Is Intermittent Fasting Safe To Practice?
IF Insider No. 17
In this week’s IF Insider:
In this issue we answer a question submitted by one of our readers: I see articles in magazines from time to time saying that intermittent fasting can actually be dangerous. Is intermittent fasting safe to practice?
Of course, we will get you up to speed on what we’re currently reading. For our paid subscribers, in this issue’s Research Spotlight we are bringing you news of a major study that is about to be launched looking at the effects of the gut microbiome on longevity and aging. Intermittent fasting is also going to be brought into the study.
Plus our paid subscribers also get one of Ellen’s recipes each month and access to a live Q&A call. If you are a paid subscriber, we are bringing you a recipe for a traditional long-cooked Chinese rice porridge known as “jook” or “congee” which is warming, soothing, delicious, and digestible. Best of all, you can customize your jook with your favorite toppings and have it for breakfast or for lunch or supper.
The paid option also includes a monthly live Q&A call with Ellen and Denise held on the second Tuesday of each month at 12 Noon Eastern (9 AM Pacific) time. The next call is on Tuesday, December 8th.
We also recently announced the launch of our Fast Factor Intermittent Coaching Certification program which began on November 5th and we are still accepting applicants up until the start of our next class on November 19th. See below for the latest info and how to apply.
Plus, our free intermittent fasting Facebook group is quite active, as well as our Fast Factor Circle membership. Just click the link here to become a member of our exclusive Fast Factor Circle Community.
What is the IF Insider?
This email is your briefing on the most compelling developments in intermittent fasting as well as innovation in practices that can be stacked with IF, such as plant-based eating, sleep hacks, natural nootropics, brain training, and more, all curated by our team of entrepreneurs and 'future-think' scouts.
Our Mission is to introduce the power of Intermittent Fasting to entrepreneurs worldwide so they can exponentially improve their lives and businesses and the lives of the people they impact every day.
P.P.S. Get our free Fast Factor Primer: The Entrepreneur's Quick Start Guide to Intermittent Fasting by clicking here.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe To Practice?
In our last IF Insider (IF Insider No. 16), we looked at the question: “Can I practice intermittent fasting with a cheat day?” In each and every issue we cover one specific intermittent fasting topic as well as highlight what we are reading, watching, and studying.
So let’s address today’s question:
“Is intermittent fasting safe to practice?”
The best answer to this is that for most healthy adults, intermittent fasting (the way we practice it here at the IF Insider) is safe. That means beginners should start with a lower fasting time of 16 hours or even less and then gradually add time in 30 to 60-minute increments up to about 19 if that works for your goals.
You should always take care to stay properly hydrated during your fast, meaning drinking unlimited amounts of unsweetened and unflavored black coffee, black or green tea, and plain or sparkling water. Plain unflavored and unsweetened electrolyte solutions are permissible as well and can help to ward off hunger pangs and leg cramps if you are prone to them. So-called “dry fasting” which means no food as well as no liquids allowed during the fast, is an unnecessary and medically dangerous practice. Stay away from that!
We do not advocate prolonged fasts and by that, we mean the occasional fast of no more than 48 hours and certainly no more than 72 hours. In fact, we believe that for most people, prolonged fasts are not at all necessary and that a moderate regimen of daily time-restricted eating will bring you all the health and weight loss benefits you desire.
If you start to feel unwell during your fast, such as getting a headache that does not go away, or you get weak, nauseous, or dizzy, you should break your fast and eat something. Try again the next day, perhaps scaling your fasting time back a bit until you hit the number of hours you can initially handle.
You should not fast if you are under 18 years of age, you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you suffer from an eating disorder. If you are under the care of a physician for chronic disease, especially if you require medication, you should always consult your physician before beginning a fasting program. If you are a Type 1 diabetic, under no circumstances should you practice intermittent fasting.
Why It Matters
Intermittent fasting, when approached properly, is a daily practice that is practical and easy for most people to do. Going to extremes by pushing the limits on how long you fast, or not drinking fluids during fasting is irresponsible and dangerous and serves no benefit.
As long as you are an adult who is in reasonably good health and you follow these guidelines, intermittent fasting is safe and effective.
“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.”
~ Rumi, 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic
Last Call - Fast Factor Intermittent Fasting Coaching Certification Program
On November 5th, we opened the doors to the very first group of students to enter our new six-month program, the Fast Factor Intermittent Fasting Coaching Certification…
And we are leaving the door open to new applicants until our second meeting on Thursday, November 19th.
You’ll learn everything you need to know (via pre-recorded instruction, live Zoom calls, and a private Facebook group) to coach and consult with others confidently, whether you want to add another income stream to your business or do this full time.
The Fast Factor program schedule includes:
One - Introduction. What to expect from this program and setting goals.
Two - The Basics How Intermittent Fasting Works
Three - The S.O.A.P. methodology and how to use it to solve challenges.
Four - Fasting, Travel, and Schedules
Five - Nutrition and Diets: Keto, Plant-Based, Mediterranean
Six - Understanding Type II Diabetes
Seven - The Stress Response
Eight - Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
Nine - Exercise
Ten - Stacking and IF
Eleven - Maintenance Of Weight Loss
Twelve - Wrap Up, Review, and Final Presentations
Thirteen - Graduation Celebration
Plus, there will be student Case Presentations and students will coach at least two of their own clients during the six-month program (don’t worry because we will help you!).
We’ll also be guiding you on setting up exactly what you need to make this into a business.
So if you have been thinking about doing something new and you are interested in the ultimate health and wellness tool, then Fast Factor Intermittent Fasting Certification is for you. But don’t wait, as the doors to this program close on Thursday, November 19th.
To find out more, reach out to me right now at email@example.com with the words IF Certification in the subject line so I won’t miss your email.
This will be one of the best things you can do for yourself this year and six months from now, you’ll be proud to call yourself a certified Fast Factor Intermittent Fasting Coach!
I can’t wait to speak with you!
~Ellen Britt, PA, Ed.D.
What We Are Reading
With each issue, we both bring you a short blurb on what we are currently reading or watching, including books, articles, videos, movies, and research papers of value.
Denise - Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller
The day before I headed to Northern California, Extra Virginity showed up from my hold list at the library. Perfect timing since I was joining a group of people to help with an olive harvest on a small farm near Sacramento.
There are very specific criteria an olive oil has to meet in order to be certified “extra virgin.” Extra Virginity takes the reader on a fascinating journey through a rich past where olive oil is not only used for cooking, but for medicinal purposes and religious rituals. Today, there is a global struggle going on between oil fraudsters and artisan producers.
I received a note a few days after the harvest from the olive grower let us know, "Our October harvest ensures an extra-virgin olive oil high in polyphenols and antioxidants, making this a heart-healthy oil." I can’t wait to get my bottle!
Ellen - The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding Of A Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung
Dr. Jason Fung is a Toronto based nephrologist specializing in patients who have diabetes and kidney disease. He is well known in the field of intermittent fasting and has written two best-selling books, The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Fung makes a strong argument for intermittent fasting as part of a powerful cancer preventative strategy. Even though I have not yet read this book, I trust Dr. Fung’s knowledge and expertise and know his work well through his previous books and articles. I am going to pick up my copy today and encourage you to read it as well.
“For hundreds of years, cancer has been portrayed as a foreign invader we’ve been powerless to stop. By reshaping our view of cancer as an internal uprising of our own healthy cells, we can begin to take back control. The seed of cancer may exist in all of us, but the power to change the soil is in our hands.”
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Our Mission: We bring together entrepreneurs to learn how to combine the extraordinary power of intermittent fasting with research-based practices both ancient and modern so that as we support, encourage and inspire one another, we can each expand our focus, confidence and productivity as well as exponentially increase our well being, and through us, the well being of our families, friends, colleagues, and communities.