- Intermittent fasting diets are becoming popular for weight loss
- IF diet allows you to eat only during a certain time duration of the day
- IF may disturb acidic balance of the body and may lead to muscle mass
Intermittent fasting diet for weight loss has been gaining traction around the world. The basic idea behind intermittent fasting for weight loss is that it restricts consumption of meals and calories within a given time period of the day. Basically, one has to fast for the rest of the day in order to lose weight. Although a lot of cultures and religious practices involve fasting for a certain number of days in order to 'cleanse' the body and for spiritual growth, fasting in general may be frowned upon in order to achieve quick weight loss. But the intermittent fasting diets claim to get you results by strategic fasting. The diet promotes alternate cycles of eating and fasting and is said to alter your metabolism. It is being increasingly endorsed by health experts and the so-called health influencers around the world.
People who follow intermittent fasting in order to lose weight may be following any one of these regimens: 12/12 fasting, 16/8 fasting, 20/4 fasting, 5:2 fasting diet, etc. In the first regimen, a dieter eats all their meals in a 12 hour window and fasts for the rest of the 12 hours. In the 16/8 fasting diet regimen, the window for eating is a smaller 8 hours long, while the body is put on a fast for the rest 16 hours of the day. The 20/4 fasting diet is the most intense intermittent fasting regimen where one can only eat during four hours in a day. While the 12/12 fasting method may seem doable and some of us may even be following it, without even realizing, the rest of the intermittent fasting regimens are very tough to keep up with. However, some purported benefits of intermittent fasting include consumption of lesser calories, a claimed control on blood sugar levels and even promotion of a sharper and more alert mind.
But we're here to tell you the side-effects or possible harmful effects of following an intermittent diet for weight loss:
1. Unsustainable Diet Pattern:
The fasting diets for weight loss are unsustainable because no one can continue fasting for such long durations for months together. You're likely to fall off the wagon very early on, in the diet, leading to frustration.
2. Loss Of Muscle Mass:
If you've been working out and your goal is to become fitter, rather than slimmer, then this diet is definitely not for you. The long periods of fasting may leave you with little energy to get onto that treadmill or do those squats or lifts. You muscles only get time to repair and grow after you eat healthy and after your workout, unless you can also squeeze a workout during your 'feasting' period, you may end up losing muscle mass.
3. Eating disorders:
A number of health experts have warned against following fasting diets as they may lead to unhealthy eating patterns, as you may have cravings during your fasting period. This may result in you bingeing on high-fat, high-sugar or high-salt foods, which may do more harm than good to your body.
4. Acidic Imbalance:
Long periods of fasting may disturb the pH of the body, by making it more acidic. Alkalinity is more suited for weight loss, as is well-known and hence, following an intermittent fasting diet may not help at all.
5. Slows Down Metabolism:
A number of our fit celebrities advise frequent small and healthy meals, in order to maintain a healthy metabolism. Long periods of fasting alter the metabolism and may slow it down, in turn impacting the pace and effectiveness of calorie burn.
Also Read: 13 Fool-Proof Ways to Get a Flat Tummy
Intermittent fasting was found in one particular animal study to have affected the fertility in lab rats. In fact, a majority of the research done on intermittent fasting diets has been done on animals and may be inadequate to draw conclusive results for its effects on the human body.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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