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Intermittent Fasting 101: What You Need to Know Before You Try It

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a popular diet trend that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. It can have various benefits for your health, such as weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation. But before you jump on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, there are some things I want you to know. At Train with Danny, I will guide you on your Intermittent Fasting Journey. I made this blog to educate you about this interesting topic. Here are some tips and facts to help you decide if intermittent fasting is right for you.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a pattern of eating. It does not tell you what to eat, but when to eat. There are different types of intermittent fasting, such as:

  • The 16/8 method: This involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eating within an 8-hour window, such as from noon to 8 pm.
  • The 5:2 method: This involves eating normally for 5 days a week and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on 2 non-consecutive days.
  • The eat-stop-eat method: This involves doing a 24-hour fast once or twice a week, such as from dinner one day to dinner the next day.
  • The warrior diet: This involves eating small amounts of fruits and vegetables during the day and having a large meal at night.
  • The alternate-day fasting method: This involves alternating between days of normal eating and days of fasting or very low-calorie intake.

You can choose the type of intermittent fasting that suits your lifestyle, preferences, and goals. However, you should consult your doctor before starting any new diet, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting can have various benefits for your health, such as:

  • Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and boosting your metabolism. It can also help you preserve muscle mass and improve your body composition.
  • Blood sugar control: Intermittent fasting can help lower your blood sugar levels and improve your insulin sensitivity, which can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • Inflammation reduction: Intermittent fasting can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in your body, which can prevent or delay chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Autophagy enhancement: Autophagy is a process where your cells break down and recycle damaged or old components. Intermittent fasting can stimulate autophagy, which can improve your cellular health and longevity.
  • Hormone balance: Intermittent fasting can help regulate your hormones, such as growth hormone, cortisol, and leptin, which can affect your metabolism, mood, and appetite.

What are the drawbacks of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It can have some drawbacks or side effects, such as:

  • Hunger: Intermittent fasting can make you feel hungry, especially in the beginning. You may also experience cravings, headaches, or fatigue during the fasting periods.
  • Overeating: Intermittent fasting can make you overeat during the eating periods, especially if you do not pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. This can negate the benefits of fasting and lead to weight gain or binge eating.
  • Nutrient deficiency: Intermittent fasting can make you miss out on some essential nutrients if you do not eat a balanced and varied diet during the eating periods. You may need to take supplements or multivitamins to prevent nutrient deficiency.
  • Hormone disruption: Intermittent fasting can affect your hormone levels, especially if you are a woman. It can cause irregular periods, fertility issues, or hormonal imbalances. You should avoid intermittent fasting if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.
  • Mood swings: Intermittent fasting can affect your mood and mental health. It can cause irritability, anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. You should avoid intermittent fasting if you have a history of eating disorders or mental illness.

How to do intermittent fasting safely and effectively?

If you decide to try intermittent fasting, here are some tips to help you do it safely and effectively:

  • Start gradually: Do not jump into long or frequent fasts right away. Start with shorter or less frequent fasts and increase them gradually as you get used to them.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and other calorie-free fluids during the fasting periods. This can help prevent dehydration, headaches, and hunger.
  • Eat well: Eat nutritious foods during the eating periods. Focus on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and dairy products. Avoid processed foods, added sugars, refined carbs, and trans fats.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how you feel during the fasts and adjust them accordingly. If you feel unwell, dizzy, weak, or faint, stop the fast and eat something. Do not force yourself to fast if you are not comfortable with it.
  • Be flexible: Do not be too rigid or obsessive about your fasting schedule. Allow yourself some flexibility and adapt to your life circumstances. For example, you can skip or shorten a fast if you have a social event, a celebration, or a special occasion.
  • Enjoy yourself: Do not see intermittent fasting as a punishment or a deprivation. See it as a way to improve your health and well-being. Enjoy the foods you eat and the activities you do during the eating periods. Do not stress over the fasts or the results.

Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool to improve your health, but it is not a magic bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution. You should do your own research, consult your doctor, and find out what works best for you. Remember that intermittent fasting is not the only way to achieve your goals. You can also improve your health by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and managing stress.

If you are looking for a physical workout that you can do before, during or after fasting, our Train With Danny App Membership is just a click away! With a free seven-day trial, you can try our live and on-demand classes before you buy or give the membership as a gift to another fitness lover in your life.

If you prefer to work directly with a personal trainer in Los Angeles County, or would like to take a hybrid approach to wellness, contact Train With Danny to learn more about the transformative benefits of focused workouts that produce results.