Let's talk about he risks and benefits of intermittent fasting and why this diet can be helpful to people who have ADHD.
Who is intermittent fasting for?
Binge eat a lot (this includes us with ADHD)
Need to build some discipline with their diets
Are stuck with their weight loss and want to break through a plateau
Health-conscious: Eat very healthy organic food and are well educated about what kind of nutrition they need to live a long and healthy life
Over 40 who want to enjoy the anti aging benefits of this diet (we will talk about this in more details in this article)
Struggle with obesity, weight gain, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin resistance (must be supervised by a health practitioner since they are usually required to perform only water fasting for longer periods of time)
Who is intermittent fasting NOT for?
Have already have a slow metabolism (overweight) their metabolism or slowed their metabolism (underweight) by dieting and restricting their calories for long periods of time. I will talk about this later in this article.
Have a history of eating disorders that follow restricting food intakes such as anorexia and bulimia.
Benefits of Fasting:
Intermittent fasting is not as fancy as it sounds and No! it is not a fad diet!
Intermittent fasting is basically how our ancestor used to eat; they hunted, gathered, ate when food was available and then didn’t eat until they had a successful haunt again. As a result of this our bodies are perfectly capable of holding on to the food which means storing it as fat and use it for energy when we need it. This is why we gain body fat if we slow down our metabolism but starving ourselves and then indulging in a high calorie diet.
A Little Bit of Science
3 hours after you eat, your glucose levels are high and insulin is working to help your body turn blood sugar (glucose) into energy. It also helps your body store it in your muscles, fat cells, and liver to use later, when your body needs it. After you eat, your blood sugar (glucose) rises.
At 18 hours of fasting, your insulin starts going down and your body starts a process called glucogenesis (or glycogenesis) which means your body, specifically your liver and kidney, will start releasing glucose from non carbohydrate sources stored in your body such as glycogen (stored carbs in your body), amino acids from proteins, glycerol from fats, or lactate produced by muscle during anaerobic glycolysis. Your body does this to provide your brain and red blood cells with their favorite source of energy!
Research shows that intermittent fasting COMBINED with exercise can result in noticeable weight loss
Please keep in mind, intermittent fasting can very well result in weight gain is you are overeating during your eating window or not following a healthy diet that includes the calories that are right for you. You should follow a right plan that will keep you full, satisfied and energized through out the day. You can book a free consultation with me to find out if this diet is right for you.
A 12-week, controlled weight loss trial done on obese subjects found that modified fasting regimen combined with an exercise protocol produced significantly superior weight loss results (6.5%) compared to fasting alone (3.2%) or exercise alone. S(1.1%)
Anti aging benefits
Between the 36-48 hours of fasting is when the antiaging benefits starts to kick in! This is when your body starts lipolysis which is basically breaking down fatty acids or triglycerides into its constituted: a glycerol and 3 fatty acids.
Fasting for longer periods of time can increase levels of certain metabolites such as leucine, which decreases as we age, and lowers IGF1 which is a hormone that causes rapid aging. On top of that, it gets rid of some your damaged cells (and healthy cells) and gets rid of them IF you follow the right refeeding system. The reason why it's important to follow a super healthy diet when intermittent fasting is because this is the time your body will start repairing and rejuvenating your cells.
Anti aging basically means preventing the diseases that come with age such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Therefore fasting for 36 hours once per week or even once per month can help you achieve your longevity goals specially after the age of 40. During this process of recycling cells, you will recycle some of your skin cells as well and that is why you will look more fresh and clear minded after you refeed!
So basically this is when you eat your dinner, go to sleep. Wake up, go about your day and sleep again and wake up to eat breakfast or until dinner for a 48 hour of fast. I wouldn’t just jump into doing this type of fasting if you haven’t tried fasting before. I would start with 12 hour fasting, extend to 16, then 20, 24 and see how much I can push from there! I can always help guide you in the right direction. You may contact me for a free consultation, here.
There are fasts that go beyond 48 hours to 10-15 days to help with variety of disease such as the ones mentioned earlier. Of course there are a few things you can still eat like some fats or salt but If you are going to go anything over 48 hours, this should most likely be supervised as a clinical trial and must have a real purpose because there might be a very high drop of glucose levels in your blood and you must make sure you a re being monitored.
Intermittent Fasting and ADHD
People like me who have ADHD tend to struggle with binge eating. If you have seen this video, I have talked about why we struggle so much with our diets and how to overcome it. Remember if it is getting really hard for you to follow a diet plan and you find yourself binging, giving intermittent fasting won't be such a bad idea.
If you are a carb junkie, intermittent fasting will help regulate your insulin levels and as a result, you will start losing weight. If you find yourself overeating during your eating window, gaining weight or experience extreme hunger during your fasting hours, be sure to book a consultation with me before giving up on this amazing diet!
I promise if you are careful with your nutrition and pay attention to your nutrition, you will not only lose weight but you will feel like you have a stronger immune system, you are much more clear minded, and less inflamed and therefore you will have a much stronger immune system.
In general, intermittent fasting will not only help you become more disciplined with your diet, it will help you feel less anxious, more focused, less inflamed which means better overall health and stronger immune system.
Worried about getting too hungry?
If you start this diet the right way, you will never not feel too hungry!
There are Research also has shown people who tried intermittent fasting reduced their Ghrelin hormone (hunger hormone) and increased their leptin level which is the satiety hormone (helps with feeling full). this doesn’t mean you won’t feel hungry at all during your fasting period, it only means your body gets adjusted to the fasting state after 3-4 days and you won’t feel as hungry. You won’t necessarily feel the need to overeat during your feeding window and as a matter effect, you will notice that you will get full a lot faster you did before.
Risks: Malnutrition, Slow Metabolism and Weight Gain
You see when you restrict your calories, whether with caloric restriction or intermittent fasting, your body will get used to consuming that amount of calories. As you age, your metabolism will slow down and you will need to eat even less than what you are currently eating to maintain your weight. Therefore, it is possible for people who follow long periods of intermittent fasting or eat less than their caloric requirement, tend to put on a lot of weight as age. If you are struggling with this, make sure you book a free consultation with me so I can help you build your metabolism back up!
You should be able to enjoy food that is needed for your age and level of activity which is also something we can calculate together during your consultation.
There also hasn’t been any research done on the side effects of intermittent fasting over the 6 months period and since our bodies have also adjusted to the 3 meal system since the 1800's we simply don't know what the long term effects of this diet would be.
I would try it for 12 weeks to 4 months and then go back to eating normally (5-6 small meals per day) to make sure you don’t slow down your metabolism for ever. I would generally have refeed day where I eat a a high calorie diet for specific days so by body doesn’t go into survival or fat storing mode for long periods of time.
What should you eat during your refeeding window?
If you'd like to know more about intermittent fasting methods please like or comment on article/video so I know to write more on this topic.
First of all, fasting depletes your body from electrolytes and electrolytes are needed to help your heart beat, your muscles contract, and your brain cells communicate. You want to start with a little bit of salt because it hydrates your cells and gets them ready to absorb all the nutrition you are about to give it!
Remember to be very careful with your nutrition during your feeding window. Since you will not feel as hungry, you can try adding healthy fats like avocado, pre soaked nuts, coconut oil and olive oil to make sure you maintain the right amount of calorie for you. You need still maintain a good ration of 4:1 of omega 6 to omega 3 and a vegetable with all of your meals for fiber! Fasting does not mean you can eat whatever you want! Eating pizza and junk food after fasting can damage your cells and cause malnutrition. I have a basic plan that classifies healthy/brain and separates them from unhealthy ones. You can download it it, here.