Over 60 and Want to Try Intermittent Fasting?

“Eat small meals throughout the day” is tried and true guidance. However, it’s not the be-all-end-all for weight loss and weight maintenance: Intermittent fasting offers a different approach. Back up. What is intermittent fasting, anyway? “Intermittent fasting is the practice of choosing not to consume calories for a set period each day or for a day or days each week,” says Alexis Supan, RD of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Wellness and Preventive Medicine. “The most common type of intermittent fasting that is practiced is called time-restricted eating, where people only consume calories in a specific window of time—typically eight hours.”

It may sound like a social media trend—and intermittent fasting certainly has its TikTok fans—but it can have real benefits. “One potential benefit is that people who practice time-restricted eating, where they limit their eating window to eight hours a day or less, see an improvement to their insulin sensitivity,” Supan explains. “Another benefit is weight loss, especially for those in the habit of snacking at night.”

For instance, 2023 research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested intermittent fasting could even put Type 2 diabetes into remission. While age “ain’t nothing but a number,” it actually does matter when it comes to intermittent fasting. “People under 18 should not practice intermittent fasting,” Supan says. “Also, older adults over 60 should proceed with caution. Intermittent fasting has not been well studied in older people. If [you are] already at a healthy weight, intermittent fasting could cause too much weight loss.”

Excerpted from Parade

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