What Exactly Does Intermittent Fasting Mean?

Aug 1, 2021

Why is everyone talking about “fasting”, isn’t that bad for you???

What is intermittent fasting? Does it have health benefits?

Answer From Manpreet Mundi, M.D.

Intermittent fasting means that you don’t eat for a period of time each day or week. Some popular approaches to intermittent fasting include:

  • Alternate-day fasting. Eat a normal diet one day and either completely fast or have one small meal (less than 500 calories) the next day.
  • 5:2 fasting. Eat a normal diet five days a week and fast two days a week.
  • Daily time-restricted fasting. Eat normally but only within an eight-hour window each day. For example, skip breakfast but eat lunch around noon and dinner by 8 p.m.

Some studies suggest that alternate-day fasting is about as effective as a typical low-calorie diet for weight loss. That seems reasonable because reducing the number of calories you eat should help you lose weight.

Can intermittent fasting improve your health? Losing weight and being physically active help lower your risk of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and some types of cancer. For these diseases, intermittent fasting seems to be about as beneficial as any other type of diet that reduces overall calories.

Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may be more beneficial than other diets for reducing inflammation and improving conditions associated with inflammation, such as:

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

It’s important to note that intermittent fasting can have unpleasant side effects, but they usually go away within a month. Side effects may include:

  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Intermittent fasting is safe for many people, but it’s not for everyone. Skipping meals may not be the best way to manage your weight if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have kidney stones, gastroesophageal reflux, diabetes, or other medical problems, talk with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.

Fasting is any period of time that you are not eating, so intermittent fasting is simply alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting has recently been rediscovered as a highly effective weight loss method, and new research confirms its many healthy benefits. In 2019, it was Google’s most searched for weight loss term, and also prominently reviewed in The New England Journal of Medicine, the most influential medical journal in the world.

There is nothing new about fasting. It is one of the oldest dietary interventions and has been part of the practice of virtually every culture and religion on earth. Indeed, the word ‘break-fast’ means the meal that breaks your fast, referring to the fasting period between the evening meal and the first meal of the next day.

Since 2010, the number of online searches for “intermittent fasting” has increased by over 10,000%, as people recognize the significant health benefits, including weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal.

Who are some good people to follow to learn more about intermittent fasting or “IMF” for short:

Well for starters many of our providers and staff here at Ridgeline Medical do intermittent fasting themselves, so they can teach it to you firsthand as this is how many of them live their day-to-day lifestyles.  In addition, our health care provider and Nurse Practitioner Christina Finnerty has a program designed for individuality and follow-up to help you reach your weight loss and optimal wellness health goals. 

Call now and make an appointment today to learn more and get your customized plan so you too can live your best life! 

People suggested following up on YouTube to learn more about the health benefits and how to do intermittent fasting safely and effectively. 


Dr. Jason Fung is a Canadian nephrologist. He’s a world-leading expert on intermittent fasting and low carb, especially for treating people with type 2 diabetes. He has written three best-selling health books and he co-founded the Intensive Dietary Management program. Dr. Fung has his own website at IDMprogram.com.

Dr. Jason Fung, author of The Diabetes Code, The Obesity Code, The Cancer Code and Life in the Fasting Lane.

Dr. Mindy Pelz – YouTube

Dr. Mindy Pelz, D.C. is a bestselling author, nutrition and functional medicine expert who’s spent over two decades helping thousands of people successfully reclaim their health.