Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You?
Intermittent fasting is a new approach to evolutionary eating that has taken the wellness space by storm.
Healthline defines intermittent fasting as “an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating [that] doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.”
And according to the Center for Discovery, “the thought behind intermittent fasting is that after the body is depleted of carbohydrates, it starts to burn fat. This starts to occur around 12 to 24 hours after [fasting] begins. Therefore, [fasting] for 12 to 24 hours will potentially lead to weight loss which can improve health.”
This method works wonders for some, but may not be the best fit for others. Here are my tips for a bio-individual approach to IF:
Avoid: Dysglycemia, Pregnancy and Kidney Stones:
If you have diabetes or are dysglycemic, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make. Over time, an inability to regulate blood sugar can lead to serious health conditions, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Because IF may dislodge insulin due to dips in blood sugar while fasting and spikes while eating, this method could potentially worsen dysglycemia or pose dangers for diabetics.
The disruption of insulin could also pose trouble for pregnant women. After the second trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s body generally requires more insulin, and the development of insulin resistance is not uncommon - therefore, disrupting your insulin levels with fasting during pregnancy - not a great idea!
Similarly, those who struggle with kidney issues may also struggle with insulin resistance, which has been shown to increase levels of calcium in the urine, encouraging the development of kidney stones. Because fasting may shift the release of insulin, IF may not be the best choice.
Pause In Case Of: Breastfeeding, Chronic Candida, Acidity
As for the “maybes”, I’d like to pinpoint how disruptions to insulin can affect breastfeeding women and the gut.
Much like pregnancy, breastfeeding makes new requirements of a woman’s body. Research indicates that because breast milk is so high in lactose, a form of sugar, a woman’s blood sugar may dip by up to 25% while breastfeeding a child. Fasting while increasing your output of sugar-burning energy could very well encourage hypoglycemia, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
As for chronic candida and acidity in the gut, these conditions are often precipitated by the dysregulation of blood sugar. Spikes of sugar can feed bad bacteria in the gut and may worsen acid reflux - when the body has no food to soak up stomach acid, acid buildup can result. If your blood sugar is low for a long period of time (i.e. while fasting), a sudden spike may disrupt the bacterial balance and pH of the gut.
As always, a dietary regimen should always be bio-individual and suited for your unique needs and predispositions.
To find out more about IF, be sure to pre-order my dear friend Cynthia Thurlow’s book, IF45: Intermittent Fasting Transformation - Cynthia is an IF expert and her book is all about how menopausal and post-menopausal women can approach IF safely & sustainably!
To The Tru Of You,