Intermittent fasting definitely has a lot of benefits and is definitely one of the best diets you can follow, but there is a caveat- fasting is not meant for everyone. Yes, not everyone can and should fast, as it may prove disastrous. There are certain conditions in which fasting is not recommended. Certain people should absolutely avoid fasting. These include:
Underweight or malnourished people
Underweight undernourished people or those on the verge of malnutrition should not fast. If you are concerned about malnutrition or believe that you are underweight, then you need to steer clear from fasting.
As said above, when your body fat levels are under 4% your body starts using muscles and proteins as a source of energy. Your body starts burning functional tissues to survive, and it starts to ‘waste’ itself. This is an extremely dangerous condition that may lead to lifelong problems or even death. To check whether fasting is suitable for you or not, just check your BMI. While not a foolproof science, BMI or Body Mass Index is a good way of checking whether you are overweight/underweight. BMI is calculated
by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meter squared. If your BMI is under 18.5, then you are underweight, and you should avoid fasting. People whose BMI is around 20 should ideally avoid fasting as well unless recommended by a certified health professional.
People who suffer from anorexia should definitely avoid fasting. Anorexic people are often already malnourished, and fasting will just put additional stress on their bodies.
Food is like medicine for anorexics and withholding it may lead to disastrous results. It should be noted that fasting does not lead to anorexia. Anorexia is a psychiatric disorder, and under eating has no hand in its development. Fasting is not addictive. Saying that fasting causes anorexia is like saying that washing your hands causes OCD. Undereating is a symptom of anorexia and not a cause. Fasting has a history of thousands of years while anorexia is a new phenomenon. As it is
impossible to find any depiction of anorexia in ancient times, it is safe to assume that fasting does not cause it.
Children need a lot of nutrition for the overall proper development of their mind and body. This nutrition is achieved from food. Therefore, restricting food can have long-term negative effects on children. Adequate nutrition is absolutely necessary for normal growth in children. If children do not receive ample nutrition, the development of their vital organs including the brain, etc. may not happen properly. Underfeeding in the teenage years can also cause a variety of problems. Teenage years are the years when puberty takes place, and puberty like any other developmental and growth spurt requires a lot of energy and nutrients. While missing a few meals will not hinder the development, children are advised against fasting for longer durations. Instead of fasting, children should try to learn the importance of nutrition and healthy eating. If your children love eating junk food, try to help them to switch over to healthier alternatives.
This should come as a no-brainer. A woman’s body needs a lot of nutrients to ensure proper development of the fetus. Without adequate nutrients, the fetus may develop abnormalities that can prove to be life-threatening for the mother and the baby. Pregnant women require specially enriched diets and often a dietary supplement to ensure their and their baby’s health. Therefore, cutting down on food can prove to be disastrous.
People who are on medication
People who take regular medications should avoid fasting altogether or should contact a physician before starting a fast. Certain medications cannot and should not be taken on an empty stomach as they may lead to various side effects. Common medicines that may cause side effects while fasting includes aspirin, iron supplements, magnesium supplements, metformin, etc.
Yes, while fasting can be quite beneficial to people who have diabetes; you should not start fasting without contacting a doctor first. Diabetes, whether type 1 or 2, is a high-risk disorder that should not be taken for granted. Never change your diet without contacting a health professional first. Your medicines may cause problems with your blood sugar levels if you start a diet suddenly. Your blood sugar level may go down drastically. This condition is known as hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, shaking, nervousness, irritability, hunger, nausea, feeling faint, etc. In severe cases, hypoglycemia may lead to delirium, confusion, seizures, etc. In extreme cases, it may cause death. If you ever feel these symptoms, ingest some sugary products as soon as possible.
GERD of gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common disease that leads to stomachache, heartburn, acid reflux, etc. It often causes pain in the chest and nausea. Fasting can make this problem severe. It is recommended to contact a physician before starting a fast.
Women can fast; however, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before fasting. You will find more information regarding this later in the book. If you have an already identified medical condition or suspect any changes to your health, you should consult your doctor before starting intermittent fast. This is especially true if you:
- Have diabetes
- Have problems with blood sugar regulation
- Low blood pressure
- Are currently on medications
- History of eating disorders
- Are a woman trying to conceive
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have a history of amenorrhea
Well, if you have lasted so long despite all the heavy-duty learning about insulin, glycogen, and glucagon, then I can safely assume that you have indeed committed to transforming yourself. Congratulations on taking that first big step. Armed with all this knowledge, you now enter into the next phase, which is the implementation phase. All this knowledge that you have acquired will be of no use if you do not know the benefits of the knowledge.
Knowledge is available relatively easily these days and pretty much every person has some amount of it. Sadly, knowing does not produce results on its own. Read on to know what to do with all the newly acquired knowledge and transform yourself.