Intermittent Fasting is getting its popularity among health-conscious individual due to its positive outcomes. Intermittent Fasting is not a diet but is an eating pattern that has various timing scheduled between the period of fasting and eating. The common methods of intermittent fasting include the 16/8 method, 5:2 method and alternate day fasting. The method that highly recommended is the 16/8 method also known as time-restricted feeding,

Time-restricted feeding referring to an eating period of 8 hours and a fasting period of 16 hours. There is no calorie restriction during the eating window, however, eating the right food plays an important role in the best outcome. This method can be done on daily basis. It is the most popular one and highly recommended as it easy and safe to follow for beginners.


Practising intermittent fasting helps in burning excess body fat hence leads to weight reduction. A normal eating pattern causes your body to use glucose (sugar) as the source of energy whereas by doing IMF, the body shift from utilising glucose to fat to burn for energy. Over time this causes the body to shed excess body fats and reduce weight.

A hormone called Insulin will be released by the body with sugar present in the blood. Frequent meal intake spikes and crashes insulin level which over time may lead to insulin resistance and conversion of excess sugar into fat. IMF practise having been proved to regulate the blood sugar level by preventing spike of insulin level.  In a study, individuals with diabetes that practised 16/8 IMF for two weeks have seen a significant reduction in sugar level and weight loss.

Fasting helps in promoting good cholesterol HDL and decreased bad cholesterol LDL and triglyceride. Research has been shown to inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaque hence reduce the risk of heart disease. A 2019 clinical trial showed that patients with metabolic syndrome who fasted overnight for 14 hours experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure, total body fat, and waist circumference.

An unhealthy eating lifestyle and a very highly-stressful lifestyle contributes to increased inflammation.  In the journal Rejuvenation Research, alternate-day fasting helped reduce markers of oxidative stress. With the reduction of oxidative stress, it is proven fasting may help to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.


What to eat and how to start the IMF?

During 16 hours of fasting, it is not recommended to eat any food but drinking zero-calorie beverages such as green tea, black coffee, or water is acceptable. Always remember hydration is crucial in weight management. 

Eating is typically focusing on healthier and balanced foods for a better outcome. For weight management, it is important to control the portion of carbohydrate to prevent conversion of sugar to fat. Therefore the recommended portion for carbohydrate is 20% of your plate while protein makes up 30% and vegetables 50%. Protein is essential in your diet to prevent muscle loss. It is best to choose whole food instead of processed food to reduce toxin accumulation and prevent inflammation.

Beginners may start IMF with 12 hours fasting and gradually increase to 16 hours when the body is ready. Going straight from feasting all day long to 16-hour fasting can be really shocking for your body.


Although the IMF is beneficial, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some group of people may need to avoid practising IMF:

•             Children and teenagers

•             Pregnant and lactating mother

•             Hypoglycaemia/Low blood sugar level and Diabetes Type 1

•             Malnutrition and eating disorders

•             Inflammatory bowel disease

Last but not least, IMF can be a part of our healthy lifestyle routine but then again with proper monitoring, this eating pattern is considered safe and may give you the expected outcomes. To ensure this eating pattern is suitable for you, you may talk to our doctors and nutritionist at ANNA HOO CLINIC.


By Nutritionist Moga