Reading the high number of pounds on your weighing scale makes you feel like hitting the gym immediately. Then your friend tells you about intermittent fasting (IF). And you begin with it without delay. But you must know the downsides that IF brings apart from its myriad benefits. So, here we bring you some intermittent fasting side effects, backed by dietitians and health experts. Scroll down to know.
Related Article: The Ultimate Secret of Intermittent Fasting
1. Hunger Pangs
Our body is regulated to have meals at set intervals, as per our eating patterns. The hormone ghrelin triggers our hunger, regulated by food intake. Ghrelin levels rise while fasting and hunger pangs hit you.
To combat hunger, you should have strong will power. Gulp down water when you feel hungry. This will keep you feeling full. Sip on tea or black coffee to satiate hunger. Sleep well, stay busy and avoid strenuous workout to prevent hunger.
2. Headaches and Low Energy
Dehydration might cause headaches as per Edward Vasquez, an IF YouTuber. Stephanie states that low blood sugar levels and stress hormones released by your brain while fasting also causes headaches. Also, as your body is deprived of regular food supply, you feel sluggish initially. Constipation, feeling cold, irritability, heartburn (acid reflux), and lack of concentration are other side effects of intermittent fasting.
Drink plenty of water while fasting and between your eating windows to avoid dehydration. Try to stay relaxed, stress-free, and have a good sleep. Say non-no to oily and spicy foods. Also, go for light workouts such as yoga or walking. If the condition persists, see a doctor.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
If you are into an active lifestyle or have a lean body before fasting, you might acquire hormonal imbalance. This is because of irregular eating patterns. Among women, it can result in irregular menstrual cycles and even worse – reproductive problems. Increased stress, thyroid problems, and sleeplessness.
So, to keep your hormones undisturbed, see that your intermittent fasting plan doesn’t commence just before or during your periods. Reduce your fasting periods and stay nourished with hormone balancing foods.
4. Chance Overeating
When your fasting ends, you tend to eat more than you normally do. It is observed that people gobble much more than their diet while fasting. Most probably, they think that their body was deprived of food for quite some time. So, they think that popping anything into their mouth is fine.
Hold yourself. Plan your meals well ahead of time. This will keep your food portions in check. Most especially, be watchful of your first meal after fasting. Resist digging into that cheesy delight rather munch on a salad or grilled veggies or chicken. Doing so will keep you from the side effects of intermittent fasting. You will be thankful to yourself in future.
5. Not for People on Medication
Diabetics, chronically ill, and expecting or lactating mothers shouldn’t go for IF. Also, those with the risk of developing eating disorders should avoid fasting of any kind. Always listen to your body, it tells you its requirements.
In a nutshell, every new step is challenging and so is IF. It comes with its own set of side effects but there are ways to alleviate the same. If you are wondering, is intermittent fasting safe? You just have to start with baby steps. Don’t make sudden drastic changes in your diet. With time it becomes easy with less appetite, better body shape, and enhanced mental sharpness. However, if you are unable to keep up with it and experience weakness with other health challenges, stop fasting. And don’t delay to consult your doctor.