Faith Communities Alive!


FCA Logo

| Share

New Food and Diet Trends: Intermittent Fasting

Food trends and fad diets always will be in high demand as long as people are striving to become healthy and reduce their current weight status. As obesity and overweight statuses remain high throughout the world, people who pursue lose weight look for the newest trends that encourage weight loss.

The keto diet is thriving in today’s social climate for weight-reducing methods. However, another challenger has spread the ropes and stepped into the ring: intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Highly regarded for quick weight loss results, intermittent fasting has cultivated a quickly growing community. This trend, although difficult, relies on manipulating the time around the  consumption of meals throughout the day.

Fasting, in general, has been around for quite a while; nevertheless, this new trend focuses on time-restricted feeding. According to Tinsley and La Bounty (2015), the daily routine of fasting for a number of hours, followed by food consumption for the remainder, is a popularized form of time-restricted feeding.

How Does it Work?

Keeping on track with the strict eating pattern, the time frame of when food is consumed allows those fasting to control their calorie intake. Depending on when zones are set, a timespan throughout the day can be dedicated to getting all the nutrients needed. The remaining time of the day consists of fasting.

A common fasting routine would devote eight hours to the meals and the remaining 16 hours would consist of fasting. Being in control of the time eating and the time spent fasting can prevent excess calories from being consumed. Regardless of the diets’ form, eating more nutritious foods, maintaining a caloric deficit and consistency are necessary for weight loss.

With the main objective sticking out like a sore thumb, weight loss is the primary concern to the vast majority. As the diet proves weight loss can occur, the benefits can seem worth the dedication to the trend.

Controlling the time frame of when food is consumed can affect the body’s circadian rhythm and aid in prevention of impaired metabolism and health (Patterson, 2015). Circadian rhythm is essentially the body’s 24-hour internal clock. Alternately, the huge shift in the previous eating lifestyle can prove to some rather difficult, and those who cannot follow through may quit prematurely.

Are There Health Risks?

Little evidence of the new trend showcases it as being harmful physically or mentally (Patterson, 2015). In the case of weight status, that might prove credible; on the other hand, participating in the new fad diet with a history of medical complications could prove concerning and might put a person at risk of harm. Consultation with a medical adviser prior to starting a new diet trend is recommended.  

Overall, as a tool to lose weight, intermittent fasting may be useful. Research shows that the fasting program is able to reduce body weight and fat, as well as cholesterol (Tinsley and La Bounty, 2015).

The trend is not for everyone but can be beneficial to those who can maintain a strict and well-orchestrated eating lifestyle. The health of an individual is of utmost importance in delivering a long and healthy life.

Be sure to visit with your health-care provider and a dietitian before embarking on a weight loss plan.


By Austin Croze, Community Nutrition Intern, NDSU Extension

Reviewed by: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist



Patterson, R.E., et al. (2015). Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health. Retrieved from

Tinsley, G.M., and La Bounty, P.M. (2015). Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Body Composition and Clinical Health Markers in Humans. Nutrition Reviews, 73(10), 661–674. Retrieved from

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.