Intermittent Fasting, Is It For You?


Isabelle Curran

Latest posts by Isabelle Curran (see all)

While people have practiced fasting since the start, Intermittent Fasting has gained popularity over the last decade.

The biggest difference between this means of weight control and others is instead of focusing on what you can/cannot eat, it is  dependent on when you eat.  At the most basic level, IF is defined by cycles of fasting and eating. 

Most studies have concluded that while intermittent fasting is effective, it is no more beneficial than any other diet. So with that being said, is intermittent fasting the diet for you?

Basic IF methods:

The 16/8 Method  – 16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of non-fasting each day.  This is often thought of as the most sustainable, set method. Here’s a sample schedule:

  • Fasting in the morning (think of it as skipping breakfast) – water, of course, available at all times.
  • Having your first meal around 11am
  • Having your last meal by 7pm
  • Fasting until the morning 

The 5/2 Method – this is more extreme method comprised of selective calorie intake 2 days out of each week.  Here’s a sample schedule:

  • Choose two days out of the week to cut calories
  • Consume only 500-600 calories on 2 non consecutive days (eg, Monday and Thursday)
  • Eat “normally” the rest of the week 

 

Here are some benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Weight Loss
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Virtually customizable to your schedule (just no eating late at night!)
  • Theoretically reduces risk for heart disease

 

Who It Is Safe For:

Anyone who doesn’t fit in these categories:

  • Children and Teenagers <18 years of age
  • Expecting or Breastfeeding Women
  • People with Diabetes or Blood Sugar Issues
  • History of Eating Disorders

To ensure long-term benefits, make sure to cut down on snacking, stay consistent, do what works best for you. Keeping the pattern simple and maintainable is the best way to see sustainable results while intermittent fasting!

 Sources: 
Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide, Kris Gunnars, BSc, Healthline, April 2020
Intermittent fasting: Surprising Update, Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Harvard Health, June 2018
Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?, Johns Hopkins Medicine
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