What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting eating patterns are based on periods of abstaining from foods, typically for weight loss, religious or mental and physical health improvements. 

Fasting has recently gained popularity as a weight loss strategy, yet we know fasting has been used in various forms for generations.   For instance fasting was used as treatment for epilepsy for thousands of years, before our relatively recent reliance on pharmaceutical therapies.  Hippocrates believed fasting allowed the body to heal itself and was a treatment for managing metabolic and neurological conditions.

There is good evidence that fasting can be as effective for weight loss.  We are now seeing promising studies showing that fasting may be beneficial in helping with a range of other health conditions.  Including cellular repair, mental health, diabetes, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.


Intermittent Fasting Patterns for Weight Loss

There are several different fasting patterns, including Intermittent Fasting (IF) and Time Restricted Fasting (TRF).  Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.  Fasting can be as simple as increasing our overnight fast, by skipping breakfast or your evening meal.

Popular fasting periods include the16:8 fast, which involves abstaining from food for 16 hours of the day and restricting meals and snacks to within an 8 hour period, i.e. 7am-3pm.  Those aiming to start the process of Autophagy often prefer whole day fasts ,of 24 or 48 hours.  Autophagy is the body’s process of cleaning out damaged cells and replacing them with new cells.  Your own personal health and goals will be key factors in determining which pattern to opt for.

Learn more about Intermittent Fasting

For more information on fasting for improved health and weight control see the Low Carb Down Under Course. Our online course provides more details on fasting strategies and how to introduce fasting as part of your low carb lifestyle.

Dr Caryn Zinn, is a Registered Dietitian in New Zealand, Co-Author of books ‘What The Fat?’ and ‘What The Fast?’ and Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology.


Dr Caryn Zinn
Dr Caryn Zinn presents on fasting


In this presentation Dr Zinn shares her research around healthy fats and fasting for improving health and losing weight.