Intuitive Fasting Or Are We Being Duped For Another Fad Diet?

by | Mar 3, 2021

Every year new diet trends emerge while old diet trends either hold steady or are long forgotten. In 2021, a new diet has found its way into the diet industry’s forefront with a bang. This new diet trend is termed “intuitive fasting,” and it’s making an appearance all over the internet and in various stores such as Target, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. In this article, we will delve into the world of intuitive fasting and view it from an analytical lens to determine whether it is worthy of our time as RD practitioners or just another fad diet? 

As RDs, it can be easy to dismiss new diet trends automatically since evidence-based nutrition findings rarely pop up out of thin air. However, we will look at it from an analytical standpoint and answer a few questions about it. In this article, we will answer “What is intuitive fasting?” “Who created intuitive fasting?” and “Where does intuitive fasting fit in our RD nutrition coaching?” 

What Is Intuitive Fasting?

So we have all heard of intermittent fasting and intuitive eating, but what’s intuitive fasting? It is similar to intermittent fasting since you eat during certain windows and fast during others. However, the intuitive aspect refers to developing attention and awareness of your own body, so that you can organize eating and fasting in a way that works for you personally. Intuitive fasting is thought to yield the same benefits as intermittent fasting. Potential health benefits of this diet are thought to include: improvements in thinking and memory, better endurance, prevention of diabetes, improvements in blood pressure, and so forth.

The founder of the movement, Dr.William Cole, in his book, Intuitive Fasting, outlines a 4-week plan created by Dr.Cole himself designed to “stretch” and “strengthen” one’s metabolism to help one feel good all day long and get rid of nagging cravings. In week 1 a 12-hour body reset fast occurs. For week 2, the individual will undergo a 14 to 18-hour metabolism recharge fast. Week 3 is a 20 to 22-hour cellular renewal fast. Week 4 is a 12 hour rebalance fast. Essentially it is a 4-week intermittent fasting cycle where an individual develops mindfulness while they find fasting protocols that work best for them.

Who Created Intuitive Fasting?

Dr. William Cole created the movement. Cole is an IFM certified practitioner, doctor of natural medicine, and a doctor of chiropractic medicine. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences. His post-doctorate education and training is in Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. He is also the author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum. Cole is also in association with Goop. He is a co-host of the Goopfellas podcast and writes blog posts for Goop. Goop is a beauty, health, and wellness company founded by actress Gweneth Paltrow.

What Is The Bottom Line?

Like any other diet out there on the market, it’s so important when making a lifestyle change to ask your client if it can be sustained long-term. If this is something that your client couldn’t sustain long-term, then intuitive fasting may not be the diet for your client. Nutrition should be individualized and there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach in the world of nutrition.

Before starting ANY nutrition protocol, whether it’s you or your client, you should always ask yourself this important question: Can I do this for the rest of my life? If you even hesitate before answering the question, the dietary protocol may not be for you.

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