cons of ITF.

Pros

  • Improves longevity
  • Lowers risk of type-2 diabetes
  • Reduces levels of chronic inflammation
  • Repairs cellular damage from oxidative stress
  • Weight Loss
  • Flexibility
  • Slows down neurological degenerative disorders

Cons

  • Energy dips
  • Hormone imbalances
  • May trigger an eating disorder
  • May change lifestyle factors (some life situations like pregnancy need adequate eating)
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Lack of research on fasting
  • Could lead to injuries
  • May experience nausea, fatigue

It is evident that while ketogenic diet and ITF have many benefits, there are also several important downsides. Offsetting acidity induced by this approach through using alkaline water and consuming at least 10 servings of vegetables, especially green leafy kind, per day will offset most of the side effects. At Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island, we can help you with our Fit in Your Genes Weight Loss Program to use ITF to your advantage. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or call us at 516-746-1103.

 

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