Intermittent Fasting: The Basics

Here's everything you need to know about intermittent fasting

(RxWiki News) What you eat makes a difference for weight loss, but could when you eat also make an impact?

That's exactly the theory that intermittent fasting operates under. But what does this type of fasting involve, and does it actually work?

Here's everything you need to know.

How Intermittent Fasting Works

The concept behind intermittent fasting is simple. You choose certain periods of the day in which you will eat and in which you will fast (not eat). You stick to those time periods religiously.

The thinking is that limiting the hours in the day in which you eat can help with weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.

Is Intermittent Fasting Effective?

But does it work? There is evidence that limiting eating to an eight- to 10-hour period of the day may help with weight maintenance and/or loss when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

That's good news, but it's important to remember that everyone's body, mindset and metabolism are different. No diet or fasting plan is one-size-fits-all.

Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Anything Other Than Weight?

According to the Mayo Clinic, intermittent fasting has been tied in some limited research to other possible health benefits, such as a reduced risk of the following:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer's disease

Types of Intermittent Fasting

There are dozens of ways to do intermittent fasting, but some of the most common include the following:

  • Daily restricted fasting. You only eat within an eight- or 10-hour period each day and fast for the rest of the day.
  • Alternate-day fasting. You eat normally one day and eat only a very small meal or completely fast the next day.
  • 5:2 fasting. You eat normally for five days per week and fast for the other two.

Interested? Talk to Your Doctor

Intermittent fasting can be helpful to some people who would like to lose weight or maintain their weight, but it isn't right for everyone. If you're interested in intermittent fasting or making any large change in your diet, it's important to speak with your health care provider to make sure it is safe and healthy for you.

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Review Date: 
December 31, 2021