I've been following a moderately strict paleo diet coupled with an intermittent fasting routine for nearly half a year. I generally eat in a window from 5 to 8pm daily. This has been working well for my weight loss goals and I have been feeling very good generally.
I teach at a local college and we are just about through midterms. Prior to midterms several unanticipated projects and meetings cropped up and filled in most of my previously unstructured time. I was in a situation where I simply could not stop in order to make deadlines. Sleep quality took a hit, and with half of the students hacking and coughing I quickly developed a cold which hit about a week ago.
I slept in last Sunday which helped somewhat, and I continued the IF routine out of habit if nothing else. Through the rest of the week I simply felt wiped out and could not shake the illness. Finally my schedule broke on Tuesday and I slept for 14 hours straight, but I still did not feel better - weak and lethargic as could be.
While getting mixed advice on the web about fasting during illness, and while not technically feeling hungry, I went ahead and forced a few good meals spaced roughly late morning / lunchtime / dinner, probably more calories than I had been typically eating.
My energy returned that evening, and now I am wondering if I wasn't inadvertently hindering my recovery by continuing IF through this. When healthy, IF'ing has made me feel better than I have in years, but something went off the rails this week.
I'm still learning to listen to my body, but I missed something. IF is something of a stressor, and when external stress and illness strikes, something needs to give. What sorts of "signals" should I pay attention to to gauge whether I need to temporarily pick up my intake and when to resume my routine? Continued weight loss at a rate consistent with health and happiness is my immediate goal.
If your sick but hungry then eat (very nutrient dense foods)....If you sick and not hungry then fast.
It really is this easy. Fluids are important, but your body usually needs rest and has reserves to heal (actually consuming and processing of food is a stressor of its own sort also). So fasting is fine. But, if your hungry trust that response as well and eat some of what grandma gave you....homemade chicken (minus noodle) soup. Easily assimilated nutrients do well when you are hungry so stick to slow cooked veggie/meat soups.
Fasting while sick? 11 Answers