Who Shouldn’t do Intermittent Fasting?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular as a way to control weight and improve overall health. But who should not do it? As with any diet, there are certain people for whom intermittent fasting could pose potential risks. In this article, I’ll be exploring who should avoid intermittent fasting, outlining the key groups of people likely to be affected by this type of dietary regime and presenting some case examples.

First of all, it’s important to note that anyone considering trying intermittent fasting should always talk to their doctor first. What may be right for one person may not necessarily be so for another; listening to medical advice is essential before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting?

  • Intermittent fasting isn’t suitable for everyone – in fact, some individuals may find that it causes more harm than good due to underlying health conditions or lifestyle factors. In general, those most at risk from the effects of intermittent fasting are:
  • Children and adolescents under 18 years old – as their bodies are still developing, introducing drastic dietary changes like intermittent fasting could have long-term consequences on their growth and development.
  • Pregnant women – even if you were doing intermittent fasting prior to becoming pregnant, now is not the time for drastic changes in diet or lifestyle; instead focus on eating nutritious meals regularly throughout the day.
  • People with type 1 diabetes – because blood sugar levels need careful monitoring and regulation, balancing out periods where little food is eaten can be difficult and potentially dangerous for diabetics if not done correctly.
  • People with a history of eating disorders – as these issues can resurface when faced with new dietary regimes such as intermittent fasting; seek professional help first before attempting this type of dieting behaviour.
  • Those taking medication which require food intake – certain medications (such as insulin) require food intake at regular intervals in order to work properly; if you take such medication then you would need to plan your fasts carefully around when you take your medicine so that it does not become ineffective or cause adverse reactions.

Case Examples:

Let’s now look at some real-world examples of why certain individuals shouldn’t do intermittent fasting:

  1. A 25 year old woman with anorexia nervosa had been actively avoiding eating through various methods including binging one day and then starving herself on other days; she was advised against trying any form of calorie restriction such as intermittent fasting due to her history of disordered eating behaviour which could easily resurface under these circumstances.
  2. An 18 year old male athlete was considering trying 16/8 (16 hour fast followed by an 8 hour feeding window) but his doctor warned him against it due to his age; even though he seemed healthy overall there were concerns about how this kind of extreme calorie restriction could affect his growth during adolescence when his body was still developing rapidly.
  3. A 45 year old diabetic had been successfully maintaining stable blood sugar levels through a strict low carb diet but wanted to try something different; however his doctor suggested that he avoid any kind of prolonged periods without food such as those seen within an IF protocol which could potentially destabilise his condition further due to sudden fluctuations in blood sugar levels over time caused by varying meal patterns throughout the week .


In conclusion then, there are several groups who should not do intermittent fasting including children and adolescents under 18 years old, pregnant women, people with type 1 diabetes and anyone taking medication requiring regular food intake plus those with a history of eating disorders who should seek professional help beforehand rather than attempting this kind of extreme dietary regime on their own accord. By understanding the potential risks associated with IF protocols we can better protect ourselves from harm while also making sure we get the best results possible out our diets when used appropriately.

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