Intermittent Fasting: Not So Fast

I’m sure that at least a few of you have heard or read about the latest trend in weight loss called “intermittent fasting.” The very word “fasting” is probably less than appealing, as it pretty much means you don’t eat or drink anything (except perhaps water) for a specified amount of time. Starvation is not exactly recommended among health professionals. But intermittent fasting is different. Is it something you should try?


What is intermittent fasting, anyway?
Intermittent fasting has been the talk of the town, so to speak, thanks to two recent books to hit the market: The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, and The Overnight Diet by Caroline Apovian, MD. Intermittent fasting essentially means that you skip a meal or severely restrict calories on certain days of the week with the intention of losing weight, controlling blood glucose, and/or decreasing heart disease risk. But on the other days of the week, you can pretty much eat what you want (within reason, of course). For many people, this concept sounds appealing. Limiting calories for a couple days a week doesn’t sound that bad if you can eat what you want the rest of the time.

The Fast Diet, also called the The 5:2 Diet has you eat between 500 and 600 calories (women get 500 calories, men get 600 calories) for two days out of the week, spread over two meals of about 250 to 300 calories. These fast days should not be right in a row, and your food choices ideally should be more plant-based and emphasize protein. The premise is that after several hours of fasting, the body burns up its carbohydrate stores and shifts to burning fat for fuel. Many claim that intermittent fasting also helps to blunt appetite.

The Overnight Diet emphasizes getting enough sleep; a lack of sleep can disrupt metabolism, making it hard to lose weight. Sufficient sleep, according to the author, will reduce hunger pangs. The diet part of this involves drinking homemade smoothies once a week, and eating a low-calorie, high-protein diet the remaining six days of the week.

Does intermittent fasting work?
In many ways, these two diets sound like just another fad to come around the bend. And maybe they are. However, there actually is some credible science behind fasting. Restricting calories in the diets of animals appears to increase their lifespan, for example. Recently, a team of researchers in the UK looked at the various approaches to intermittent fasting, with a focus on how they might help (or hinder) those with Type 2 diabetes and obesity. They found that intermittent fasting is as effective as or even more effective than simply cutting calories to lose weight.

They also found that intermittent fasting has other health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, lowering heart rate, lowering cholesterol, and reducing insulin resistance. This unique approach may even help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Followers of the diet also believe that intermittent fasting can prolong your life and prevent Alzheimer disease.

Is intermittent fasting for you?
Sound appealing? Before you jump on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, realize that not a whole lot of research has been done in this area, at least with humans. The few studies thus far look promising: In one study, fasting was shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and on “regular eating” days, the subjects did not overindulge, which has been a concern. But again, we still don’t know a whole lot about intermittent fasting.

Wondering what you might eat? A sample 500-calorie menu from The Fasting Diet is steel-cut oatmeal with 1/2 cup of blueberries for breakfast, and then chicken stir-fry made with 5 ounces of chicken and some vegetables, along with a tangerine for dinner. That’s it. Would that hold you?

Could intermittent fasting be harmful? Well, that depends. If you take insulin or sulfonylurea drugs to control your blood glucose, intermittent fasting can considerably raise the risk of low blood glucose unless you make appropriate adjustments. This way of eating is not suitable for pregnant women, people under the age of 20, people who are underweight, and people who have an eating disorder. It may also not be good for people who take certain types of medicines, such as beta-blockers.

Another question to ask yourself: Can you stick with this way of eating? It may sound simple to just eat 500 calories for two days a week, but 500 calories isn’t all that much. On those days, you’re likely to feel tired, grumpy, anxious, and irritable. You also may not sleep well and your breath might not exactly smell like a bed of roses.

But, if you’d like to give intermittent fasting a try, talk it over first with your health-care provider and decide together if it’s something that could work for you. And if you have tried this, feel free to share your experience!

Want to learn more about diabetes and fasting? Read “Can Fasting Help Diabetes?” and “Fasting During Ramadan.”

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
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  • Steve Parker, M.D.

    I’d be a little worried about hypoglycemia if I took a thiazolidinedione (pioglitazone, rosiglitazone) or bromocriptine. But certainly the risk is much greater with insulin and sulfonyureas, as you say.


  • jim snell

    Amy: none of this makes much sense to me. I need to keep my liver out of the mess and the way I do that is timely and regular eating of sufficient calories,

    This article makes no sense for me. Best wishes and special thanks for all the excellent articles and eating issues.

  • Sue Dean

    I was wondering if anyone knows if eating more than the 500-600 calories would still work. I think I would be violent if I only ate that little, but because I’m in the process of losing weight gradually, eating 1,000 calories on those “fasting” days would still be less without being so low that I feel cranky. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the info/ideas.

  • JohnC

    I remember doing a three day ‘fast’ over 50 years ago… partially because I ran out of money and food. The first day was not very nice, but I noticed by the second day my body (and mind) decided we must be starting a famine period. As long as I drank water it wasn’t really a problem. I did appreciate food when I resumed my normal eating pattern though.

    It hasn’t been that long that we have had access to food all of the time. Perhaps our bodies are programmed to do without. Certainly in some places that still is the norm. And perhaps some of us end up as type 2 diabetics because we have ‘thrifty genes’… which of course would ensure over survival in the times of very little. The lean didn’t make it while the plump type 2s had reserves.

    There have been studies to show that when the body isn’t always busy processing food, it turns to healing modes it doesn’t always get a chance to do.

    Of course if you are on any diabetic meds (or type 1) you might want to think twice before you try it out.

    • antiguajohn

      There is an old saying,”hunger sharpens the mind”.

      It’s an evolutionary development, no food to make glucose and the body switches to breaking down fat to make ketones and the brain actually functions better on ketones, after all remember that full meal feeling and you want to sleep, so when any animal is hungry and running on ketones they are smarter and faster allowing then to catch prey.

      An added advantage is that it causes your immune system to switch to repairing the DNA of cells instead replacing them,this has the advantage of fewer DNA transcription errors which can lead to cancer and other diseases.


  • Ferne

    I quit reading books. No one agrees and they all have different solutions. I would never do intermittent fasting when the program I follow now works.

  • Pat

    I have type 2 on metaforming 2xday 500ea for 4 hrs My a1c was 7.1 for few years and went to 7.3 My morning blood sugars were creeping up some times up to 18 after a meal I keep low carbs limited no pasta potatoes take only stevia .my last visit to the dr he increased my metaformin to 1500 mg 5003x per day
    Instead I read dr mercola intermittent fasting and give it a try I try to stop ,around 6-7 pm and eat my regular breakfast at 11-12 A month after my sugars in the morning6.8 to 7.6 and after every meal went from 14-18 to 9.9 -7.6
    I don’t agree with the food piramyd I prob be on insulin if I ate like the diabetic clinic recomended (I live in Canada) instead I followed a naturopath more healthy diet
    So far this is working out and definitely lower my sugars I just got my blood test and dr didn’t call me
    So I will find out and post later if my a1c went down
    I am less hungry and crave sweets a lot less

  • Adam

    I have had Type 1 diabetes for 28 years, and I wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump.

    I’ve noticed that when I eat a higher fat diet, or when I don’t exercise, my body does not react to insulin well, similar to what happens in Type 2 diabetics.

    I tried intermittent fasting and what I noticed is that in the days after fasting, my metabolism is supercharged. My body’s uptake of insulin is significantly more efficient, even when eating fatty foods. Foods that should have sent my blood sugars lingering for hours into the 200+ range barely budge me. (Remember, I have the CGM which plots out my blood sugars every five minutes, 24 hours a day. So I have hard data to back up my observations.)

    If you’re type 1, you have to be very careful about hypoglycemia. But I’m now able to “ride” my insulin pump basal levels to counter the effect of fasting so that I do not dip into hypoglycemia.

    This has been a real eye-opening experiment for me.

    • Rudhi Wijanarko

      wow that’s rellay impressive.. thanks for sharing !!
      I have diabetes type 2 and have 30 pounds to loose, and is looking for intermittent fasting to achieve it, hoping to prevent my diabetes getting worse.
      Now learning from your experience (type 1 — wow), that’s really boost my motivation.
      Thanks Adam !

    • Diana

      How about exercise? I am type 1, and I’ve been doing research on intermittent fasting because my bf is doing it. I am scared he’ll get sick just because I am so used to doing a balanced diet to maintain my diabetes and glycemic levels as directed by my doctor. Because of this, I am very hesitant about my bf doing this diet. so… I want to start the diet a long with him to see if it’s safe, but I do like to work out. What kind of exercise do you do with this diet? and what snacks to you take, being type1?

  • truthbetold

    Sometimes not eating or fasting can cause higher blood sugar levels.

    • Jeffrey Yaakov Richman

      no it does not…explain the physiology of that,,you can’t

      • Dimi

        Type 2 diabetic here (recent) and I agree with what this person said. My blood sugar is high. It might have to do with exercise (cortisol raises blood sugar), or with coffee or maybe not all diabetics are equal. My diet is fantastic (strictly low carb) and I am slim with a six pack. Go figure. I think that the people who don’t have a positive experience from intermittent fasting should be more vocal because all you hear are the success stories.

        • Ben Wagenmaker

          Truthbetold, I agree partially. My blood glucose is often highest after 12-16 hours of fasting. However, I attribute this to gastroparesis. Never diagnosed officially, but I suspect it, and am planning to discuss with my doctor. Dr. Robert Berstein notes that high fasting blood sugars are the most common sign of gastroparesis. With this condition, food might remain in your stomach for several hours before being released into the small intestine, at which point your blood glucose will spike, although you may have been fasting for several hours. I find that I have much better success with controlling my blood glucose during an extended fast of 24 hours or more.

        • Ben Wagenmaker

          I also agree. I do intermittent fasting regularly, and extended fasts occasionally. My highest blood glucose readings are often in a fasted state, and especially after a fasted workout. However, I’m not concerned, since I know that my liver is just converting stored glycogen to glucose: essentially using endogenous glucose instead of exogenous (from what I eat).

  • r Negoro

    ….. It has been scientifically tested and it works.

  • antiguajohn

    Type 2 diabetic, one and a half years ago I started a fasting diet, no food from late Sunday night till Friday afternoon.

    So far I have lost 150 pounds and my insulin requirements are one fifth of what they were when I started and my health and energy is much better.

    By Sunday evening I look forward to the week of fasting, Monday is like I have a food hangover, Tuesday till Friday I have fantastic energy and clarity of mind.

    A life without some treats and joys is not good, so I take holidays and special days off, I test my blood sugars 3 to six times a day and use Humalin R insulin to prevent highs, my last A1c results were 4.8 percent.

    I have another 80 pounds to loose and I am having a great time doing it.

    When I arrive at my goal I will reduce the fasting days until I start to gain a few pounds, then I can add and subtract days to keep my weight in a target range, no calorie counting or restricted foods for me.

    One serious side effect, it may kill a multi-billion dollar diet industry.

    And that may be a good thing, one of the first diet efficacy studies in the early 1900’s showed only 10% maintained that loss for a year, 2% after 2 years and after 120 years it’s not improved much after all if there was an effective diet we would all be slim, which would be good for the dieter but a disaster for the diet industry.

    Scientia Non Domus,
    (Knowledge has No Home)


    • Natalie Fernandez

      you dont eat anything for 5 days?

      • antiguajohn

        I drink water or soda water with some fresh squeezed lime.

        Once you get into it it’s real easy to do.

        On most diets they ask you to make a list of food you like and then tell you, “never eat that again and if you find new food that tastes, spit it out’.

        On weekends I can eat anything I like, though I must admit healthy food started tasting good after a 5 and 1/2 day fast.

        After all anyone with a modicum of willpower can wait for the weekend to eat something they crave.

        On the other hand telling people to wait months and months to have a tiny amount of their favorite foods is a recipe for failure.

        Scientia Non Domus,
        (Knowledge has No Home)


  • Paul Hackney

    There is an absolute ton of scientific and medical studies on intermittent fasting. To start with, go see Dr. Jason Fung on youtube. If you stay on your BG pills and or insulin as a type 2 diabetic you will continue to stay fat and sick. It is highly unlikely that your health care professional has even looked at the studies Dr. Jason Fung refers to. Your doctor is operating off of the best guesses about type 2 diabetes from years ago. Dr. Fung even says that up until five years ago he was treating type 2 diabetics incorrectly as well. Watch this video by Dr. Fung

    • bkungl

      I saw came across Dr Fung’s video quite by accident and it was very interesting and made sense. He says that we need to treat the insulin and not the sugar. He, also, verified what I have often thought that once you are on medication it will only increase and increase. He has a high success rate with his program which cost $200 CDN for a year! You can, also, do it long distance via skype. I developed diabetes last year (runs in the family) and haven’t been on medication so far as I’m trying to control it via diet but I’m going to sign up for his program before my doctor puts me on medication.

  • Ben Wagenmaker

    Type II diabetic here, just diagnosed this year on Jan. 29th. Immediately started intermittent fasting, stopped eating/drinking excess sugar and drastically reduced my meat content. After 5 weeks, I’m down 21 pounds, and haven’t felt this good in years. I’m less tired, more alert, no more acid reflux, no more gout attacks, and my blood pressure is down. My eating window is 6 hours, and I do so at least twice a week. I’d be more than happy to continue doing this for the long haul.

  • Saleem Bassadien

    Ben, thanks for your feedback on this. Good luck on your journey!

  • Carol

    Hi Ben,
    That’s great news are you on any medications for your type II diabetes?

    • Ben Wagenmaker

      Hi Carol, when I was diagnosed, my doc prescribed metformin and lipitor. However, I only took metformin for a few days before deciding to forego the meds in favor of fasting and low-carb diet. I’ve met with my doc twice since, and he knows what I’ve decided to do. He is ecstatic about the results I’ve seen, and he has encouraged me to continue.

  • Zen Lizards

    Martin Berkhan of is my go to guy for all things to do with Intermittent Fasting. Following his fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 is the easiest method I’ve found that I can stick with and works great for my Type II. Plus I can build muscle at the same time thanks to his advice on using BCAA’s. So this method is one that I can refer to as a “Lifestyle” and not a “diet.”

  • Martin Yago Jezek

    i do i like 4 months and i am starting to have problems with my pancraease it cause me a pain after a while if i am fasted state dont know what is that. In my opinion is cause IF lower your blood sugar lvl and it drops me a much under those lvls like hypoglycemia

  • solluna80

    I’m currently doing this but not intentionally. Recently went through a break-up after 6 years. Was diagnosed with Type 2 at the beginning of 2014. Break-ups are great if you want to lose your appetite. I didn’t eat very much, maybe some cantaloupe here and there for 5 days. Ended up in a psych facility (unrelated to not eating), so they put me on a diabetic diet and back on Metformin. Before beginning that diet, my blood sugar levels were low, but not too low. Been eating healthy every since (practically no carbs and sugar, mostly lean meats, and veggies) The unintentional fasting kickstarted healthier blood sugar levels and I’ve maintained them with medication of course. But also with averaging less than 1000 calories a day, intense water aerobics for over an hour twice a week, cardio for 20-30 minutes/daily, and strength training every other day. I do believe some type of fasting can manage the diabetes.

  • tmp1356

    I have been doing 4:3 intermittent fasting for 6 months now and I have lost 22.6 lbs. The first week I felt dizzy when standing after a fasting day, but after that first week, I no longer felt any ill affects of the diet. I do eat 3 meals on my fasting day, keeping breakfast and lunch to about 100 calories and then having 250-300 calories for dinner. This helps me to avoid stomach problems when taking my regular medicines. Some of the benefits that I have found (other than the weight loss) is that my GERD had cleared up and my painful joints are better. Being a woman (50 years old), I have also noticed that I have better bladder control. šŸ™‚ I am halfway to my goal weight which will be me in the “normal range” for weight and BMI and I plan to continue this way of eating for life. Once I reach my goal, I will switch from 4:3 to 5:2 and may raise my diet day calories some to maintain. I find this a great way of eating, I feel so much better over all.

  • L

    May I know which specific method of fasting you used? The Leangains guide is the one I’ve most commonly heard of but I’d be open to hearing about other techniques as well.

  • Rajendra

    Please provide the update as of now Ben. My condition is very similar to yours. Recently diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2. Weight 254 lbs.

    • Ben Wagenmaker

      Hi Rajendra, My current weight is 210 pounds (down from 273), BMI of 27.0. Most recent HbA1c is 5.3%. My weight has been stable for approximately two months, and my health is great. My inflammation has decreased in the past 4 months. I’ve seen a significantly noticeable improvement in my lifelong chronic post-nasal drip; it’s much less bothersome, and even absent on some days. And rather unexpectedly, I no longer get motion sickness when I read in a moving vehicle. I attribute this to lower inflammation in my sinuses, since ear/nose/throat is interrelated, and motion sickness and equilibrium are tied to inner ear issues (which are tied indirectly to sinuses). I attribute the lower inflammation to my low-carb diet and fasting, both of which keep my blood glucose low, since perpetually high BG is tied to high inflammation levels. It follows that a lower BG will result in less inflammation in the body. Oh, and my HDL-to-triglyceride ratio indicates my cardiovascular health as “ideal.”

      I should also add that a few months ago, I altered my diet from “moderately low carb” (100g carbs/day) to a “very low carb” ketogenic diet, keeping my net carbs at 30g or less per day.

  • ruth

    was seriously considering purchasing the book, does it cover how to get started on the plan for beginners ? and does it cover the use of diabetes meds while fasting?

  • casualsuede

    I do 16:8 hours fasting and over two months I’ve lost 11 pounds. It is not hard, and I do cheat a bit (I will always fast for 16 hours but sometimes eat for 10 hours, not 8 due to schedule), but my calorie intake stays steady around 2K and I work out 3 or 4 days a week (which is what I always done).

  • freelyn

    I just started intermittent fasting and a few days in I feel great. It hasn’t been hard to only eat during a window each day. It amounts to not eating breakfast and having lunch late That’s not a big deal.

  • Rohan Zalani

    This is an incorrect description of intermittent fasting.

    • Rohan, this is a totally useless comment, since you give no detals. Please delete it.

      • Brian badonde

        He is correct though…

        • How so? Explain yourself, young man!

          • Botzilla

            There are different types of IF. I use it to cut body fat for weight lifting, I eat normally for 6 hours a day and then fast for 18 only drinking water or zero calorie drinks. The fast they are describing above is an extreme version.

    • Debra

      Yes it is.

  • Ben Wagenmaker

    I’m sure I’m type 2. In Type I, your body does not produce insulin, and I have no reason to believe that is the case in my body.

    Case in point, I know of Type I athletes that have major blood spike after an intense workout, since their body releases stored glycogen, and there is no insulin to counteract. When I workout, I get a moderate spike (maybe 1 mmol/L), but nothing major, so I have no reason to believe that my pancreas is not releasing insulin.

  • My blood sugar tests are way too high and there is neuropathy, so I have been advised to add insulin to my metformin. Oog. So instead I just started IF, eating one normal meal per day, and avoiding snacks and intense carbs. I also have colon cancer, so I’m hoping this will help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and increase their effectiveness.

    I don’t expect immediate results (except for losing weight), but I do find it easy to do. I also feel lighter than normal, which feels nice. I’m comitting to this for a month or two and I’m hoping.

    • I. M. Deplorable

      I wonder if you would mind sharing your experience from seven months.

      I hope you are doing well!

  • S. Radhakrishnan

    I’d like to know what you did with the medications you were on when you started fasting. Did you continue with them while fasting? Did you stop all of them? Did you stop them gradually? If so, in what proportion? Thanks.

    • Truc Giarc

      I didn’t take any drugs.

  • Joan Galt

    I have suffered from chronic constipation for 30 years. I started eating every other day about 6 months ago and it was cured from day one. If slip up and eat a few days in a row it comes back. It also cured my acid reflux from day one. If I slip up it also comes back after a few days.

    I am doing this for the rest of my life.

    • Liz Rainey

      Since you mention acid reflux, I can second that. I’ve been on Zantac prescription strength plus at least 4 1000mg Tums for 20 years. I had Barretts esophagus, GERD … you name it. Since I started IF (14-16 hours daily) I have stopped ALL acid meds, my Barrett’s was confirmed healed last October and I don’t remember what reflux feels like. I have to say, I also have stopped eating ALL grains, and all sugars. I used Stevia (Truvia) exclusively for sweetening and am actively trying to keep my T2D in check. My average remains steady at 120-170 mg/dl, which is not good, but having highly reduced fluctuations is beneficial.

    • Aberran Fox

      I have not found that it has cured me of these but I have seen improvements in what one might call acid reflux like symptoms and constipation. I also found that acetic, citrus, and ascorbic acids help … so that is why I say acid reflux like symptoms. I am not thinking it really is the acid that is the problem.

  • Hi Ben, I am starting to discover this IF, what do u mean 16:8? can you explain your daily eating habit routine or in a week. thanks for being inspiration.

    • Ben Wagenmaker

      Hi Ken, 16:8 is a breakdown of a 24-hour period, specifically meaning that I fast for 16 hours and then restrict my eating to a 8-hour window, usually from noon to 8pm. So my first meal is usually lunch, which is often leftovers from the previous evening. My supper is usually a meat (steak, chicken or seafood) plus veggies with butter. If still hungry, I might have some peanuts or almonds with dark chocolate. Hope this helps!

  • orbit

    this article is kind of weak.. it makes no arguments “but can you stick with this diet? what if you get grumpy?” ie zero difference between this and any other diet
    fasting blows every other diet out of the water. try it, dont eat for 3 days, drink coffe, tea, diet cola, whatever – just no calories. the results will be quite evident. you dont have to eat every day, your ancestors sure didn’t

    • acampbell

      Hi orbit,

      Thanks for your comment. Research doesn’t back up your claim that fasting “blows every other diet out of the water.” But if you have a credible source to support that claim, please do share.

      The reality is that a lot of people are unable to fast for medical reasons; in addition, fasting can exacerbate eating disorders, compromise sleep, and lead to loss of muscle mass. Plus, many people feel weak and lethargic when fasting.

      Since there’s no one approach that works for everyone, the decision to try a fasting approach should be made in conjunction with a qualified health-care provider.

      • bob

        The elusive qualified healthcare provider? You mean like my doctor who had one nutrition class 30 years ago and is big as a house?

      • Aberran Fox

        I find that I only get these side effects from not eating enough. They never really seem to come from waiting longer to eat. As long as when I eat I eat till I am completely full. If you are just eating light snacks or reducing your calories overall maybe you would feel this way. It really is the only time I feel bad is when I try and “cheat.”

    • Eva Fain

      Thanks for pointing that out!

  • bold


    • acampbell

      Hi bold,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right — slowing digestion helps to slow the movement of glucose from the gut into the blood stream. Fiber and fat help to slow digestion. However, antacids do not, and because they’re medications, it’s not advisable to use them for this purpose unless directed by a health-care provider.

  • Debra

    People have been fasting for thousands of years. This is hardly a fad. And calorie restriction is not necessary. You can consume the same amount of calories over a 8-9 hour window and then fast for 15-16 hours and still reap the same benefits.

  • Debra

    16/8 works well for me. And very easy to do.

  • Kok-Hong Wong

    It has been 4 years since the original article was published. Countless T2D could have benefited from learning about the effectiveness of intermittent fasting and understanding the importance of lowering our insulin levels to allow fats utilization and maintaining glucose stability instead of being dissuaded from contemplating it…HbA1c reduced from 11% to 5.5% within 3 months.

  • Brad M

    I did a 24-hour fast over the weekend and my morning number number went from an average of 150/160 to 101 the day after coming off the fast. IF is very promising, but sadly this article is a good example of the rigid thinking of the medical industry.


    This is a useless article. First, the author does not explain the theory behind IF. Second, the “history” of intermittent fasting started 1,000s of years ago when there were no refrigerators. Where we ever got the idea that we had to eat anytime we were hungry runs counter to anthropomorrphic man–ancient humans went days without eating, but when they had the opportunity to eat, they ate to the max–remember, if they did not eat it, it would spoil.

    Finally, insulin resistance, or Type 2 diabetes, is a result of too much sugar in our diet and not enough exercise. The more we automate, the more we have “time saving” appliances, we end up expending less energy; thus, we aren’t burning up the sugar we eat.

    Easiest way to IF, skip breakfast every day, and skip breakfast and lunch two days a week. No food, but water, unsweetened beverage until you can eat, and then try to stay away from sweets. Remember, High fat and low carbs will “turbo-charge” your weight loss.

    Me? Lost 50 two years ago. Kept it off, and when I get hungry, I can wait it out because in just a matter of a few hours, I’ll be eating again. I think of it as sort of a game I play with myself. After a while, you forget you are hungry.

    Hope this helps.

  • Joseph Ellison

    Type 2 diabetes is a hormonal imbalance due to eating too many times throughout the day. If you are following the 3 meals a day/snacks or 6 small meals a day….your T2D is expected to worsen. Calories in Calories out is completely useless. Exercising more while eating/drinking multiple times a day will not reduce T2D symptoms. One meal a day is all we need as humans…we suffer from T2D because of eating too often each day…it is not related to calories. Insulin is the reason we gain or lose weight(cortisol too). If you eat more often you will be hungry more often. Fasting is not starvation. We fast every night time we sleep. It’s not an opinion. T2D is here to stay unless you eat less often…not less calories. Homeostasis…look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls. Your body is overweight because you eat throughout the day. That’s what you are making it do…store fat. We as humans do not require 2000 calories….that is a outdated calculated number with high percentage of error. Humans can and do safely go days without food. Fasting is human nature. As long as we ignore science we will have T2D. It’s not my opinion…it’s human nature. Your doctor isn’t always up to date or knowledgeable on nutrition. They are human beings tempted and taught the same way you are. Have you ever seen an obese doctor or heavy set nurse before? Keep in mind, the simplest answer is usually the right one. Fasting is healthy and normal and proven effective to reverse T2D. If you think eating one meal a day is starvation…you are lacking the knowledge same as I did. Reducing insulin will reverse T2D. Drugs cannot reduce insulin as effectively as fasting. Humans can immediately take control of their insulin by simply eating less often. Eating once a day as you reasonably can…. ..BOOM…T2D…gone.

    • Sandra N Jimmy Chapman

      I like this… do you post any where else on a regular basis about t2d.

    • Douglas Grant

      Joseph are you an Undocumented expert?.. The thing about internet advice is the undocumented expert who says things like you do but they don’t say who they are what scientific test they perform. No evaluation experiments or surveys— no studies done they just spout of like bunch of experts from the old CBC Red Green show.. Buffoonery at its best!!! and it not you entirely. it’s all of the internet… A lot of folks use the internet as a place to get answers but most of its just crap!!!! the only smart thing are the questions people ask.. In reality most answers are stupid ones which I believe Americans have gotten use to.. There saying that I believe is true.. ” There are no such thing as stupid question just stupid answers!!!!

  • bufny1

    I’m like most people—diet, lose weight and then gain it all back plus more. I had been told this “mantra” by nutritional “experts” for years that you had to eat 3 meals a day and snacks in between to keep insulin levels “steady”—as it turns out this is exactly what is wrong with losing weight—you have to keep insulin levels as LOW as possible not “steady” as they claim—when I first started intermittent fasting I weighed 215 pounds-and after 4 months–I weighed 170 lbs-and I found that my energy/sleep all dramatically improved–that was 2 years ago and I still only weigh between 170-175 lbs and have no problems keeping my weight stable. And on weekends if I feel like pizza/wings etc I can have them but I know that on Monday morning I can go back on my fasting regimen and I this keeps my weight steady

    • Deb Barnette Hagerty

      What did you do for the fasting may I ask? I have been thinking about this a lot. When I was younger, I ate maybe 1 meal a day at dinner time. I was very thin. Then I started hearing how you should never miss breakfast, so I started eating breakfast every day and started gaining weight. Then, I would hear how you need to eat 6 small meals a day and started doing that and now I weigh more than I ever have in my life. I also have thyroid disease,diabetes and a very sedentary job, which I know are all factors in the weight issue, but I’m beginning to wonder if I should go back to eating the way I did before. Thank you.

  • Belinda R Mayson

    I am a heart patient with a pacemaker and on valsatran for my high BP and I am also a type 2 diabetic and taking metformin,so I did try intermittent fast..from 6pm to 10 am,but my blood sugar. I was feeling dizzy and sweating and I panicked! So,maybe it’s good for others but not for me..

    • shanehubbard

      You’re body is probably not used to having your blood sugar this low. For a diabetic, this is normal. You might benefit from a high protein high fat, low carb breakfast to get your body use to using fat for energy first. Once you get comfortable with that, you can try intermittent fasting. What you are experiencing is your body’s drop in blood sugar and difficulty switching over to body fat for fuel.

    • ScroobieRoobieRoooo

      It’s not really fasting you should do, they recommend 600 calories a day. Have lots of Green Tea with lemon and water. The small amounts of caffiene will take the edge off. I do this and make Campbells noodle soup, but don’t eat the noodles. Just the hearty broth. So broth and tea.

    • Deb Ferreira

      Try keto instead. I’m same as you.

    • Ron

      Hi Belinda R, you can consult your own physician before you do it.

  • Carol Garbiano

    I read recently that if we skip breakfast, our body will product glucose to “get us started”. T2D people do not want extra glucose. Does anyone know if this is true?

    • Linda Salvesen

      Not true. Gluconeogenesis is a demand-driven process. Your body only makes the glucose it needs.

      • Nadya Gauci

        I eat one meal a day on intermitting fasting and when I wake up in the morning my fasting glucose is 138, so yes I believe it is true for me anyways. Later on during the day it is around 98 up until after I eat again.


      Everyone’s body gives you a shot of glucose, and adrenaline around 4 am to get your body ready to wake up. Cut your carbs and control your glucose.

  • patty

    you mentioned “After a while you can skip lunch too and just eat dinner” What’s a while? After a week? 2 weeks? . thanks in advanced for the info

  • bob

    Why would I talk it over with my healthcare provider? He had one nutrition class 30 years ago and is big as a house.

    • DDM1

      LOL – right!

  • jim lewis

    Hi, I work a shift pattern that has me working days over a weekend once every 5 weeks. On these weekends I’ve been eating lunch on Friday, then fasting through to lunch on Monday. (60 hrs or so). It’s easier than you think. I feel more alert and I’m convinced it helps the body regulate itself better the rest of the time. As mentioned above, Moseley, who has investigated a range of health fads on uk tv, found good results from fasting (unlike with a host of other regimes) as have others in this arena. My appetite on other days is the same or less than before I started this regime which I’ve followed for over 6 months. Eating lunch before a fast means you get a good 18+ hrs to breakfast time, I find it easy to push on from there, but first timers can start with this and work up as they see fit.

    • ScroobieRoobieRoooo

      hate to be your last customer!

  • The Mediocre One

    I am nobody, and I don’t expect anyone to listen to me and I don’t want them to. I do want them to, if they haven’t already, listen to Mark Mattson, Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and Jason Fung, a practicing nephrologist, both staunch advocates of intermittent fasting. If you haven’t seen them, I would suggest you check out some of their talks on Youtube for free. Very interesting stuff. I’m glad I found out about it and really wish it were sooner. It could’ve made me feel much better sooner in life. Please, do your research about this before treating it like a fad. It’s far from a fad, even though some practice and promote it like one.

    • Solgirl

      have listened to Dr. Fung but hadn’t heard of Mark Mattson. i’ll look him up. Thanks!

      • Ron

        Jason Fung started this as a physician, this became famous because of him.

    • annoyedofbedford

      So I was diagnosed with T2D two years ago. I’ve struggled on an increasing dose of Metformin which is now at 2g so at my next visit I was expecting to be prescribed something else. I wasn’t happy with that idea as the likely weight gain and spiral into increasing therapy seemed a one-way street.

      A month ago I happened on Jason Fung’s book ‘The Obesity Code’ – I bought it as an audio book and it made pretty good sense. Since listening to Jason Fung I’m really pushing hard to get a grip of my blood sugar through fasting (previously my wake up sugars were circa 200mg/dl). My main bad habit was grazing throughout the day – regular / frequent eating and the connection to driving insulin resistance explained in the book again made a lot of sense.

      I’ve chosen to not eat breakfast – I just have a coffee. I drink tea, coffee and water through the day and have a large / main meal in the evening (with a cider vinegar chaser!). At the weekends I’ve had a few Gin & sugar-free tonics or a whiskey and shifted my meal a little earlier. It’s really not been difficult and the extraordinary thing is the control I’ve regained – my wake up sugars are now circa 100mg/dl and my daytime average is currently 125mg/dl. I’ve lost 15lbs and feel much more energetic. I’ve pushed out my next review to make sure my A1C reflects the changes.

      I absolutely agree re paying attention to the idea of fasting to deal with T2D. If my A1C has dropped as far as I think it will have I’ll be buying a copy of his most recent book (The Diabetes Code) for my diabetes nurse specialist… you I’m a little frustrated that no one told me about this sooner.

  • Caliko Kat

    skipping breakfast as part of intermittent fasting may not be such a good idea

    • Solgirl

      I don’t skip breakfast and still do well. I just break my fast a bit later in the morning than I used to and push back my “lunch” hour so that dinner is a light protein snack. Nothing between 6PM and 8 or 9 AM but water or tea. Works fine.

    • JN

      If I’m reading the study correctly, they only tested on two days — one with breakfast and one without. Jason Fung has some very interesting information about intermittent fasting. I know it isn’t going to be a quick solution, but it makes sense to me.

  • ToddM

    5 2 fast is a game changer! Down 25 pounds since Oct while drinking Heineken and eating what I want on my 5 normal days. Blood pressure is down, energy is up. I feel amazing!

    • Solgirl

      Congrats to you on your weight loss.

  • Andy

    That’s not true! Your body is consistently making glucose in your liver, and levels are higher when you are sleeping or hungry.

    • acampbell

      Hi Andy, that’s correct. With Type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn’t detect blood sugar levels. If there isn’t enough insulin available or if the body isn’t using insulin properly, the liver responds by releasing more glucose (even if blood glucose levels are already high).

  • Solgirl

    I’ve not read anywhere else that only 500 calories a day are allowed with intermittent fasting. In fact I’ve read that 1000 calories a day is a good reduction of calorie intake from “normal” levels of 1200 for women and more for men. That much latitude makes it easy for me to eat filling and managed meals and still feel sated for the 14 hour fasting that follows until the next day’s breaking of fast.

  • Ricardo Hernandez

    I am very surprised the article doesn’t mention Dr. Fung. Also as far as I know, intermittent faster is not calorie reduction, but to really STOP EATING for certain period of times according to a schedule (hence fasting). Dr. Fun emphasizes how important it is *when* you eat than just what you eat.

    I have seen my blood sugars lower dramatically when doing intermittent fasting and cutting all obvious carbs. Yes, I have tried one approach in isolation and I can vouch that there seems to be truth to what he’s preaching.

  • Aberran Fox

    It definitely is not for everyone. I know a guy who is rather tiny and he literally does not have the stomach capacity. But he also has very little fat storage to burn as well. I think most average American adult males shouldn’t have much trouble putting down 2500 to 3000 calories in a 4 hour window. I don’t struggle with it most days. One day I tried it with mostly soups as my main course though and that did not work out very well. I got the food in me but that was a lot of water taking up valuable space. I would recommend as most do with this kind of diet go high fat. Oils like palm, olive coconut. Other high fat sources like butter, nuts high fat protein sources etc. Fat is very calorie dense and has the added bonus of forcing your body to use more of it for fuel as it should be doing during a fast.


    Fasting is superior to calorie restriction metabolically speaking. Eating 500 calories is calorie restriction and does not stimulate growth hormone or other hormones that fasting does.


    I highly recommend “The Obesity Code,” by Dr. Jason Fung. Losing weight is only half the battle. Keeping it off is winning the war. I have been on the ketogenic diet with fasting for 6 weeks. My fasting blood glucose went from 117 to 90 in 33 days. I have lost 25 lbs. and feel great. Animals are concentrated plants. Have a steak.