Fasting: Not Good for your Health
“When a man has nothing to eat, fast is the most reasonable thing he can do.” Buddha
It seems that fasting is fashionable, but in reality it is not something current. Those who have lived difficult times know perfectly what involuntary fasting is, and believers of different religions practice it, from Catholics with fasting and Lenten abstinence, to Muslims in the month of Ramadan.
But, regardless of religious issues, is it good to fast as a diet? As in almost everything, it depends. The fundamental thing is that any diet (including fasting or not) has to be supervised by a doctor or nutritionist , if you do not want to have health problems. It will be good to have a medical insurance that allows you to choose a specialist, since you may not like the one that is your default.
There are several diets related to fasting. The main one is intermittent fasting or IF (Intermittent Fasting), which dictates various guidelines for alternating periods of fasting (or a drastic caloric reduction) with periods of food ingestion. It has defenders who claim that it allows the digestive system to rest, purify the liver or even improve cardiovascular health. But it also has its “dark side”.
ANA’S EXPERIENCE WITH FLASHING FASTING
Ana did not notice any of those supposed benefits , on the contrary. She decided to try this diet following the 8/16 rule , because she had seen it on the Internet. It is about making 2 meals a day every 8 hours and fasting 16 hours. So on Monday, his first day, he did not have breakfast and went straight to work.
Ana is commercial and has many meetings with clients that force her to move. It was one of the longest mornings of his life. I was starving, I kept thinking about two o’clock in the afternoon to eat and at times she felt weak. At lunchtime he pounced on the plates, and although he did not eat too much, they were quite nutritious foods. The feeling of embarrassment after a while was remarkable.
Heavy digestion and some drowsiness accompanied him all afternoon but it did not take him long to wait until 10 o’clock at night for dinner, it was his usual time. He prepared grilled chicken with vegetables and fruit for dessert. When he went to bed he felt good, without hunger, although it cost him enough sleep .
The worst thing was again on Tuesday morning, knowing that he could not eat anything and that until two o’clock he would not taste a bite … the only positive thing is that he arrived earlier at work for not investing time in breakfast. Of course, not to mention approaching colleagues in the office at coffee time with a stomach roaring hungry.
In the middle of the morning the headache was added to the hunger . It was hard for her to concentrate on something other than what she was going to eat later and was in a bad mood. Luckily I did not have meetings outside the office. When it was time for lunch, I was very hungry again. He ate a lot, too much, and in the afternoon his productivity at work was almost nil. Headache, drowsiness and heavy digestion … bad combination to work and almost for anything! He arrived at dinner without hunger or desire for anything. I just wanted to go to bed, but thinking that it would be 16 hours before eating again, I ended up having a light dinner.
On Wednesday morning, something better got up, but she decided that intermittent fasting was not for her . He had just begun the third day of diet but his decision was firm: he had breakfast as usual and that same morning he called to make an appointment with a nutritionist near his house.
The nutritionist spoke with her, asked about her eating habits and day-to-day, her medical history, etc. and asked him to do some simple medical tests to find out what his condition and situation really was. Then he prepared a balanced diet according to his goals and lifestyle. He gave several very useful tips:
- Diets always have to be personalized and supervised by a specialist
- They have to be realistic , both for the objectives that are to be achieved, and the way to reach them, so that they remain in time.
- It is not about “dieting,” but about changing eating habits and harmful lifestyles to adopt those that are healthy in the long term.
Fasting does not help to keep a healthy diet and its benefits are not proven so far . The body does not need to detoxify, it is enough to reduce processed foods and empty calories and eat in a balanced way, with the right amounts of nutrients according to your constitution and personal needs, together with physical activity according to your situation.