Intermittent fasting is the practice of eating in just a small window each day. For example, a person may choose to only eat between 10 am and 6 pm. From 6 pm onwards, they won’t eat anything again until 10 am the next morning. This 16-hour fasting window provides the body enough time to burn off excess fat and repair cellular damage. Here are some of the pros and cons of intermittent fasting that anyone looking to try this diet plan should be aware of:
Pro 1: Weight loss
The biggest reason people start intermittent fasting is rapid weight loss. Since you aren’t eating for many hours at a time, your body will start burning fat to supply itself with energy. Many people report losing up to 2 pounds each day when they first implement intermittent fasting into their life. This is one of the fastest ways to lose weight and doesn’t require exercise to achieve noticeable results.
Pro 2: A stronger immune system
Once the body has digested all of the food you consume, it begins to automatically deal with issues it is facing. One of the first things your body will amend is any impending disease. The body can spend time repairing itself and removing foreign bacteria that is the basis for most diseases. The body takes care of most illnesses before they even manifest a single symptom.
Pro 3: Improved energy levels and alertness
As you begin to get used to going for long periods without eating, you notice just how more energized you feel throughout the day. Cognitive functions accelerate and intermittent fasters report feeling way more alert during the day. The body is burning plenty of fat and other junk cells throughout the day. This causes heightened energy levels and the ability to be more present in your environment.
Con 1: The proclivity to binge eat
One of the unintentional side effects of intermittent fasting is the desire to binge eat during your mealtime. If you haven’t eaten all day, it is extremely tempting to gorge yourself with a giant meal. Eating too much at once causes bloating and sluggishness. Plus, it is easy to cancel out any weight lost by consuming way too many calories.
Con 2: Social implications
Most people eat three meals a day and expect everyone else to do the same. When someone begins to intermittently fast, they are usually only eating once or twice a day. This can cause friction between friends and family members who want you to eat alongside them. Finding a fasting window that allows you to eat with your loved ones can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. It becomes even trickier when you are in public and everyone is eating around you.
Con 3: Increased cortisol and LDL cholesterol
Over a long period of intermittent fasting, the body’s cortisol and LDL cholesterol levels tend to increase. This is caused by the amount of stress placed on the body when it is forced to consume fat cells in order to burn energy. If your cortisol or LDL levels are already pretty high, you may want to consider a different diet plan.