Many teens are worried about their weight and are constantly looking for a diet to help them lose some pounds.
They look for quick fixes, but they don’t know that no one loses weight overnight unless put in the time and work.
So what happens if teens fast?
Can you do intermittent fasting under 18?
It is not advised to do so. Many professionals find intermittent fasting safe, but it is not for everyone and especially for teenagers.
People under the age of 18 are especially not advised to do any type of intermittent fasting.
Children and adolescents are at a rapid growth stage, and since intermittent fasting significantly decreases calorie consumption, growth retardation can occur.
Hence, it is widely believed by the medical community that anyone under the age of 18 should not engage in intermittent fasting.
Another problem is the possibility of developing an eating disorder at that young, tender age.
This is a crucial factor to take into account, especially for teenagers.
It’s important to remember that every lifestyle and diet adjustment can cause an unhealthy connection with food and weight.
Fasting is frequently used in the same way as calorie restriction by those who are currently battling an eating disorder.
Intermittent fasting will not be a smart option if your teen is already dealing with an eating disorder.
However, some people believe teenagers can engage in intermittent fasting as they are not currently going through a phase of rapid development, such as puberty.
Whatever the reason, you should speak with a doctor before you or your teen makes any dietary adjustments since intermittent fasting might have a negative effect on adolescent development.
What Age Can Do Intermittent Fasting?
Many medical and nutrition professionals believe that age is not a factor in intermittent fasting.
Almost all young individuals can benefit from intermittent fasting, but what matters is the length of the fast.
Younger folks under 18 can safely abstain from food after dinner until the start of a typical breakfast the next morning, making them fast for approximately 10 to 12 hours.
Fasting for 10 to 12 hours is enough for teens and having this period is necessary to let their body repair and achieve equilibrium.
In addition, the age for intermittent fasting is dependent mainly on the amount of output the person is going through, like exercise, lifestyle, and metabolism.
Unlike adults, a teenager’s body is in a constructing and developing phase, requiring a complex and varied food intake.
Teens practicing intermittent fasting would require a way longer eating window to receive all the nutrients they require without stunting their growth.
A greater focus on complete, nourishing meals that provide energy throughout mealtimes would be ideal for teenagers.
Typically, teens are advised to eat every three to four hours, particularly athletes who need to fuel their bodies constantly.
Can Minors Do Intermittent Fasting?
Minors can fast for moderate periods, but they should only do it under the professional supervision of a doctor or nutritionist.
Intermitting fasting can be harmful without careful supervision, especially if teenagers don’t eat enough or obtain adequate nourishment from their meals.
intermittent fasting may appear to be a novel approach to weight control, but it is simply a calorie-restriction diet.
Children are developing, their minds are expanding, and their muscles are growing.
We shouldn’t limit anything in the lives of children but instead prioritize providing healthy, balanced meals that give them the fuel to grow and develop as they should.
Fasting is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and it’s no wonder it’s reaching younger generations and sparking the curiosity of many minors.
However, kids and adults have different health and nutritional needs.
Kids demand more nutrition than adults since they are still developing rapidly in height and weight.
Restricting food intake for lengthy periods and enforcing a restricted diet can be dangerous.
While most health specialists believe that the diet is safe for most individuals, they usually refer to healthy adults.
There is little scientific evidence to support intermittent fasting in minors, and any type of diet restriction at all should be done under the watchful eye of a pediatrician.
To keep themselves healthy, young adults should engage in at least some physical exercise throughout the day and consume a healthy, nutritious diet.
Is Intermittent Fasting Good For A Teenager?
Since there hasn’t been much study on intermittent fasting and teens, no one can state with certainty whether intermittent fasting is good for teenagers or not.
But what is certain is that a teen’s body depends on receiving enough nutrition to support its growth and development.
Even if fasting for 12 or 16 hours, it is still possible to acquire all your daily nutritional needs.
Intermittent fasting is a new trend now since so many teenagers are overweight.
For example, the United States Department of Health and Human Services recently released data on teen obesity.
According to the survey, 17% of youths in the United States are fat.
That means that 17% of teenagers are at high risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Aside from the health hazards associated with being overweight, these youths have greater difficulty establishing friends, dating, and finding employment than their slimmer peers.
On average, they also have self-image issues and other psychological challenges, which can affect the quality of their schooling and general well-being.
They are extremely likely to continue the difficulties connected with being overweight long into adulthood until and unless an overweight adolescent loses weight.
However, according to many pediatricians, intermittent fasting is not the most reliable option for weight loss for teens.
The best method to lose weight safely is to eat nutritious meals, avoid junk food, and engage in a variety of physical activities and exercise.
You can also see a doctor or a dietician to help you or your youth create realistic weight-loss goals.
What Is The Youngest Age For Fasting?
It is recommended that only people above 18 start fasting.
Older teens can try out fasting but shorter periods, like a 12 or 14-hour fast, but it is advisable to stay away from long periods of fasting until fully grown.
If weight loss is the goal, a better focus would be feeding a nutritious, healthy diet free of processed junk food and unhealthy fats.
Intermittent fasting can also lead to overeating and bingeing in kids during their eating windows.
Children are at a stage in their lives where carb cravings, picky eating, and sugar addiction are frequent.
Because the frontal cortex, the region of the brain that helps you know when you’re hungry and full, isn’t as developed in children and teenagers as it is in adults.
As a result, youngsters may decide to miss breakfast if they are late to school, and they may even skip lunch if they do not like what is on the menu that day.
Because they haven’t eaten all day, they’re packing two or more meals into their snack time when they come home.
These snacks interfere with the digestion of main meals. Children who have a constant snacking cycle are at risk of developing chronic inflammation in addition to a host of other health problems.
Encouraging children and teenagers to eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast, lunch, and supper with a few healthy snacks throughout the day is a lot more sustainable and healthier way to eat for a lifetime.
Parents should establish a healthy eating routine for their kids and teenagers.
There should be metabolic flexibility to balance social events with a consistent home cycle that improves autophagy.
Autophagy is an amazing process our bodies use to stay healthy.
This dynamic process has been found to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress inside the body while improving metabolism, signaling, and many other physiological activities.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.