Is intermittent fasting right for you? We sat down with Dr. Penny Adams to find out who should and shouldn’t fast and why.
All of your friends are talking about their ‘eating window’, their favourite fast day foods and even your instafeed is awash with stacked selfies and talk of cauliflower substitutes. It’s understandable. A part-time diet is pretty big news. But who should and shouldn’t do intermittent fasting? Are there any rules? We caught up with practising GP and weight loss expert, Dr. Penny Adams, to discuss who can and can’t do it and why.
Why Intermittent Fasting Works
“I have been practising as a GP for over 30 years and have spent countless consultations trying to help my patients lose weight. Over the years there have been literally hundreds of diets recommended and I’ve watched many of my patients see-saw with their weight in a frustrating upward trajectory. This is why I am so excited by SuperFastDiet – because intermittent fasting works and it is so easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. You don’t have to spend every day of your life thinking about what you can (and can’t) eat, but two or three days out of seven – or a few hours out of the day – is very doable. You can read more about how and why intermittent fasting works here.
Who Is Intermittent Fasting Good For?
Intermittent fasting is particularly effective for weight loss. Recent studies show that most people can lose an average of 0.45kg per week using this method. It’s also been shown to reduce hunger, increase satiety (or fullness), as well as improve blood pressure, cholesterol readings and insulin resistance (which can reduce your future risk of heart disease and diabetes). Because it’s easy to fit into your lifestyle, studies show that people are more likely to stick to their calorie-goals and succeed in their weight loss. Intermittent fasting has also proven particularly effective for weight loss in menopausal women. So, if you’re in good health, but looking to shed a few pounds, then this method could be right for you. There are, however, some groups of patients for whom intermittent fasting is not recommended.
Who Shouldn’t Do Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting can affect hormones involved with growth so children and teenagers who are still growing should not do intermittent fasting. The same applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women. It’s also not a good idea to do intermittent fasting when you are recovering from surgery, if you are unwell or if you have a fever. Understandably, I don’t recommend intermittent fasting to patients with a history of an eating disorder.
There are also some medications that make intermittent fasting unsuitable. Diabetics who use insulin must not do intermittent fasting and it should be avoided if you take the blood thinner, warfarin. If you take medication that must be given with food, make sure you choose an intermittent fasting method that suits your timetable.
Intermittent Fasting Isn’t Recommended For:
- Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding
- Anyone with an eating disorder, a history of or predisposition to disordered eating
- Those with a BMI of below 18.5 or people who are underweight
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
- Those younger than 18 years of age
- Anyone with a medical condition or taking prescription medication should speak with their GP or healthcare professional before commencing a new diet, eating or exercise regime
If you are uncertain about whether or not intermittent fasting is a good lifestyle choice for you, see your GP – it’s a good chance to have a general checkup too!
Interested in part-time dieting but not quite sure if it is a good fit for you? Take our quick quiz below!