Intermittent fasting continues to be popular, but are there any health benefits — or risks?
Diet trends come and go, but intermittent fasting has been around for some time. Now science has begun to look more closely at its possible health benefits. The verdict? It's too early to tell for sure. But early evidence suggests intermittent fasting can help.
The 16/8 approach
Intermittent fasting means that you refrain from eating for a designated amount of time each day. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most popular approaches is called 16/8. You eat during an eight-hour period — for example, from noon to 8 p.m. — followed by 16 hours of fasting, in this case, from 8 p.m. until noon the next day, when the pattern repeats.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.