By Annalouise O’Connor, PhD, RD

Intermittent fasting is a dieting style growing rapidly in popularity. We sat down with Annalouise O’Connor, PhD, RD to learn more about this eating option.

Q: What is the difference between traditional dieting and intermittent fasting?

When people go on a traditional diet, their primary focus is on what they eat and how to cut calories every day until their weight loss goal is met. Intermittent fasting differs in that the primary focus is on when you eat. Intermittent fasting focuses on the food timing pattern and builds in clear fasting windows of at least 12 consecutive hours.

Another difference lies in the potential benefits and how they are discussed. When we think “diet,” we generally think weight loss. But the benefits of intermittent fasting are thought of more broadly than this. Many studies have shown us that intermittent fasting leads to successful weight management, but there are examples of benefit beyond or independent of weight loss, making these protocols relevant to a broader group of people.1,2

Read more: Dieters Guide to Intermittent Fasting

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