As a medical doctor who focuses on gut health, I suggest intermittent fasting to many of my patients. I do this because I've repeatedly seen what studies show: Intermittent fasting (IF) can help patients lose weight, lower inflammation, improve gut health, and reduce their risk for cancer and other diseases. If only finding the right plan proved to be easy for everyone!
Enthusiastic to give it a go after our first consultation, my 37-year-old patient Joseph did a thorough Google search and quickly became overwhelmed with the numerous IF approaches. Frustrated by the information overload, he modeled one of his co-workers, who did one 24-hour fast weekly. In other words, this co-worker ate normally six days a week, then completely fasted one day. That worked well for him. For Joseph—not so much. Joseph’s once-weekly fast quickly backfired and his colleagues and family testified to his snappy behavior.
The foundation of IF is pretty simple: abstain from eating during certain time periods and eat during others. But even that yields some variation. So to cut through the confusion and determine which plan would work best for you, consider these options: