Intermittent Fasting

In a normal fasting diet, a person does not eat at all or severely limits intake during certain times of the day, week, or month. A practical effect of a fasting diet may be fewer calories because there is less time for regular eating.

An Intermittent Fast is an alternating cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Many diets incorporate Intermittent Fasting.

There is ongoing research into intermittent fasting vs long-term calorie restriction. One promising study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that obese individuals who fasted using the Alternative-Day Fasting (ADF) method an average of 12 pounds, and lowered their total cholesterol, their “bad” Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and their systolic blood pressure over an 8 week period.

Doctors recommend that not everyone try Intermittent Fasting. If you are pregnant, are on diabetic medicine, on any prescription drugs that require eating during meals, are on multiple prescriptions, or have a history of an eating disorder, we recommend that you talk to your doctor before attempting an Intermittent Fast.

There are six major types of Intermittent Fasts:

  • 5:2 Fast
    • This fast requires that you eat a standard caloric intake for five days and a low-caloric intake (500 calories for women and 600 calories for men) for two days.
  • Time-Restricted Fasting
    • This fast requires fasting for 14-16 hours and eating only within a time window of 8-10 hours. There are two popular options for a Time-Restricted Fast:
      • 16-8 Fast
        • 19:00 – 11:00 (Fasting)
        • 11:00 – 13:00 (Lunch)
        • 17:00 – 19:00 (Dinner)
      • 14-10 Fast
        • 18:00 – 09:00 (Fasting)
        • 09:00 – 10:00 (Breakfast)
        • 12:00 – 13:00 (Lunch)
        • 17:00 – 18:00 (Dinner)
  • Overnight Fasting
    • This fast requires fasting overnight.
      • 19:00 – 07:00 (Fasting)
      • 07:00 – 19:00 (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are eaten between these hours)
  • Whole Day Fasting
    • This fast requires fasting for an entire 24 hour period. Eating only one meal a day. Any meal can be eaten. The one major advantage to this fast is that it is highly likely that you will have a caloric surplus for the day as it is nearly impossible to consume a day’s worth of calories. The major disadvantage is malnutrition, as it is difficult to consume the the proper nutrients the human body needs.
  • Alternative Day Fasting
    • This fast requires fasting every other day with a calorie intake of 500 – 600 calories.
  • Choose Your Own Fast
    • This fast is an a la carte or a choose your own adventure style. Depending on the discipline of the person this fast can be very successful or very unsuccessful.

Careful consideration should be used when determining which fasting technique to employ. Some of the fasting cuts out meals so there is the ability to consume fewer calories if weight loss is your goal.