Humans have fasted throughout history for many reasons. Lately, the practice of intermittent fasting* as a potential weight-loss tool and health benefit has gotten a lot of attention. But how does it work and is it truly healthy for us?
Intermittent fasting (IF) involves eating your meals during a specified window of time and avoiding food outside of that window. Examples of IF include:
A lot of the research is based on relatively short time periods or animal studies. More research is needed to assess its longer-term effects and if and how the animal research findings apply to humans. However, IF has still been linked to a variety of health benefits including:
The short answer is yes. Here are several things to consider before trying any kind of fast.
IF isn’t for everyone. If you want to give it a try, always discuss it with your health care provider first before starting. IF may not be right for you if you have: