A dietary pattern known as intermittent fasting (IF) alternates between periods of eating and fasting. The 16/8 approach, in which people fast for 16 hours and then eat within an 8-hour window, is one of the most well-known IF variations.
In recent years, IF has become more well-known as a weight loss method, and research indicates that it might be successful in this regard. However, IF’s effects could change depending on your age.
It has been demonstrated that IF works well in young adults to reduce body weight and enhance several health indicators, including blood pressure and glucose metabolism (1, 2). It’s crucial to remember that additional research is necessary to properly comprehend how IF affects young adults.
IF may be more advantageous for preventing chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in older persons (3). In older adults, studies have indicated that IF can increase insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (4, 5). Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that IF can enhance lipid profiles, which can lower the chance of developing cardiovascular disease (6).
Due to the fact that their bodies are still growing and they have distinct dietary requirements, children and adolescents may not be good candidates for IF. Additionally, IF can interfere with their circadian cycle, which has an adverse effect on their growth and development (7).
It’s crucial to remember that it’s always preferable to speak with a healthcare provider before beginning any new dietary plan, including IF. As they might have underlying medical issues or take drugs that could interact with IF, older persons should pay extra attention to this.
In conclusion, IF may be a successful weight-loss method for young adults and may potentially have preventative advantages for seniors. It’s not suitable for kids and teenagers, though, and you should speak with a healthcare provider before beginning any new eating regimen.
- Heilbronn, L. K., Smith, S. R., Martin, C. K., Anton, S. D., & Ravussin, E. (2005). Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(1), 69-73.
- Varady, K. A., Bhutani, S., Church, E. C., & Klempel, M. C. (2009). Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(5), 1138-1143.
- Mattson, M. P. (2018). Energy intake and exercise as determinants of brain health and vulnerability to injury and disease. Cell Metabolism, 27(6), 917-933.
- Varady, K. A., Bhutani, S., & Church, E. C. (2013). Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(4), 841-846.
- Mattson, M. P., Allison, D. B., Fontana, L., Harvie, M., Longo, V. D., Malaisse, W. J., … & Ravussin, E. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews, 39, 46-58.
- Longo, V. D., & Mattson, M. P. (2014). Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications. Cell Metabolism