Intermittent fasting has grown increasingly popular in recent years. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it: does it work? Is intermittent fasting good for you? How will it benefit me? Etc etc. Today, I thought
If I’m being honest, this is a post I’ve put off writing for a long time. There is still much to be learned about the topic, and I’ve shied away from putting out a post based on emerging evidence. That said, I think it’s a good exercise for me to make sense of existing literature about a topic that’s still learned about.
So, take this post with a grain of salt. This is a hot but still-emerging topic in the scientific community. As we learn more about intermittent fasting (IF)
in the coming years we can paint a more complete picture of how IF impacts human beings and their health.
For now, here’s what the science says about IF!
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) Is a diet pattern that focuses on eating during a specific window of time each day. Some people eat only during a 12 hour window, others eat during 6 hour windows. Some people only eat 1 meal a day. There are many different interpretations of intermittent fasting and many different IF eating schedules out there.
IF focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat. Some people, including people who don’t care for breakfast, or those who like to eat a lot at once, may enjoy this pattern of eating. Others, like those who like snacks every few hours, may not like this pattern of eating.
Is intermittent fasting for everyone?
IF is not safe for everyone. In fact, it may be dangerous for people with certain health conditions like diabetes and kidney disease. It is also not recommended for growing children and teenagers, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
People on medications that work best when taken with food may also find scheduling their medicine and meals challenging.
Additionally, IF may be triggering or unsafe for those with a present diagnosis or history of eating disorders or disordered eating.
Before you begin IF, I’d strongly advise checking with your physician or dietitian to see if it is safe for you.
What does the science say about Intermittent Fasting?
Before we dive into specifics, I’d like to point out that most of the research I was able to find on IF is animal-based research, and/or human research that takes place over a short window of time. There are few long-term human studies focused on IF, which may limit the generalizability of the studies.…