I'm 18 years old and have started eating paleo about a month ago. I feel great and recently tried a 24 hour fast last week. It went well and I felt great all day, but I'm wondering if I should be fasting if I am still potentially growing. I also lift weights 3 times a week and am looking to gain muscle and lose fat. I'm currently 6'2" and hovering around 175 lbs. Is fasting healthy for me?
Don't intentionally fast for 24 hours. Once a month is probably ok.
It's most definitely ok to skip a meal once in a while. If you are out and about or are busy and forget about eating then don't worry about it! This is most definitely ok, especially when the best food choices are not around.
Skipping a meal of pop and pizza is better than drinking/eating the pop and pizza.
But, again, eat food as you please. Just make sure it's primal/paleo of course then you have no worries :)
There was a pretty good discussion about that in this post . . .http://paleohacks.com/questions/73626/can-intermittent-fasting-cause-or-worsen-adrenal-fatigue. I would add that fasting is great once in a while, our ancestors did it for periods of time when they had to find food, so our bodies are designed to do it, just not on a regular basis. The major problem of modern society in terms of diet imo is that we have the brains of our ancestors that are designed to eat as much high fat and high sugar foods as possible when they're available, only they're always available in abundance now. But the occasional fast helps the body detox and repair itself, and caloric restriction is associated with longevity in studies and in the healthiest cultures around the world.
I wouldn't recommend fasting to someone your age. You are potentially still growing, and your brain is still myelinating until about age twenty-one. I'm not sure that fasting would be negative necessarily, but I wouldn't recommend risking it...I think of someone still developing as needing the most optimal nutrition available, the same as a pregnant or a nursing mother.
My counsel is a rough blend of Rogue Nutritionist & Eric. Don't go whole hog (brain development very much in progress) but don't hesitate to mix it up a bit, skipping a meal now and then.
Concerning all things brain: the book "The Brain That Changes Itself" is a worthy read. Google before buying, to be sure.
And let me add: Regardless of what you decide to do re your question, right-on for being so proactive about your health, so young. I discovered diet-exercise in my 20s and it was the best discovery of my life. Good genes are terrific things to inherit, but good lifestyle decisions are critical to practice, given the evidence that smart behaviors influence gene expression in positive directions.
I am giving you my opinion about the effects of fasting, but the two best sources for all the scientific facts about fasting are the book Eat, Stop, Eat and the website leangains.com. I thought I knew some facts about fasting until I read some of the article on that website. The most comprehensive one is probably this: http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html, but check out as many of the articles from the "most popular" section as you can.
In my non-professional opinion, the only two potential problems caused by fasting of any type are not consuming enough nutrients and not consuming enough calories. Of course these may or may not be problems depending on numerous variables, including your age, activity level, exercise routine, genes, stress level, etc., which is why people have such variable experiences with fasting. If your appetite is good enough that you are able to consume enough calories in one or two meals a day and your diet contains enough nutrient dense foods that you are meeting all of your nutritional needs when you do eat (which it should if it is Paleo as you say), I don't see any reason why fasting for a reasonable duration or frequency would harm you, and based on the information provided in the above two resources, it is likely to benefit you in some way.
Until you are 21 or 22 I would not do any prolonged fasting (more than 24 hours at a time) because you will still be developing, as one of the above answers mentioned, but IF several days a week should be safe and potentially beneficial. Just make sure to consume as calorie-dense and nutrient-dense foods as possible when you eat. Grassfed beef or calf liver, pastured eggs, grassfed butter, and virgin coconut oil probably top the list of such foods in my opinion, in that order.
Why not? It's not hard to get adequate nutrition from one or two big meals a day. I don't think it really makes any sense to eat all day and weigh yourself down with food when you need to be moving around, working, thinking and learning. Why use energy and blood digesting food when your brain needs it? Plus, your body makes ghrelin when you fast, and ghrelin is awesome.
Personally, I fast for at least 16 hours every day.
starving? wtf Don't listen 2 such ignorant statements. I have been fasting for ages ( almost 4 years) and in stronger than ever. Is not going to harm you, on the contrary, If you aspire to achieve optimal health and longevity you should definitely give fasting a try. First, make sure to eat well ( dont stuff yourself or become obsessed with food) avoid toxins, absorb all your nutrients and then stay hydrated. Try daily 16 / 20 hour fasts and see how it goes. Its a lifestyle, and once you are adapted it has incredible benefits.
I like to do a short term fast when I find myself bored of what I normally eat and start craving SAD foods. It gives me a psychological boost to continue eating wholesome foods. It may not be optimal, but it's much better than falling back into old unhealthy habits.