Intermittent fasting is entirely or partially refraining from eating for a certain amount of time, before eating regularly again. It has gained popularity within the military community as a way to meet body composition standards and manage weight. Although the benefits of intermittent fasting are still being determined, here are some things we do know:

  1. Weight loss tends to be the primary outcome associated with intermittent fasting. Weight loss can occur quickly among some individuals, along with some improved biomarkers like cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
  2. When compared to a reduced-calorie diet that does not limit when one could eat, the results of intermittent fasting are not usually that different.
  3. Intermittent fasting is not safe for everyone. Children and teens, the elderly, individuals with a history of disordered eating, and pregnant/breastfeeding women are at risk of nutritional deficits if they follow an intermittent fasting approach in their diet.
  4. Many athletes who try intermittent fasting discover their performance suffers because they do not have enough energy to fuel their workout and recovery.

If you have questions about your nutrition, the Consortium on Health and Military Performance has developed military-specific resources, including a nutrient timing table, to help you reach your goals. Additionally, the Semper Fit Health Promotion Program is located at every installation and can help you with virtual or in-person 1-on-1 nutrition guidance or briefs for your unit. Check the contact information below to set your appointment today.