What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a popular diet trend that involves alternating between cycles of eating and fasting. While the exact hours can vary, the overall goal of intermittent fasting is to fast for 14 to 16 hours per day and restrict your eating to an 8- to 10-hour window (via Inverse). Although many people laud intermittent fasting as an effective way to lose weight, the diet trend is certainly not for everyone. In fact, it can cause a number of negative side effects and can be unhealthy and triggering for people with a history of disordered eating (via Insider). Restricting food when you're hungry may cause you to associate weight loss with not eating.

According to Dr. Caroline Apovian, the co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women's Hospital, fasting and restricting eating can lead to fatigue, nausea, and dizziness, which is an indication that you're not eating enough. It may also cause you to lose your period, if you normally have one. This is a sign that your body is trying to conserve energy because it's not getting enough nutrients. If this happens, you should stop fasting immediately.

Side effects of stopping intermittent fasting

At the same time, stopping intermittent fasting can also come with its own set of negative side effects. For instance, quitting intermittent fasting can lead to digestive issues and may even result in weight gain (via PopSugar). However, this is mostly due to overeating and eating unhealthy foods. PopSugar writer Jenny Sugar documented her own experience quitting intermittent fasting and revealed that she began experiencing side effects within the very first day.

According to Sugar, she experienced bloating, fatigue, hunger pains, and difficulty focusing. She also consumed more calories than she did when she was fasting and started eating foods with higher sugar contents, which caused her to break out. Of course, this is just one person's experience. Not everyone who stops fasting will experience these side effects. In fact, Bustle writer Edith Zimmerman, who quit intermittent fasting after she got pregnant, didn't report experiencing any negative side effects after returning to a diet that no longer restricted her eating. At the end of the day, it really just depends on the person.