Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that includes regular periods of fasting. Unlike traditional diets, it does not include any rules on what foods “should” or “should not” be eaten; it specifies when and when not to eat instead. Participants limit their eating to a certain window of time—for example, to just eight hours per day or five days per week—and do not eat for the remainder of the time.
The trend has become increasingly popular in the last several years for its promises of improved health and weight loss. The more nuanced examination of the potential dangers of intermittent fasting, however, are often not addressed in conversations about the subject. In this article, we will cover the potential negative physical and mental side effects, including the dangers for those at risk of or suffering from an eating disorder.