So many people regularly ask me if intermittent fasting is good or bad for you.
In the 7-day plan, I included it in order to reduce one’s appetite over a short period of time and give the digestive system a break for a week.
Some people have fantastic results with it over 6 months or so (generally, from my observation, the positive effects do not seem to last longer but again, I could be mistaken). Some people feel TERRIBLE on it and GAIN WEIGHT. I have a friend who gained 4 kilos (about 8 pounds) doing it!
These conflicting results got me to research it, extensively. I haven’t found anybody online or offline -I asked many experienced doctors and nutritionists- who have been able to explain this. As you might have noticed by now, I am a problem fixer and I decided to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.
So, here is it for you, my dot-connecting analysis on the effects of intermittent fasting!
What happens when we fast?
- We produce Human Growth Hormone which has many benefits. HGH helps build and repair muscle, boost metabolism, repair skin, and slow down aging, as well as burn fat.
- We also produce cortisol which has harmful effects on the body and mind. Cortisol is the stress hormone (the one released in a flight or fight situation). Elevated cortisol levels lead to weight gain(mainly in the face and abdomen), anxiety; it can lower our metabolism and immune system, increase inflammation, increase blood pressure, etc.
Two things happen simultaneously, one positive and one negative when it comes to weight-loss.
In some people, the weight-loss element (HGH) is probably more pronounced and in other people, the weight-gain element (cortisol) is more accentuated.
This is the reason why results differ depending on the individual!
However, I have noticed that IF is generally more beneficial for men than women. My take on it is that ancestrally, men would go hunting and would be exposed to a longer fasting period than women who would look after children and probably have some food to eat.
Also, women have much more going on hormonally than men, and playing with our hormones like intermittent fasting can be more disruptive to us! Indeed, hormones can greatly be affected by fasting, especially for people with PCOS, thyroid issues, endometriosis, and diabetes.
As a result, I have not included intermittent fasting in the Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle and I cover all you need to know about what you need to eat and at what time of the day in order to maximize weight-loss, gut health, and hormonal health!