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Elaine shares her thoughts with us on Intermittent Fasting and why it's her least recommended method for losing weight/fat loss. Please note: She does not have any obligations for intermittent fasting (IF) for religious or alternative health reasons.
"In the past month alone, I've done 2 weight loss consultation calls where the ladies had tried to force themselves into a 16/8 fast for weight loss. The result for both of these women was the creation of disordered eating patterns where they would feel so restricted in their "eating window" that they would binge after a while, feel guilty, restrict more/adhere more to the eating window, then binge again! - Leading to the binge-restrict cycle.
For women using fasting for weight loss ONLY, I've noticed this is a very common trend - either bingeing due to over restriction OR enormous feelings of guilt when they would eat outside of their eating window and just enjoy life (which everyone has the right to do without guilt).
After working with multiple clients who have used IF as their previous mode of trying to lose weight, it's really become one of my least favorite dietary protocols for weight loss. Can it work? Absolutely - ANY diet that facilitates a calorie deficit can help you lose weight BUT that doesn't mean it's
HEALTHY or SUSTAINABLE.
Most of my clients who struggled with IF lost weight for 2-6 months but had a large binge, fell off track and regained all the weight.
Other negative patterns I've noted from ladies using fasting during their weight loss journey's include:
Increased food guilt, decreased ability to sense hunger cues or completely ignoring hunger cues, decreased life satisfaction and reduced ability to enjoy basic life events like birthdays or dates without overwhelm & concern.
Personally, if you're going to choose a fad diet for weight loss specifically, I think fasting can be one of the least beneficial to your "relationship" with food and your own hunger cues & as a coach I NEVER recommend it to my clients because you DON'T need to cut out meals to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit, that's it."
A number of studies on intermittent fasting have been reviewed at Harvard College and
noted that the studies never showed that Fasting is any better than a regular daily calorie
It's also interesting to note that the weight loss
results were generally the same between the control groups and those using fasting. Showing that it's not a "better diet".
Do note that if fasting is working for you - you're seeing weight loss, able to stick the time windows and you generally feel better - that's great, and well done. But we'd like to make you, beloved reader, aware of the seriousness of a secret side effect that no one seems to talk about...
The Hidden Danger of Intermittent Fasting:
The world of dieting, fitness and fat loss is made out to be a totally body-focused effort, but good mental health and overall well-being is way more important than good looks. Fitness goes beyond aesthetics; where you have a harmonious and happy relationship with your mind, body and stomach.
Read our post on how your mental health can affect your weight loss journey:
The binge-restrict cycle and food guilt that comes with the strict rules for IF can quickly turn into an eating disorder if not caught soon enough. Any shame, anxiety or restriction around food and when to eat can produce a toxic relationship with food.² Adding with that, the disgust or hatred when looking at yourself which results in more shaming and denying yourself food - Oh no, Darling.. That's not a way to live your best life!
There is a fine line between motivating yourself to eat in line and robbing yourself of wholesome food - which is a more than just a necessity to live, else food wouldn't taste so good!
The WHY and HOW behind your reason for fat loss and fitness is what makes it good for you and sustainable for the long run. A pleasant and successful weight loss journey isn't about how quickly you lost "all the fat", it's about lovingly wanting to improve yourself for YOUR OWN best interest and a routine you can stick to every day with every occasion.
Intermittent fasting is said to have many health and weight loss benefits for a variety of people which we are NOT disputing. The point of this post is to share the misunderstood fine line where this diet in particular can border on or lead to developing disordered eating habits. Please consult your doctor or health care professional if you have concerns for your wellness (or maybe the wellbeing of a loved one!).
Don't know how to lose weight without fasting? Book a CONSULTATION call to get your personalized action plan to get your journey back on track.
Written by: Andrea Thelen of AuthenticAndrea44
¹ College, H. (2022, May 17). Diet review: Intermittent fasting for weight lossHar. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/intermittent-fasting/
² Collaborative, V. (2021, December 16). Why intermittent fasting is a dangerous fad. Veritas Collaborative. https://veritascollaborative.com/blog/why-intermittent-fasting-is-a-dangerous-fad/
DISCLAIMER: All blog posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice or recommendations given in these posts does not supersede directions received by a licensed medical professional (i.e. doctor, psychiatrist, nurse, psychologist, etc), nutritionist, dietician or your personal trainer. The reader is responsible for their own health and well being.