- To learn how to practice intermittent fasting and incorporate it into your life.
- To find the intermittent fasting formula and frequency that is right for you.
Time Frame: Begin practicing as soon as you are comfortable with trying it. Ideally, intermittent fasting should be practiced every day, or as often as you can make it fit into your life.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. “Intermittent” simply means “not continuous.” It’s intermittent because the fast is less than 24 hrs. Otherwise, 24 hrs or more would be “extended fasting.” So you can do Intermittent Fasting every day (every 24-hr period) if you want to because you are breaking the fast for your food window. The most simplistic explanation of intermittent fasting is nothing (except water) between supper and breakfast. No bedtime snacking!
For several years, diabetes nutritionists were recommending eating six small meals a day with the rationale that this practice would keep the blood sugars stable. The reality is that eating that often keeps the digestive organs—including the pancreas—working overtime without a rest! It’s such a relief to know that current nutrition science recommends 3-5 hours between meals and no snacks in between meals. The last meal of the day should be 3-5 hours before bedtime.
Intermittent Fasting, as described by Dr. Jason Fung, a Canadian nephrologist, means, at its most simplistic, eating or drinking NOTHING (except plain water) between supper and breakfast. The “entry level” Intermittent Fasting might be 12:12—a 12-hour eating “window” and a 12-hour fasting window, such as ending supper at 6 p.m. and starting breakfast at 6 a.m. the next day.
Then you can begin to extend the fasting/eating schedule to 16:8 (an 8-hour eating window and a 16-hour fasting window). An example might be breakfast (or the first meal of the day to break your fast) at 8 a.m. and the last meal of the day to be finished by 4 p.m. Or you might have an early lunch at 11 a.m. and finish with supper by 7 p.m. Some people even do an 18:6 schedule, with an eating window of noon to 6 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on your work, school, or household schedules.
Intermittent Fasting is perfectly safe for most healthy adults, including diabetics with no other major health issues. If you are on medications of any kind, please consult with your doctor before attempting fasting (beyond just not eating/drinking between supper and breakfast). Be sure to monitor your blood sugar closely to make sure your fasting/pre-meal blood glucose stays in the normal range of 70-99 mg/dL (3.8-5.6 mmol/l).
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting include:
- Lower blood sugar
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure and resting heart rate
- Increased energy
- Increased brain function
- Weight loss
- Reducing overall inflammation
If you didn’t know that Ellen White supports what we now call Intermittent Fasting, I recommend an excellent article by author Dr. DeWitt S. Williams who was diagnosed as diabetic and details his research and personal testimony (see link below).
DISCLAIMER: If you are pregnant, taking diabetes medications and/or insulin, under age 18, or have other compromising medical conditions, do not attempt any type of fasting without consulting with your doctor or other qualified health care professional.
Williams, DeWitt S., EdD., MPH. “Ellen G. White and Intermittent Fasting,” Spectrum (December 18, 2018). https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2018/ellen-g-white-and-intermittent-fasting (Accessed on 7/17/2020).
Covers the following topics:
- Regularity in mealtimes
- At least 5 hours between meals
- No snacking between meals or at bedtime
- Last meal 4-5 hours before bedtime
- Eat whole foods whole
- Use of water
- Incorporate exercise
Asprey, Dave. “Reverse Insulin Resistance with Intermittent Fasting,” Dave Asprey, n.d. https://blog.bulletproof.com/insulin-resistance/ (accessed on 7/17/2020).
The best way to increase your insulin sensitivity is through fasting.
Fung, Dr. Jason. “How to Eat: Fast and Break-Fast,” The Fasting Method, Copyright 2020, Intensive Dietary Management. https://idmprogram.com/eat-fast-break-fast/ (accessed on 7/17/2020).
Several interesting recent studies regarding meal timing that deserve some attention, including part of the Adventist Health Study 2.
Naiman, Dr. Ted, MD; medical review by Dr. Bret Scher, MD. “Time-restricted eating – a detailed intermittent fasting guide,” Diet Doctor (April 24, 2020). https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting/time-restricted-eating (accessed on 7/17/2020).
“Fasting expert Dr. Fung answers viewer questions” [5:43], Global News (December 2, 2019). https://globalnews.ca/video/6243421/fasting-expert-dr-fung-answers-viewer-questions (accessed on 7/17/202).
Article with 5-min. video.
Fung, Dr. Jason. “What Is Intermittent Fasting?”, YouTube, uploaded by health yourself, September 7, 2018, https://youtu.be/wsD3kQ7S6ts [4:40]
A brief explanation by Dr. Jason Fung.
The Complete Guide to Fasting
by Dr. Jason Fung & Jimmy Moore
Moore, Jimmy, and Dr. Jason Fung. The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing, 2016. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MF8SC2X/
Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with author and health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about. Fasting, as described by Dr. Fung and Jimmy Moore, can be utilized with any dietary protocol and dietary lifestyle.
More Supporting Articles
Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes
Fasting and Brain Function – Fasting 24
Fasting Lowers Cholesterol
Fasting Mistakes: Top 7 Things That Sabotage a Fast
How Fasting Reverses Type 2 Diabetes
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Reverse Diabetes
How to Eat: Fast and Break-Fast
How to Renew Your Body: Fasting and Autophagy
Intermittent Fasting – Boost Energy, Vitality and Longevity
Intermittent Fasting for Beginners
By Dr. Jason Fung, M.D. – Updated September 2017
Intermittent Fasting Has Benefits Beyond Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting — the best diet for type 2 diabetes?
Intermittent Fasting: The Science is Growing
by Michael Kelley, PhD
January 22, 2018
Neuroscientist Shows What Fasting Does To Your Brain
Power: Fasting vs Low Carb
Reversing diabetes with the help of a relatively new dietary approach known as intermittent fasting
Reverse Insulin Resistance with Intermittent Fasting
There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast
A Detailed Intermittent Fasting Guide
Time-Restricted Eating May Reverse Diabetes & Obesity
What is fat fasting and when should you do it?
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
When We Eat, or Don’t Eat, May Be Critical for Health
Do You Know the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting expert Dr. Fung answers viewer questions
Article with 5-min. video
How 3 Meals A Day Became The Rule, And Why We Should Be Eating Whenever We Get Hungry Instead
Timing and Frequency of Eating
Does Skipping Breakfast Help with Weight Loss?
Researchers have been struggling to find consensus on this topic for decades.
How to Eat: Fast and Break-Fast
Intermittent Fasting: Why Eating Every 2 Hours is Bad
In reality, if you keep eating small amounts of food throughout the day, you’ll never burn any fat – this is due to insulin
Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2.
The Perils of Snacking
Increased snacking increases the risk of insulin resistance
The Profound Benefits of Fasting (and Autophagy)
Research shows pretty convincingly that timing our meals intelligently can produce remarkable health benefits.
A Detailed Intermittent Fasting Guide
To Snack or Not to Snack, That is the Question
Debunking the Meal Frequency Myth