Intermittent Fasting: Understanding the Trend and its benefits

Blogs, / By Shi Qi Yap

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in recent years as a weight loss and health trend. Itcan be an effective tool for weight loss. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittend fasting is a pattern of eating that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. There are several different types of intermittent fasting, but the most popular ones involve fasting for 16-24 hours at a time, either daily or a few times a week.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Weight Loss

    One of the primary benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. By limiting the amount of time you have to eat, you naturally consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss. Additionally, fasting can increase your metabolic rate, which can further aid in weight loss.

  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity

    Intermittent fasting can also improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for people with type 2 diabetes. By limiting the time you have to eat, your body becomes more efficient at using insulin, which can help lower blood sugar levels.

  • Reduced Inflammation

    Intermittent fasting can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

  • Improved Brain Function

    Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve brain function and enhance cognitive performance. This may be because fasting increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a role in learning and memory.

Potential Drawbacks of Intermittent Fasting

  • Hunger

    Intermittent fasting can be challenging because it involves periods of hunger. This can be especially difficult for people who are used to eating frequently throughout the day.

  • Nutrient Deficiencies

    If you are not eating a balanced diet during your eating periods, intermittent fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies. It is important to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods during your eating periods to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

  • Binge Eating

    Intermittent fasting can also lead to binge eating, especially if you are not used to fasting. This can be counterproductive if your goal is weight loss.

  • Low Blood Sugar

    Intermittent fasting can also lead to low blood sugar levels, especially in people with diabetes. This can be dangerous, as low blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, and even seizures.

We have posted a short video about “What Exercises Can You Do During Fasting?”. Give yourself a try!

If you are considering intermittent fasting, it is important to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to make sure it is safe for you. Additionally, it is important to approach intermittent fasting with caution and to start with shorter fasting periods before attempting longer ones.

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Yap Shi Qi
Rehab Therapist

Shi Qi graduated with Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons), awarded by Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP®). She practiced as a physiotherapist in a Malaysian private physiotherapy center with a special interest in musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation. Her previous experience inspired her to combine active approach along with patients’ education to optimize the rehabilitation outcome in sports-related injuries and postural pain.

In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, singing, and playing piano.