Intermittent fasting is a topic that seems to be popping up everywhere. This method of dieting or cleansing the body revolves around the idea of consuming no food for a specific period of time, based on the type of fast chosen. Of course, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different fasting techniques, and each one has its own time frame and guidelines to follow. There are 12-hour fasts, 36-hour fasts, and even alternate-day fasting methods that claim to help with weight loss and other health issues.
While most of the fasting methods used today are promoted as safe and even healthy in some circles, there are some fasts that are downright dangerous. Not to mention that the body can have several responses to being deprived of nutrients, including depression, anxiety, and even trouble sleeping. Organ damage can even result from extreme fasting. The body is not meant for this, after all.
Fasting as a Trend
There is a Facebook group available for women who partake in intermittent fasting for various health reasons, in addition to weight loss and general body improvement. At the time of this writing, it has more than 260,000 members, all of whom are talking about and sharing their own stories of fasting. While it might initially sound like a noble effort and a means to cleanse your body, it's actually quite dangerous.
Some people fast once or twice in their lifetime and then never try it again. That's not really the issue. The struggle with the delicate balance of eating disorders comes from people who are fasting on a regular basis and choosing it as a means of weight loss or feeling better about themselves. Essentially, fasting is becoming the eating disorder of the 21st century.
It's a Mental Problem, Not an Eating Problem
The issues revolving around fasting and how it can probably almost qualify as an eating disorder are not about the food or the eating. It's about starving yourself and binging later, and that can create a new mindset or mentality that wants to control all of your eating. If nothing else, it can form a starve/binge habit that is going to be very hard to break.
Ultimately, the best way to take care of your body is to eat healthy meals and to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Rather than starving your body, just eat less, make smarter choices, and don't let yourself succumb to the media hype or peer pressure that comes with diet trends.