Who Should NOT Fast?

As I mentioned yesterday in my post about The Fast Diet, I am experimenting with intermittent fasting. Currently, I am exploring the possibility of losing weight, feeling better, and getting healthier by narrowing the window of time during which my body is dealing with food. It appears that extending the number of hours per day during which the body is fasting can produce lots of positive health benefits.

Intermittent fasting isn't difficult. Basically, it involves skipping a meal. I have chosen to skip breakfast, so I am eating between 12noon and 8pm daily. My goal is not to add any extra calories during my feeding window--only the same amount I'd normally eat during those hours. This amounts to a 16 hour fast. It seems to take the body about 10-12 hours to use up all the glucose normally in the blood stream; once the glucose is gone, the body should switch over to fat-burning. Thus, the 16 hour fast should result in at least 4 hours of fat-burning daily.

Most Americans, about 66%, are overweight. At least a third of us are obese. Many are dealing with diabetes, pre-diabetic conditions, or insulin resistance. Most of this population will benefit from this diet. However, some people should avoid fasting.

1) Anyone pregnant or nursing should NOT cut back on calories, especially protein and fats. Growing and feeding a baby is hard work and demands a lot of nutrition.

2) Children should not limit their nutritional intake by fasting.

3) Anyone with an eating disorder should not fast. Get professional treatment instead.

4) Those who are underweight, or currently ill, should avoid fasting until healthy enough.

5) Anyone concerned about the possible repercussions of fasting should check with a doctor to make sure it is safe.

In the coming weeks, I'll be posting more about fasting, its benefits, how to succeed at it, and my own progress. Stay tuned!