With fasting being the hottest diet trend so far of 2018, one would almost think it is a miracle diet.
And yes, there is some great evidence backing the various forms of fasting diets. Weight loss is a commonly reported benefit. Improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and inflammatory markers, along with reports of improved immune function and cellular regeneration are all other positive findings of the various forms of fasting diets.
But, it is important to remember that we cannot take a one size fits all approach when it comes to nutrition.
While there are some great benefits to fasting, it isn’t right for everyone. Here are 6 common scenarios where this style of eating may NOT be best for you:
#1 You have suffered from disordered eating/eating disorder
Restricting times of eating, or overall calorie intake is not recommended for those with a history of eating disorder, or disordered eating patterns. This is due to the increased risk of falling back into old habits or feeding into the disorders habits. Instead, structured eating where regular, balanced meals are consumed is encouraged.
#2 It doesn’t fit your lifestyle
Have a look at your lifestyle and see if the fasting style of diet fits your lifestyle. While for some people it fits incredibly well, for others it doesn’t fit their routine. Maybe your work hours have specified times when you can eat, or to keep to a more family friendly routine it is a challenge. Your eating habits should fit easily around the other things going on in your life, rather than planning your entire routine around times when you are ‘allowed’ to eat.
#3 If you feel it increases poor health habits
One of my clients said to me recently she had tried the 16:8 diet, but found that she ended up just over eating once she was finally ‘allowed’ to eat her lunch, then feeling sick all afternoon. Another said that it made them focus more on food, and found themselves starting to obsess over food. If this sounds like you, fasting may not be the best thing for you, due to it’s propensity to enhance less healthy eating behaviours.
#4 If you have type 1 diabetes
Fasting is not recommended for those with type 1 diabetes due to the lack of regular meals being consumed. If you have this condition and want to undertake fasting, it is suggested you speak with your health care team about how to best go about this, if at all.
#5 If you’re pregnant
It has been shown that fasting during pregnancy is not a good idea, due to the health risks to the foetus, such as impaired learning abilities.
#6 You just…. don’t want to!
Like many new diets on the block, it can be easy to feel like you should follow the crowd and do it as well. And, in this particular case, if you want to there are situations it is justified. However, if you fit into any of the above groups, it is advised against fasting. And… if you just don’t want to fast, and prefer to eat in a regular, routine way each day that suits you, that is perfectly okay as well.