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Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right for You?

By @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil

Over the past few years intermittent fasting has become the golden child of the wellness community all due to the miraculous effects it can have on your health.  

Intermittent fasting is avoiding eating or drinking anything that could cause an insulin spike for certain periods of time (normally 12+ hours) which causes the body to use energy stored in the fat cells for fuel. Studies show that fasting can lower blood sugar levels, lower inflammation and improve overall health. Sounds great right...

Before jumping in and fasting daily, here are a few factors to consider to determine if fasting is right for you and your health goals.

Sustainable Weight Loss: While some people find intermittent fasting can help them lose weight, others find that in the long term it can lead to binge eating and even weight gain. If you find this is the case for you, that may be a good sign that a more balanced approach to eating is better for you and your body type.

Period Pain, PMS Or Trying To Conceive: Fasting causes stress on the body by lowering blood sugar and causing periods of hunger which can long term, negatively impact women’s hormonal health.

If things are already stressful in your life (e.g you’re not sleeping well, over exercising, etc.) then intermittent fasting may not be for you. It may be something to play around with once you feel your lifestyle is more well balanced.

Some studies have also shown fasting to have a negative affect on reproductive health as women’s hormones are very susceptible to perceived stress.

Medical Conditions: There are certain people who should avoid intermittent fasting due to health conditions or at the very least, consult with their doctor first. This includes people with diabetes, those on blood pressure medication, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers.

This also includes individuals with blood sugar issues, a history of fainting or those who are underweight.

It Just Doesn't Feel Right: For many people it just doesn't feel right, and that’s okay too! 

There are many people who intermittent fasting comes to naturally and who have maybe even been doing it without realising for years. If that is you then it may be worth experimenting with longer fasts and seeing how your body responds. 

Before feeling pressured to join the fasting crew it's worth considering your body’s own unique needs. On the flipside of fasting there is plenty of evidence to show regular eating and grazing on healthy foods can benefit your health in the long run.

References: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23382817/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31614992/

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2771095?guestAccessKey=444bbcb2-7e13-4dc6-998f-5de5e27aa19e&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=092820

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