The Dark Side of Intermittent Fasting

gesina kunkel M3iG5pih2z4 unsplash

Intermittent can be a life-changing practice. But like with anything it isn’t a cure-all.

Fasting has many benefits like:

  • Rapid weight/body fat loss
  • Weight maintenance
  • Increased energy and focus ( after an adjustment period)
  • Decreased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

That being said fasting does have potential downfalls.

Binge eating can be a problem

When you first start fasting binge eating is a common occurrence. Your body is still adjusting to not having food for long periods of time.

After a couple of weeks, you’ll adjust to your new way of eating.

But if you suffer from any disordered eating like binge eating disorder (BED), it’s best to heal that first before starting a fasting protocol.

Years ago when I started fasting I suffered from binge eating. The thing is that I wasn’t even aware of this until I started fasting.

I started to notice that each day when I broke my fast I would go crazy. I’d eat everything in sight.

In retrospect, I would have healed my BED first before starting to fast.

Even if you don’t suffer from disordered eating the temptation to binge may rise. If you catch yourself overeating a few times its not the end of the world.

Know that fasting is a learning process. In time you’ll adjust completely.

Undereating can also affect you

Back a few winters ago after I healed myself from BED. I got into a good groove of fasting.

It was too good.

I was pretty active and my caloric deficit was extreme.

This caught up with me. I started to feel low in energy and super cold all the time.

It took me a month of increasing my calories with warm wholesome foods to stat feeling better.

Fasting allows you to not depend on food as much. Most of us eat too many calories than is actually required.

When you develop this awareness and eat less you can get a bit extreme. But over time you’ll develop a healthy balance.

You can gain weight while fasting

It doesn’t matter if you eat 1 or 3 times a day if your diet is filled with sugary processed foods you’ll get fat.

You may have read claims of people eating unhealthy foods and losing weight while fasting.

This may work in the short term but it will catch up with you long term.

Focus on eating foods like:

  • Salmon, Wild Shrimp, Monkfish, Mussels, and Wild Catfish
  • Bison, Grass-Fed Beef, Duck, and Turkey
  • Wild Rice, Quinoa, Black Bean Pasta, and Sweet Potato
  • Kale, Arugula, Spinach, and Watercress
  • Garlic, Mushrooms, and Onion
  • Honey, Maple Syrup, and Organic Dark Chocolate

A whole foods diet will allow you to lose weight and keep it off. Fasting doesn’t cancel out an unhealthy diet.

When you eat a whole foods diet you’ll experience fewer cravings and your palate will begin to disdain sugary/salty processed foods.

You may want to give up fasting after failing

Failure while fasting is part of the process.

In the beginning, this is especially true. You may break your fast earlier than you intend.

And that’s ok.

It’s not the end of the world.

Time is an illusion anyway.

The goal is to practice sporadic eating. This helps our bodies function at the highest capacity.

Breaking your fast early a few times won’t derail you from your goals. What you do most of the time matters more.

If you’re breaking the fast too often it may be best to take a few days off and refuel with healthy foods.

This will serve you in the long run.

Embrace the marathon mentality and you’ll fast successfully for years to come!

Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You with Hunger When You Start Fasting

Download the Stop Hunger While Fasting Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll see a positive change in a short period of time.

Video Version