Pool Party: Intermittent Fasting Almost Killed My Freind

Oct 05, 2021
Intermittent Fasting Can Kill You

I was at a pool party last year. Since I’m also a cardiologist, a friend of mine asked me about an episode where he passed out. He passed out driving home from the gym one day and totaled his car and hit three other cars. No one was hurt. But he was shocked and wanted answers. He was young and healthy.

If you prefer to listen or watch video, here's the link to me telling this tory on YouTube:

I asked him what he was doing. He said he was doing intermittent fasting and had not drank enough that day, drank some coffee, went to the gym and did a high intensity interval training work out. He said it was very intense. He was lightheaded and dizzy and tried to drive home. Then found himself in a ditch surrounded by paramedics and was taken to the hospital.

He was very dehydrated and hadn’t been eating nor drinking much that day and did a very intense work out. And that’s what led to his near-death experience. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

I asked him why he was doing intermittent fasting and what was his goal. He is 5 foot 8 inches and weighed 240 pounds. He said he was just trying to lose weight, and someone told him this would work very well. I asked him how long he had been doing this for and he said, “Three months”. I asked, “Have you lost weight?” He replied, “No, I gained almost ten pounds.”

He nearly killed himself doing intermittent fasting and hadn’t lost weight. In fact, he gained weight. This is anecdotal and just one person, but it illustrates that not every diet works for everyone. You must find something that works for you. Don’t do what your friends are doing or what’s popular. There is a much better way that works for everyone.

One of the other doctors at the pool party looked at him and told him, “Why don’t you just eat 1200 calories a day. You’ll lose weight if you do that.” All my friends looked at me and I sighed and went into teaching mode, teaching about weight loss and proper calorie counts. This happens nearly every day. People know I am “The Weight Loss Doctor” and expect me to dispel all myths and educate on every occasion. I oblige because I love teaching and I enjoy it. Plus, I really didn’t want my friend to die!

A 240 pound male eating 1200 calories per day would be very, very hungry. Starving really! And likely won’t be getting enough protein. Sure, he would lose weight really fast, but too fast! Losing weight too fast will cause muscle loss. You want to lose weight gradually, so you don’t lose muscle. We will dive deep into this topic later. He could also end up very depleted and pass out again. Which we want to avoid.


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