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"Fad Fasting" vs Intermittent Fasting

Updated: Jul 8


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Fad Fasting vs Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now and, just like the new “fad diet”, “fad fasting” is becoming a thing and this concerns the hell out of me.


Intermittent Fasting Is Not a Diet

First, I’d like to address the fact that Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not a diet, there is no weighing, measuring, or counting carbs, protein, fat or calories, and there’s also no start and stop date.


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Intermittent Fasting Is Not a Diet

Intermittent Fasting Includes Eating and Fasting Windows

IF is when your day consists of eating windows and fasting windows, that’s it, nothing more.


We all know there are 24 hours in a day, so an IFers day will have a 15, 16, 18, etc. hour fasting window and a 9, 8, 7, etc. eating window.


The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle, it’s something you can do every single day, and, unlike dieting, it has many health benefits:


Intermittent Fasting is the only way to get your body to release stored fat


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Intermittent Fasting is the Only Way to Release Stored Fat

Improves insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar and reducing type 2 diabetes risk.


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Intermittent Fasting Improves Insulin Sensitivity

It lowers heart disease risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation.


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Intermittent Fasting Improves Heart Disease Risk Factors

IF supports brain health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, lowering the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.


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Intermittent Fasting Supports Brain Health

It balances hormones, increases norepinephrine and growth hormone levels, boosting metabolism, fat loss, and muscle gain.


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Intermittent Fasting Balances Hormones

IF promotes autophagy, reducing disease risk, and improves gut health by giving the digestive system a break.


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Intermittent Fasting Reduces Your Risk of Disease

It also enhances mental clarity and focus by stabilizing blood sugar and reducing brain fog.


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Intermittent Fasting Enhances Clarity, Focus and Concentration


All of these benefits are amazing, but you can only get them if you fast in the right way, and “fad fasting” is not the right way.


"Fad Fasting" Terminology


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Signs of "Fad Fasting"

If you’re speaking with someone who says the following, they are talking about “fad fasting”:


You can lose a lot of weight really fast with IF

You can’t, and shouldn’t lose a lot of weight quickly, ever!  It slows down your metabolism and can damage your heart


Just do it for a short period of time, until you meet your goal

No, fasting is a lifestyle that “causes” many health benefits that you will have only if you do it long term.


You can eat “fat bombs” while fasting

This is the stupidest thing I ever heard.  Fat bombs are high-fat, low-carb snacks that will stop your fast because they have calories and taste.  The goal of fasting is to pull stored fat from your body. Eating fat while fasting defeats that purpose.  When you fast, you fast, when you’re eating you’re feasting.


You can drink coffee while fasting

Coffee, even black coffee, will stop your fast because it has taste


You can eat anything you want during your eating window

No again!  Fasting is about removing stored sugar from your body so that your body can remove stored fat.  If you’re eating a lot of processed carbohydrates – cupcakes, pie, pizza, juices – you’re just replacing stored sugar and you’ll never burn fat.


Anyone can fast

There are certain people who shouldn’t fast – pregnant and breast-feeding women, children and teens under 18, people with Type 1 diabetes who take insulin, those with a history of eating disorders, those with heart, kidney, or liver disease, those with chronically high cortisol


If you’re fasting, you don’t need to exercise

There are so many reasons to exercise that this statement is detrimental to our health.  As we age we lose muscle, exercise prevents this, muscle keeps your metabolism active which helps with our weight, strength training strengthens bones, strong muscles improve balance and keep us on our feet.  Cardiovascular movement improves mood, reduces stress, improves hearth health, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Just do a 24 hour fast tomorrow, it will be fine

NO!!!!  Long fasts, when done wrong, and broken with the wrong foods can cause major stress on your body leading to weight gain


The Detrimental Effects of “Fad fasting”


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Unhealthy Intermittent Fasting

"Fad Fasting" can be extremely unhealthy, leading to many detrimental side effects:


  • Nutrient deficiencies from cutting out food groups

  • Muscle loss from believing that you don’t have to exercise when you fast

  • Weight gain due to a slowing of your metabolism

  • Hormonal imbalances from not fasting properly with a cycle

  • Dehydration from “dry fasting”

  • Electrolyte imbalances from not eating enough nutrients

  • Increased stress, anxiety and depression from doing “fad fasting” with “diet brain”


Please avoid any of this type of fasting, it can be detrimental to your health.


People who do intermittent fasting the right way, can have sustained long-term health and weight loss.


If you’d like to learn more about intermittent fasting done the right way, let’s chat!




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