How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting?

Reviewed on 2/18/2021

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, a diet plan that emphasizes long periods without food, might not be right for everyone, like people with blood sugar disorders, a history of eating disorders, other medical conditions or women who are pregnant. Talk to your doctor before starting any intermittent fasting plan.
Intermittent fasting, a diet plan that emphasizes long periods without food, might not be right for everyone, like people with blood sugar disorders, a history of eating disorders, other medical conditions or women who are pregnant. Talk to your doctor before starting any intermittent fasting plan.

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. It is based on the concept that humans were designed to eat for short periods of time followed by hours (and sometimes days) of fasting.

How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting?

In intermittent fasting, there are generally no food or calorie restrictions, but there are restrictions on WHEN to eat. For example, eating may be restricted to an 8-hour window during the day, with 16 hours of fasting in between. 

Some popular methods of intermittent fasting include: 

  • 16/8 daily regimen: of 8 hours of eating followed by 16 hours of fasting
  • 5/2 method: eat only 500-600 calories for 2 non-consecutive days, and 5 days of normal eating per week
  • “Eat-Stop-Eat” method: two 24-hour fasts per week on non-consecutive days

It can take the body two to four weeks to acclimate to intermittent fasting. 

It is generally not advised to go for longer periods longer than 24 hours without eating because it might be dangerous. 

What Foods Can You Eat While Intermittent Fasting?

In intermittent fasting, there are generally no food or caloric restrictions, only restrictions on when to eat. However, it is generally recommended to stick to healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

During the fasting period, non-caloric beverages such as coffee, tea, and water are permitted.

What Are Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Some studies have shown benefits of intermittent fasting to include: 

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What Are Risks of Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting might not be right for everyone. Talk to your doctor before starting any intermittent fasting plan. 

Intermittent fasting is not recommended for:

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Reviewed on 2/18/2021
References
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work