Intermittent fasting has quickly become the latest diet trend, with exciting promises of rapid weight loss, building lean muscle, resetting metabolism and more.
Celebrities in the music and movie industry continue to support intermittent fasting. Sharing glowing testimonials about their weight loss transformation, their now acne-free skin, or captivating comments like how they can eat whatever they want while losing weight.
Intermittent fasting has benefits, yes, but it also comes with hidden dangers that are rarely discussed or even acknowledged by intermittent fasting proponents or first-timers alike.
As more and more people start practicing intermittent fasting, new studies and ideas continue to emerge; one of the most recent acknowledging that there may be a correlation between intermittent fasting and eating disorders.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is the practice of eating only for a set period of time; this period is generally referred to as the “fasting window”. Outside of this fasting window, you don’t eat or snack, and the only beverages you can consume are those that don’t contain any calories, such as water, sugar-free seltzer, and certain teas, such as green tea. .
Unlike conventional diets, the practice of intermittent fasting isn’t so much about the type of food you eat or a specific calorie deficit or goal, but rather about when you eat your meals.
In other words, you can eat whatever you want, as long as you stick to your fasting window, which averages 12 hours, although some people extend it to 4 or even 8 p.m.
With its unique and simple rule of eating while fasting, its no-food-restriction method, and its promise of rapid weight loss, intermittent fasting has become one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. fitness.
The problems encountered during intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting, while it has some proven benefits — like the ability to lose weight fairly quickly — isn’t a form of dieting that’s right for everyone, and can even be dangerous for some people.
Some advocates of intermittent fasting say it’s beneficial because it mimics prehistoric eating habits, where humans went without food for long periods of time. Critics often point out that in prehistoric times, people did not consciously fast or limit their food intake; it was their only option, and so their bodies learned to survive on it.
Nowadays, however, intermittent fasting represents a way of life that is not practical or even natural for most of us, which can lead some people to develop dangerous long-term complications.
Practicing restrictive eating habits can lead some people to strongly criticize themselves for breaking the “rules” of the diet. Constantly depriving your body of food for such long periods of time can increase stress and anxiety, disrupt sleep patterns, and even lead to disordered behavior. By creating more extreme restrictions on feeding or overfeeding.
Conventional diets are just as likely to lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Due to their over-focus on weight loss and labeling foods as good or bad. Certainly, intermittent fasting has been specifically recognized as a trigger for disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting and eating disorders.
One of the biggest potential risks of intermittent fasting is that it makes some people more susceptible to developing an unhealthy relationship with their bodies and with food. This can go as far as the appearance of an eating disorder.
While eating disorders don’t have a single cause, diets play a big role in causing them, especially very restrictive diets like intermittent fasting. Since you have a specific time slot to eat. Snacking or eating outside of this range can develop a self-critical mindset for eating “too soon” or “too late.” Thus, it can lead to destructive behaviors.
Here are some signs that your practice has turned into or is approaching an eating disorder:
- Using intermittent fasting as an excuse to skip meals.
- Feeling guilty or depressed if you eat outside of your fasting period.
- You severely restrict your calories in addition to intermittent fasting to lose weight even faster.
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating even outside the fasting period.
- Have a deep fear of gaining weight.