Discover 6 reasons why Intermittent Fasting is not for all

Table of Contents

Intermittent fasting sounds like a vogue word these days, due to the buzz it created and the myriad benefits it brings in. Weight loss being the ultimate goal for many, intermittent fasting is a certain way to slack those pounds and reach weight loss goals. What needs to be understood, however, is that weight loss is often not a goal or a destination but rather a lifestyle to maintain. And also, to establish, if it is sustainable and if Intermittent Fasting can be done by all.

Is intermittent fasting for all
Is Intermittent fasting for all?

But, for starters-

What is Intermittent Fasting?

The word intermittent means., ‘in between’. So, between eating meals (mini-meals actually), there are sessions of planned fasting, wherein you go for long periods of time without any food intake.

Hence, the term intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is followed mostly to achieve weight loss results, by controlling the span of eating window and also, by tracking the amount of carbs consumption.

Intermittent fasting- is it for everyone?

Types of intermittent fasting:

Now, there are many variants of intermittent fasting, depending on the weight loss goals one has set.

16:8 intermittent fasting

Some people fast for several hours between meals., like 16:8- fasting for 16 hours and eating within 8 hours. So, for instance, to slot up the time, the eating hours could be between 12:00PM and 8:00PM.

Other timings could be depending on your habit and convenience, in schedule as per the ratio of 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating time. Most often, 16 hours can be counted in the night alongside the sleeping time, as it is easier to fast while you are sleep, we just sleep while the body does its maintenance work.         

5:2 intermittent fasting

5:2 ratio indicates that one may do intermittent fasting in a given week, by allocating 2 full days for fasting or minimal food intake and eat normally for the remaining 5 days in the week.

The 5:2 ratio is slightly tougher to follow and sustain, due to various reasons.

Our social living could interfere with 5:2 intermittent fasting. There could be days when something has come up like a travel or an unexpected event which may require you to consume food or a drink, which could alter the routine of 5:2 intermittent fasting.

And often, sustainability of 5:2 regime could lead to waning of interest or sheer boredom as one has to fast for a full day.

One important point to he kept in mind is that the 2 days of fasting need not be consecutive or in series. The 2 days can be spread out in the week. For example, in a given week, fasting may be done on Tuesday and a Thursday or Friday, while eating on the remaining days.

16:8 fasting Intermittent fasting with a 16 hours fasting window, alongside a good night’s sleep and having an 8 hour eating window.
5:2 fasting‘Alternate day’ Intermittent fasting for 2 days, with a 5 days eating window, with
Skipping meals methodIntermittent fasting by not eating for one meal, in a given day, to extend the fasting window. It could be skipping a breakfast or skipping dinner.
Intermittent Fasting Windows and Types

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

Let us understand about the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Click on each tab, to get a quick overview.

Burns fat with the help of the human growth hormone which triggers fat burning. Human growth hormone enhances growth of lean muscle instead. It also, helps in burning belly fat. There are several benefits of the human growth hormone, please refer the research articles for more information.

Intermittent fasting benefit: Weight loss

Fasting reduces the blood sugars. When the insulin levels reduce, the body’s ability to burn fat increases. In other words, when the food intake is curbed, the body releases the stored fuel and sugars to be used up for energy. And as this process of fuel consumption increases and is repeated, the body’s process of boosting metabolism and using stored fuel leads to weight loss.

Lowers blood sugar

Due to Intermittent fasting, the body gets time to repair itself, at a cellular level. The skin improves, the internal organs get to detox and remove toxic waste from the body.

Improves overall health and prevents chronic diseases, if started early and regulates digestion, with eat-stop-eat. Additionally, it helps in reducing abdominal fat which could be the root of illnesses. It resists oxidative stress which could damage cells.

Slows down aging

Fasting regulates high blood pressure and helps the heart’s functioning. Studies also, mention that it lowers bad cholesterol.

Additionally, also helps in lowering high blood pressure.

The natural state of fasting is when we sleep. With intermittent fasting, the body’s ability to the sleep is defined with the help of sleep hormone melatonin. Additionally, fasting promotes the human growth hormone which helps repair and renew cells, while sleeping, with a stalled digestion.

Improved sleep

Intermittent fasting helps in reducing the fat around vital organs such as the liver and heart. Visceral organs could accumulate fats due to various contributing factors, which may affect overall health and wellbeing.

After a regime of intermittent fasting is sustained, visceral fat which is difficult to reduce under normal fitness routines, can be reduced.

Intermittent fasting builds the body’s resistance to stress and helps to fight free radicals. This aids in reducing inflammation in the body, fights against disease and helps in delaying aging.

With fasting, the body’s ability to resist free radicals, builds immunity and strengthens the body’s ability to repair cells and the DNA. The human growth hormone enhances the cellular repair, well, apart from enabling burning of body fat.

Better Immunity

6 reasons why Intermittent Fasting is not for all

Intermittent fasting has been endorsed by medical experts and researchers alike. The benefits of intermittent fasting are myriad, to ignore them out. But what is written in fine print in different studies is the fact that intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone. Or intermittent fasting may not bring out the same results for everyone.

6 reasons of why we need to take precautions for those categories, when Intermittent fasting may not be a clear choice.

There is clear line between who can do this type of fasting and who cannot do. Let us look through some of those categories.

Intermittent fasting consult a doctor
Intermittent fasting precautions
Intermittent fasting hormonal imbalance
Intermittent fasting precautions-part 2
Intermittent fasting tips and guidance
Intermittent fasting precautions: 6 reasons

Reasons why Intermittent fasting may not be working for you

Research shows that despite following the Intermittent fasting diligently, some people have not been able to see the desired weight loss results; in some cases, there was no change whatsoever.

Intermittent fasting begins to show its magic when the basic level of detox has been done and the body responds well, during fasting. In a few cases, there could be some hindrances or blockages which do not allow the fasting results to come through.

Below are a few reasons we could narrow down to, based on our study.

High Stress– When the body is under everyday stress, recurring and consistent, Cortisol hormone is produced. With cortisol, the body does not function at its optimal level. With intermittent fasting, what results would normally show up, will not show up due to stress. Additionally, cortisol ramps up blood sugars which will hinder the fat burning in the body.
Lack of good sleep- If the body is deprived of good sleep, the metabolism rate becomes sluggish. And the body will not be in the best condition to renew cells. Instead, lack of good sleep leads to bloating and water retention, leading to weight gain. Hence, it is important to put in efforts to feel rested and give the body it’s due to rest in the form of good sleep.
Constipation or poor digestion– Digestion is one of the main processes of the body which helps in absorption of nutrients from the food that has been consumed. And by digestion we also mean, expulsion of wastes. If the digestive process is slow, the food gets broken down slow as well.
And depending on the food habits and related aspects, constipation can be a possible outcome. With constipation, the detoxification process is impacted. Expulsion of body wastes is a basic maintenance work of the body and constipation becomes a hindrance for bringing forth the best results of intermittent fasting. Due to slow expulsion of wastes, the body’s weight does not lower easily, unless constipation is dealt with.
Slow metabolism- For some, slow metabolism could be a factor for weight gain and delayed weight loss. The underlying root cause needs to be identified, with the help of a medical practitioner/doctor and further diagnosis. The treatment or remedy may vary from person to person and that needs to be found out.
More calorie intake than what is burnt– Eating more and consuming too many calories during the eating phase. The calorie value of the food consumed must not exceed more than what calories have been burned. While following intermittent fasting, there could be a tendency to eat more or binge during the eating phase. And what this does is, there would not be any calorie deficit, for more calories to be burnt. Meaning, if the food consumption is excess during eating phase, the overall calorie count of what is consumed to what is burnt either breaks-even and shows no weight loss results OR may lead to too, many calories added on, and could lead to adding few pounds to the existing body weight .
No other exercise or physical activity– Depending on the metabolism rate, some persons may take longer to show weight loss results. IF the body has slow metabolism, the burning of fat could be slower. Adding in a simple regime of workout, could catapult to showing weight loss results.
Lack of detoxification – If the body is not detoxed or cleansed, weight loss results take longer in some people depending on their past food and lifestyle habits. It is recommended to initially focus on waning off bad eating habits, introducing healthy eating (minus all junk), kickstarting some physical exercise like basic walking or the like, as per your interest and capabilities. And after the initial phase, the body would be primed up enough to start the actual positive results of intermittent fasting.
Reasons why Intermittent fasting may not be working for you

Dos and Don’ts : Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting dos and donts
Dos and Don’ts of Intermittent Fasting
Don’tsDos
Do not consume alcohol, during the fasting phase. Consuming alcohol on any empty or almost empty stomach does more damage than benefit. During a fast, the body is in a delicate state of cleansing, detox and repair, research recommends that mild, light food such as juices or fruit pulp needs to be consumed for enabling the body to slowly trigger the digestion process. Alcohol can also interfere with blood pressure and hydration levels in the body. Do drink naturally made fruit juices, instead of alcohol, when fasting.
Do not get dehydrated during fasting: Keep the body fully hydrated with water. It helps the body to keep itself functional. During fasting, body’s fluids are drained and water helps in fulfilling basic support processes within the body.Do drink electrolyte water or water with nutrients such as coconut water or lemon water. Herbal teas can be a good option as well.
Do not break your fast with a heavy meal or a high calorie fatty food. The body needs time to gradually kickstart its digestion after a full work of cleansing, repairing, hence eating something light helps balancing the load of digestion.Do consume a light portion, like a fruit or soup and then transitioning into a good meal will be healthy for the body. This is good way to break a fast.
Do not start off on intermittent fasting, without consulting a nutritionist and a general physician (as cliched as it may sound, this is critical). The body goes through different changes, during the fasting phase; Do consult a doctor and nutritionist who will know how your body could respond to the fast, based on the bio-profile. This is a vital step to complete especially if there are any health issues at hand.
Do not overeat or over consume higher number of calories, more than what you burnt. This could cause a break-even and dilute the impact of the fasting phase, delaying weight loss results.Do keep a tab on your calorie consumption and the kind of foods you eat, during the eating phase.
Do not perform high intensity workouts, during intermittent fasting. The body could be on low energy due to the fasting or due to a low carb diet, hence an intense HIIT workout could be overwhelming for the body. Remember, during a fast, the body is in a repair, renewal mode and intense workouts could digress the outcomes of the fast. Do mild exercise or physical activity such as yoga, walking, cycling, taking stairs, stretching Pilates exercise.
Do not miss out on keeping track of your multi-vitamins, during fasting. Depending on your diet, there could be a possibility of a nutrition deficit, if your vitamin needs are not replenished.Do keep a tab on your vitamin levels, blood works, cholesterol levels, sugar levels. This will help you track your health and if you need to take any supplements or vitamins, after taking medical expert advice.
Do not ignore signs such as any continued discomfort, increasing heart palpitations or extreme dizziness and the like.Do listen to your body and observe. Consult a doctor, as and when, required. And take a break when you are unable to push it any further
Dos and Don’ts of Intermittent fasting

In conclusion

Intermittent fasting has been backed by research that it has quite a few benefits, including weight loss. People have enjoyed its benefits, but what needs to be kept in mind is that the experience may not be the same for everyone, but rather unique. No two profiles of intermittent fasting may be identical. Hence, it is key to get your bio-profile assessed by your doctor, before starting Intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is all about self-discipline, where in you will be the master of control.

And a point to remember always is that your body knows best. So, pay heed to your body’s signs and know when to pause, when to refrain or restart and when to continue. Once the pattern of healthy eating sets in and your body well-adapted to intermittent fasting, the results will speak for themselves and be motivating enough to keep you going!


Research and reference articles:


Important: Please consult your doctor, before following Intermittent fasting. All advice and points mentioned in this article are purely for an awareness only and does not guarantee any results, or diagnose or treat any health challenge or weight issues. Research is being conducted by experts on an ongoing basis and any information or links provided here is on the basis of information reviewed as on date, only.

Anita Asirvadam

Anita Asirvadam

Anita loves to write about Wellness, Health and Self-improvement. Her other writing niches include HR, HR Tech, SaaS, Coaching/Training.
Her professional HR expertise and Psychology background give her an edge to connect with readers. Beyond writing, she loves to coach and train.

All Posts
Share this post:

Sign Up! Be the First to Access our latest content

You may choose to unsubscribe, at any time, should you wish to.