Intermittent fasting basically involves eating only during certain parts of the day, while abstaining from anything but water and coffee for the rest of the time. This type of fasting is effective for weight loss but it has certain disadvantages and advantages that you should know about. So, here are 10 things you should be aware of before trying out intermittent fasting.

1. Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss but the effects might be short-term.

This type of fasting has been associated with significant decrease in body fat, waist circumference and body weight in the short-term. This theory has been backed by research too.

2. Fasting is simple and it can easily fit into your routine. 

You have to follow an eating pattern in this type of fasting. This can be easily implemented by people who like to have a routine. This also means that you don’t have to cut down on specific types of foods that you enjoy eating.

3. Intermittent fasting has a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. 

There is a significant decrease in total cholesterol level, bad cholesterol (LDL), blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Reducing these markers decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. This type of fasting can improve your blood sugar levels.

Research suggests that intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity in individuals.

5. There are some side-effects associated with intermittent fasting too. 

Some studies have found that intermittent fasting has undesirable side effects like lack of energy, bad temper, headaches, constipation and lack of concentration. Some people may also experience cramps, abdominal pain and bloating.

6. Avoid intermittent fasting if you are diabetic or have struggled with an eating disorder. 

It is advised to avoid going on an intermittent fast if you have diabetes because you’ll need a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Also, if you have ever had an eating disorder, avoid this type of fasting as it may exacerbate potential eating patterns like binge-eating mentality or a restrictive mindset.

7. Remember to eat a balanced diet when fasting. 

During your fasting period, you need to eat a balanced diet. It is important to keep track of how many calories you are consuming and where those calories are coming from. Speak to a registered dietitian for some guidance.

8. There are several types of fasting you can try. 

You should know that there are different forms and styles of intermittent fasting. Short fasting can last for 14-24 hours and can be followed regularly. Long fasting usually lasts for three to five days and it is not done as frequent as the shorter fast. Click here to know the different types of intermittent fasting.

9. This type of fasting should not be done by older adults or pregnant women. 

Avoid intermittent fasting if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or under the age of 18. Older adults or people with diagnosed medical conditions should also avoid this type of fasting as it can increase the risk of malnutrition, unintentional weight loss and low body weight.

10. Go slow if you are new to intermittent fasting. 

If you just want to experiment with fasting, start having a later breakfast on two or three mornings in a week.

Please consult a doctor before starting intermittent fasting.