What does science say about intermittent fasting?
Play • 49 min

It seems like every day, someone new mentions intermittent fasting. But what is it, exactly? 

There are myriad options — from the 5:2 diet, with two days of extreme calorie restriction each week, to the warrior diet, which involves eating only raw fruit during the day and a mammoth feast at night.

Whatever the approach, intermittent fasting involves restricting the window of time when you eat.

Supporters evangelise the benefits, promising weight loss, disease prevention, and even life extension. 

Currently, the scientific evidence is unclear, but it's an exciting area that may be full of potential. 

Today, Jonathan speaks with Gin Stephens, who has had a powerful experience of intermittent fasting transforming her health and weight. He also talks to Tim Spector, who will share what science can tell us about intermittent fasting today —  and, interestingly, how much it can’t, yet. Plus, an exciting announcement about how this is set to change.

  • Gin Stephens is a New York Times bestselling author and podcast host.
  • Tim Spector is a co-founder of ZOE and one of the world's top 100 most cited scientists.

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If you want to uncover the right foods for your body, head to joinZOE.com/podcast and get 10% off your personalized nutrition program.


00:00 - Intro

00:15 - Topic introduction

02:44 - Quickfire questions

04:38 - ZOE’s intermittent fasting study

08:42 - What is intermittent fasting and how it impacted Gin’s life

11:50 - Demystifying intermittent fasting

14:19 - The science of intermittent fasting

23:29 - Starting intermittent fasting

25:29 - What am I allowed to have during intermittent fasting?

30:07 - The first 28 days of “clean” intermittent fasting

32:51 - Intermittent fasting and the microbiome

37:00 - Correlation with circadian rhythms

38:56 - How important is consistency when time-restricted eating?

41:14 - On intermittent fasting & women’s health

43:24 - Summary

44:35 - Goodbyes

44:56 - Outro

Episode transcripts are available here.

Join us for the World’s Biggest Intermittent Fasting study at joinzoe.com/fasting

Follow Gin: https://www.instagram.com/ginstephens

Get Gin’s books here.

Follow ZOE on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoe/

This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions.

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