There are different ways to put it together but they are all aimed at the same goal of shifting your body from using glucose as fuel to using fat as fuel. A worthy aim, for sure! This can have benefits for weight loss, blood sugar reduction, improved insulin sensitivity, reduction in cardiovascular risk and protection against memory loss and neurological disorders.
However, like any approach to food, there is no one size fits all solution.
So when might IF, not be a good fit?
If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, or more technically HPA axis dysregulation, then you don’t want to add the added stress on the body of deprivation of food. Likewise if you have a lot of stress in your life, this physical stressor may just be adding to the problem.
Hormonal Imbalances for Women
If your hormones are out of whack or when you’ve tried IF your cycle gets thrown off, then approach IF with caution only. Women are extremely sensitive to starvation signals and their body can ramp up production of hunger hormones, which can in turn throw off your sex hormones and even halt ovulation, affect menstruation and shrink your ovaries. There are adjustments you could make like trying shorter fasts (maybe 12 hours which you might be doing already between say 7pm and 7am) and only fasting 2 non-consecutive days a week on days when you don’t do much exercise. In my view, if you’re aiming to get pregnant, IF isn’t worth the possible shifts in your hormones that might result.
If you suffer from any type of eating disorder then using restriction as a tool is not a good idea, so IF is not recommended.
Let us know about your experiences with IF and as always get in touch with your questions.