15 Sep Is Intermittent Fasting Safe During Pregnancy? An RDN Discusses Prenatal Health and Time-Restricted Eating
Though intermittent fasting (IF) is the latest health trend, it has been part of many people’s cultural and religious practices for thousands of years.
What is IF?
Intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy that alternates fasting and eating periods. Methods include the 5:2 diet (5 normal days, 2 non-consecutive, low-calorie days), alternate-day fasting (alternating normal and 500-calorie days), and time-restricted eating (e.g., 16:8, with an 8-hour eating window). Research shows benefits like improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease. In 2016, Yoshinori Osumi won a Nobel Prize for his work on intermittent fasting and cell autophagy.
Now IF has become the go-to-trend for weight loss. But what does this mean for pregnancy?
Can a pregnant woman do time-restricted eating?
Intermittent fasting is generally not recommended during pregnancy. Whether you want to engage in IF for religious reasons or health reasons, we recommend you reconsider.
Pregnancy is a critical period where both the mother and the developing baby require a consistent and adequate supply of nutrients and energy for proper growth and development. Restricting food intake or following fasting schedules can potentially lead to nutrient deficiencies and may not provide the necessary nutrition for a healthy pregnancy.
Here are some specific reasons as to why pregnant women should not practice IF: