What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting—periods of voluntary abstinence from food and drink—is a broad term that can be applied to many different practices. This type of dieting has spurred many books and has received a lot of attention as of late as studies (mostly in animals) have shown that it may reduce the risk for several diseases. The most popular approach is the 16/8, which requires fasting for 16 hours a day. Another version, alternate day fasting (ADF) alternates 24-hour periods of fasting (or very restricted 500 calorie diets) with days of eating freely. The 5:2 approach limits fasting to just two days a week while the Warrior Diet follows a 20-hour fast with one large meal consumed at night. “Part of the confusion with intermittent fasting lies in the lack of a definition,” says Robin Foroutan, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “To some people intermittent fasting means that they fast every day while to others it means they only eat between 11 and 6.”