Fasting: who can do it and how to do it safely
Fasting as a healthy practice has been gaining attention lately, with some studies suggesting that short-term calorie restriction can be safe for healthy people and even beneficial for certain conditions. But researchers offer cautionary notes to anyone considering it.
Intermittent fasting is not meant as a quick weight-loss plan. Most people compensate at least partially for the food they skip, and quickly regain any weight lost.
More is not better. A little fasting may be good, but a lot is not. Restricting calories too severely can be dangerous.
Any dietary changes should be made gradually. Cut out one meal at a time, and eat a small handful of nuts if you are having trouble adjusting to a fast.
Drink lots of fluids, such as water or green tea, when cutting back on food. The health risks of short-term fasting come largely from dehydration.
Consult your doctor before trying any dietary changes, particularly during cancer or other medical treatments.
Don’t drive while fasting. Low blood pressure is a common side effect of fasting, and can drop so low that there is a risk for passing out.