Intermittent Fasting Pros and Cons

By Miranda Snook PTA

Have you Heard of Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, maybe you have heard of this type of diet design before? Maybe not? Either way, you are about to learn the gist of what is involved in this type of structured diet. In this article I will talk about the logistics of what intermittent fasting entails and if it works. I will also discuss the health benefits, the cons, and if this type of styled diet is sustainable.

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Intermittent Fasting

What is it?

Long story short, intermittent fasting is any type of interval time frame between fasting and non-fasting. Otherwise known as the time frame you ingest calories vs. the time frame you do not ingest anything. The basics of this type of designed diet is to go a minimum of 12 to 18 hours of fasting, or not eating/drinking calories (excluding water). The most popular and recommended fasting style is the 16:8 diet, which means that you consume nothing for 16 hours of the day, and then consume all of your calories and meals during the following eight hours. Then there is the 5:2 style, where you fast for two consecutive days, eat roughly 500 calories, and then eat whatever you want the rest of the week. Lastly, In other forms of intermittent fasting, a complete 36-hour fast is recommended once a week.

Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Losing Weight?

Intermittent fasting is believed to be effective for weight loss because it increases the insulin response in your body. You store glucose in your liver, muscles and fat cells when you eat food. Insulin is released when you eat food. Fasting causes your blood glucose levels to drop, which in turn triggers your body’s burning of stored energy (carbohydrates). When your body runs out of stored energy after 12 hours of fasting, it begins burning fat through the release of ketones in the liver. However, this process can take weeks/ months of consistency for your body to adjust and start burning fat as fuel. Everyone is different, this may work for some but not all.

The human body can burn both ketones and glucose for fuel.

Ketones and Glucose for Fuel

Health Benefits and Cons.


  • You can adjust the way you fast by what works best for you and your lifestyle.
  • Supports weight loss
  • Could help lower cholesterol
  • Can Help Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Promote heart health and reduce risk of heart disease


  • Can still lead to weight gain
  • Headaches, nausea, low energy and dizziness from skipping meals
  • Restrictive eating can lead to eating disorder
  • Can cause insomnia and increase irritability
  • Increase hunger, cravings, and could cause digestive issues

Is it a Sustainable Diet?

Ultimately, it depends on which designed fasting style you choose and if it works for you in a positive, healthy way. Periodic fasting and alternate-day fasting have both been proven to be effective for short-term weight loss, but there isn’t enough research to determine whether they are long-term effective. There is a need for more research in order to guide people in the right direction.

*If you have a bad relationship with food, any type of eating disorder, and/or have any dietary restrictions, consult with your doctor first before considering changing your eating habits. Remember not to get so caught up in fasting that the quality of your diet is an afterthought. It is important to understand this will not work for everyone and is not a requirement for good health.

Written By: Miranda Snook PTA

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