Is Intermittent Fasting Bad for Teens?
Many teenagers are concerned about their weight, always looking for the next diet to help them shed 10 pounds overnight. Dieting isn’t magical. You’re not going to instantly lose weight without putting in the time and effort to make it happen, especially if you are intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is perfectly safe for teenagers, as long as they’re no longer in a high-growth period like puberty. Intermittent fasting could have adverse impacts on their development if they are, so you’ll want to consult with a doctor before you or your teenager makes any changes to their diet.
The quality of food your teenager eats is just as important as when they eat, so make sure their diet is rich with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. With care to what they eat and when they eat, your teenager will get the nutrients they need to thrive. They can successfully make health changes if they adhere to intermittent fasting plans.
What to Watch Out for With Intermittent Fasting for Teens
Intermittent fasting has different programs that can be as lenient or restrictive as you feel comfortable doing. 16:8 is a great program for teenagers, where they will eat for 8 hours and fast for 16. Many naturally follow this pattern as they skip breakfast in lieu of sleeping in later – this is simply putting a name to their eating habits!
Pay attention to your teenager if they become overly strict with their diet. Intermittent fasting can trigger eating disorders if your teenager has suffered from them in the past. Even if they haven’t, they may develop them after starting intermittent fasting. If they hyper-focus on their eating habits and windows, it may be time to try an alternate meal plan. Additionally, if they have any health conditions, including diabetes, or take certain medicines, your teenager should not try intermittent fasting as it could be detrimental to their health.
Always consult with a medical professional before making lifestyle adjustments that could significantly impact your day-to-day life. They will help you and your teenager make changes in healthy and sustainable ways.
Why Should My Teenager Try Intermittent Fasting?
If your teenager is trying to lose weight, they may want to try intermittent fasting with permission from their doctor. Intermittent fasting will not prompt the body to enter starvation mode. Your teenager isn’t going that long without food – though, it dramatically may feel as if they are wasting away as the hours tick on. Instead, intermittent fasting will help the body to burn the fat it’s already storing by burning through the calorie intake and sugar stores to help your teen lose weight.
Intermittent fasting can help your teenager set an eating schedule, which is essential to developing healthy habits. Rather than snacking throughout the day, your teen is limited to certain times they can eat. During this time, it’s essential to make smart choices about their food. While there are no restrictions on most intermittent fasting programs, this is not the time to binge eat or overindulge in all the sweets they’ve been dreaming about. As your teen is intermittent fasting, they should eat healthy, high-nutrient foods that provide sustained long-term energy. This will keep them moving throughout the day, and they may even want to consider downloading a fasting app to help them on their journey.
Intermittent fasting may be challenging to get used to, but once your teenager does, they’ll see major benefits, including weight loss, increased metabolism, reduced insulin resistance, and so much more. It’s worth checking out if they’re interested in making lifestyle changes and putting in the work to make it happen.