Intermittent fasting: what are the risks and benefits of this practice?

The arrival of the beautiful days (also) sounds that of diets of all kinds intended to sculpt your body and achieve the famous injunction of ‘body summer’. Among them, intermittent fasting, which consists of alternating periods of food intake and fasting, spread over specific time slots of the day. Very popular with people who want to lose weight, this method can however produce the opposite effect if it is badly applied, warns Dr. Arnaud Cocaul, nutritionist in Paris.

Do not eat anything for 16 hours in a row, preferably in the evening or in the morning, then allow yourself food intake (meals, snacks) in the following 8 hours. Here is one of the methods that characterize intermittent fasting, the eating mode that can bring many benefits to the body: strengthening the immune system, improving accelerated…

A food trend that more and more people are adopting in the hope of losing weight, in particular because it helps regulate the feeling of satiety. Be careful, however, to apply it correctly, underlines the doctor nutritionist Arnaud Cocaul, who summarizes the good practices to follow and the pitfalls to avoid.

Is intermittent fasting suitable for “everyone”?

Doctor Arnaud Cocaul: Exactly, no. Some will succeed without any problem in not eating for 16 hours, while others will quickly, on the contrary, feel cravings, see feelings of dizziness or nausea. In the second case, it is important to listen to your body and not to force, or else to practice for a short time.

Also beware of people who have a so-called “normal” weight, because fasting can open the door to eating disorders. Instead, we can start by trying to change other eating habits: eating more slowly, for example.

Especially since pounds less on the scale do not systematically correspond to a loss of fat

Doctor Cocaul: In effect. Do not confuse fat loss with muscle loss. If the body does not tolerate food deprivation badly, it will perceive it as an attack and first attack the muscle reserve, which is extremely low compared to the fat mass.

Weight loss will therefore come at the expense of muscle loss. Once you have tapped into the fat reserve, the muscle mass is damaged and needs to be replenished, which can in some cases promote food cravings and therefore promote weight gain.

Are there any other risks to engaging in intermittent fasting?

Doctor Cocaul: Strictly speaking, there aren’t really any “risks”, since eating for a limited time is not a problem in itself, but on condition that you don’t restrict yourself to food. Hence the importance of benefiting from medical monitoring or at least being accompanied by a person who has mastered this method well. In summary, do not embark on the experiment alone, without solid knowledge on the subject.

Leave a Comment