The Pros and Cons to Intermittent Fasting - dummies

The Pros and Cons to Intermittent Fasting

By Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

Intermittent fasting carries a unique set of pros and cons. Examine the upsides and downsides, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not fasting intermittently is the best approach for you.

Intermittent fasting provides many benefits and can help you realize your weight loss goals. However, remember that it’s not magic. Just because you fast once or twice a week doesn’t mean you can gorge on junk food to make up for the calories that you didn’t eat while fasting.

Highlighting the pros of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a very beneficial practice, is easy to follow, and allows you the flexibility you need for when life happens. By getting to choose and flex your fasting days and selecting when you start your fasting periods, intermittent fasting really can work for you, and you never need to go to bed hungry. It doesn’t have any complicated formulas, diet plans, pricey supplements, or special foods that you need to buy.

Intermittent fasting is simple and it’s effective. Some of the other benefits to intermittent fasting include the following:

  • The ability and flexibility to set and change your fasting schedule as time goes on: You don’t need to keep your fast on the same day each week. Really, it doesn’t matter when you do it, so long as you do it. You can choose the best time or day to fast.

    Some people prefer weekends, and others prefer weekdays. Just stop eating for 24 hours, one day a week. The day doesn’t matter.

    One full day of fasting is plenty. Fasting for 24 hours allows you to reap the full benefits of fasting. Just don’t take the more-is-more approach and fast any longer than 24 hours.

  • The freedom from continuously planning your day around your next meal: When you first take a break from eating, you’ll likely be astonished by the sheer amount of time that is free in a day. You don’t have to plan or prepare meals, at least for one day out of the week. For many people, it’s very liberating.

  • A reduction in weekly food costs: Not eating for a full day once a week means a lower weekly grocery bill.

  • An uncomplicated diet plan with no tricky formulas, equations, or costly meal plans: Intermittent fasting is so easy. You just don’t eat for a day. That’s it! No counting calories, carbs, or anything of that sort. You don’t eat. Period.

Scientific studies have also proven time and again its efficacy in terms of weight loss, muscle gain, and insulin sensitivity.

Considering the cons of intermittent fasting

Unlike some of the other fasting systems, the intermittent fasting approach does require at least a full 24-hour fast, which can be difficult, especially if you’ve never tried fasting before. That’s certainly not to say that you won’t become accustomed to it. Just be aware that there will be challenges, such as staving off hunger and feeling low energy levels, particularly at first.

Don’t be discouraged by the idea of fasting for 24 straight hours. You can reach many of the benefits of your fast prior to the 24-hour mark. Although you should always strive to complete the full fast when following the intermittent fasting protocol, if on a given day you just feel like you need to end your fast early at, say, 22 hours, that’s okay, too.