Who Shouldn't Do Intermittent Fasting?

Who Shouldn't Do Intermittent Fasting?
Photo by Nick Wright / Unsplash

This site is all about intermittent fasting and its benefits – but be aware, intermittent fasting may not be the right choice for everybody.  In this short post we'll dig into who shouldn't do intermittent fasting.

Conditions That May Rule Out Intemittent Fasting

There are some people for whom intermittent fasting is not a safe and effetive option.  The following people should not take on an intermittent fasting routing:

  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • People with eating disorders
  • People who show any adverse effects to fasting
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • People taking certain medications
  • People with pre-existing medical conditions

If you are in one of these groups, intermittent fasting is not recommended.  

The last two groups listed are somewhat broad, with respect to medications and pre-existing medical conditions.  In these cases, it's important to do further research on your specific medications or conditions, as well as consulting about the specific details with a physician.

Consult Your Physician

Even though many research studies find intermittent fasting to be a safe and effective way to lose weight in a variety patients and experimental settings, it may not be the right diet for you, even if you don't fit into one of the groups described above.

Always consult with your physician before taking on a major dietary change.  While we hope to inform people about the topic of intermittent fasting, the information on this site is informational and not intended as medical advice!

Ease In and Listen to Your Body

If you do decide to do intermittent fasting, the most important thing is that you ease into it and listen to your body to make sure you respond well to the change in diet and don't have any adverse effects. Some people may find they simply do not respond well to intermittent fasting or find that another routine is a better way for them to achieve weight loss or health goals.  

Ease in means that you should start an intermittent fasting routine by gradually adjusting feeding and fasting windows instead of making the change all at once.  In practical terms, if you plan on doing 16:8 fasting, you might start with something closer to 14:10 by delaying a morning meal, and then gradually adjusting the feeding window to 16:8.  The same applies if your ultimate goal is OMAD (one meal a day)–start with 14:10 and work towards OMAD over several days (or even weeks).

Listen to your body means that as you are gradually adapting the intermittent fasting diet, pay attention to how your body reacts.  Feelings of hunger are obviously normal, but feeling things like dizziness, fatigue, nausea or lightheadedness can be warning signs that you're doing too much or making the change too quickly.  Pay attention to these warning signs, and consider adapting your routing or consulting with a physican to make sure it's safe to continue.

Recap–How to Tell if Intermittent Fasting is Right For You

To recap, here are the steps in making sure intermittent fasting is right for you:

  • Make sure you don't have any conditions that would rule out intermittent fasting
  • Consult with a physician before making any dietary changes
  • Ease into your fasting routine, and listen to your body to make sure it responds well to those changes