You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? It basically involves not eating any food for a period of time, whether that’s just 16 hours or a full 24 hours at a time. As one of the latest weight loss trends, it can help you shed excess pounds. But, the question remains: is intermittent fasting actually safe for you to pursue? Should you bother fasting in this manner, and are all of the health claims that have been made about it legitimate or just false?
The Supposed Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
You may have heard that intermittent fasting can help improve your immune system’s ability to fight disease, but the problem is that there really isn’t a whole lot of research to prove whether or not these claims are true. A couple of studies over the last few years have shown that this type of fasting does have the potential to help support healthier immune function, but more studies should be conducted in order to see if the initial findings are true.
What Should You Do?
According to Men’s Health, this dieting strategy is considered relatively safe for the average healthy individual. And, when it comes to shedding excess weight, fasting every now and then might be as effective as following a low-carb diet.
Who should avoid fasting for weight loss? First off, if you have been diagnosed with a compromised immune system, intermittent fasting may not be the best choice. The same goes for individuals who have been diagnosed with impaired kidney function or impaired liver function.
Another thing to consider: if you lead an active lifestyle (that’s great, by the way!), you should be cautious by avoiding exercise while you are fasting for an entire day. If you end up exercising while you are fasting, you could end up losing too much potassium and sodium, which are vital electrolytes that your body needs to function right.
Practice Safe Fasting
If you do decide to try fasting to lose weight, take a safe approach. Experts recommend fasting for less than 12 hours. When you do eat, be sure to follow a balanced diet that is packed with natural, nutritious, low-calorie foods.