Intermittent fasting is a pretty popular “diet” going around right now. I normally steer clear of anything extreme, and some approaches to intermittent fasting are extreme and not something I would recommend.
However, if you take intermittent fasting in the direction of syncing up with our circadian rhythm (i.e. not eating overnight), it can certainly be done in a healthy way! And can definitely be done with a healthy plant-based diet.
It’s generally safe, most of us don’t need to eat in the middle of the night, but for anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, underweight, taking medications, or has low blood pressure or any medical condition – you should consult with your doctor to make sure the composition and timing of your meals is safe and appropriate.
Anyone with a history of disordered eating should probably not follow this as it could easily trigger a mindset of restriction.
To be clear – I don’t think of intermittent fasting as needing to skip any meals. Just giving your body time between dinner and breakfast to reduce blood sugar and insulin levels enough to get the benefits shown in research (which we don’t know exactly yet, but seems like 12 hours is a safe place to start).
So I would set it up as:
– wholesome breakfast
– plant-protein-rich lunch
– afternoon snack if needed
– wholesome complex-carb-rich dinner
And I’d probably time it with breakfast at 8/9am, and dinner about 6/7pm (or at least before 8pm), and then enjoy some herbal tea in the evening. The timing obviously depends on your body, your activity level, your work schedule, and a lot of other factors.
We can give it a fancy name, but essentially it boils down to eating wholesome, plant-based foods, in the right balance, and within a reasonable time of day.
» Annual Review of Nutrition: Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting
» Harvard Health Blog Intermittent fasting: Surprising update
7-Day Cleanse Plan
If you struggle with cravings, bloating, breakouts, mental fog… a short cleanse might be just the thing for you. Fuel and nourish your body so you feel refreshed, energized and back on track with healthy habits.
- Complete weekly meal plans: recipes for every meal and snack so you’re never left wondering what to make at any given point.
- Complete grocery lists: so you know exactly what you need to get at the store for each weekly plan.
- Prep guide: to outline exactly what to prepare day-by-day, so you never feel unorganized or overwhelmed.