4 Dos And Don’ts: Intermittent Fasting Strategies For People With Diabetes

Quick Links

Intermittent Fasting Strategies For People With Diabetes Dos And Don'ts

Intermittent fasting, a dietary approach that alternates between periods of eating and fasting, has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. However, for individuals with diabetes, navigating intermittent fasting can be challenging due to concerns about blood sugar control and overall health.

In this article we’ll explore the dos and don’ts on intermittent fasting strategies for people with diabetes, uncovering ways to effectively manage this condition while offering practical tips and insights to maximize the potential benefits of this dietary approach.

Overview Of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. Unlike traditional eating of a balanced diet that focuses on what to eat, intermittent fasting dictates when to eat. It doesn’t restrict specific foods but rather when you should consume them. This approach has gained popularity for its potential health benefits beyond weight loss. In alternating between fasting and eating windows, intermittent fasting may promote fat loss, improve metabolic health, enhance cellular repair processes, and even extend lifespan1.

There are several intermittent fasting methods, including the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window, or the 5:2 approach, where you usually eat for five days and calorie restrict for two non-consecutive days2.

How Intermittent Fasting Affects People With Diabetes

Intermittent Fasting can have significant effects on individuals with diabetes, influencing factors such as blood sugar management, weight control, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, and overall well-being. It may help regulate blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, enhance insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia3.

However, the effects of IF can vary depending on individual factors such as age, health status, diabetes medication regimen, and fasting duration4. It’s essential for diabetic individuals to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a personalized fasting plan that meets their unique needs and goals.

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting To Diabetic People

Intermittent fasting can offer several potential benefits to diabetic individuals in the ways of, such as:

1. Blood Sugar Regulation: Intermittent fasting may help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. This can lead to better glycemic control, potentially lowering the risk of diabetic complications5.

2. Weight Management: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight or weight management, which is crucial for diabetic individuals. By promoting fat loss and preserving lean muscle mass, it may help reduce obesity-related complications and improve metabolic health6.

3. Cardiovascular Health: Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting may have cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improving lipid profiles, and lowering the risk of heart disease7. These benefits are particularly important for individuals with diabetes, who are at higher risk of cardiovascular complications.

4. Inflammation Reduction: Intermittent fasting has been associated with reduced inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in the development and progression of diabetes and its complications. By lowering inflammatory markers, it may help mitigate the effects of chronic inflammation in diabetic individuals8.

5. Cellular Repair and Regeneration: Intermittent fasting triggers processes like autophagy, where the body breaks down and recycles old or damaged cells. This cellular repair and regeneration may have protective effects against diabetic complications and promote overall health and longevity9.

6. Improved Metabolic Health: Intermittent fasting can lead to improvements in various markers of metabolic health, including blood lipids, insulin sensitivity, and fasting glucose levels10. These improvements can contribute to better overall metabolic function and diabetes management.

7. Simplicity and Convenience: For some individuals, intermittent fasting may offer a simpler and more convenient approach to meal timing and planning. Rather than constantly monitoring food intake and carbohydrate consumption, intermittent fasting provides a structured eating pattern that can be easier to adhere to.

Dos And Don’ts: Intermittent Fasting Strategies For People With Diabetes

Reducing your eating time may seem simple enough, but without proper knowledge on the dos and don’ts can easily lead to breaking your fast and potentially harm individuals with diabetes. While IF can greatly assist in achieving health goals, it’s crucial to understand the following dos and don’ts:


1. Consultation with healthcare professionals.

  • Seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider before initiating any intermittent fasting regimen.
  • Discuss personal health history, diabetes management goals, and potential risks associated with fasting.
  • Work with healthcare professionals to create a fasting plan tailored to individual needs and medical conditions.

2. Choosing suitable fasting methods.

  • Select intermittent fasting methods that are compatible with diabetes management and individual preferences.
  • Consider variations such as time-restricted eating, modified fasting, or alternate-day fasting under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of fasting methods based on lifestyle, medication schedule, and overall health status.

3. Monitoring blood sugar levels.

  • Regularly monitor blood glucose levels throughout the fasting and eating periods.
  • Use glucometers or continuous glucose monitors to track blood sugar trends and make necessary adjustments to the fasting schedule or dietary intake.
  • Aim to maintain blood sugar levels within the target range recommended by healthcare providers.

4. Maintaining hydration and nutrition.

  • Stay adequately hydrated by drinking water or other non-caloric beverages during fasting periods.
  • Opt for nutrient-dense foods during eating windows to support overall health and diabetes management.
  • Include a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in meals to help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent nutritional deficiencies.


1. Don’t skip medical advice.

  • Consult your healthcare provider before starting fasting to ensure it aligns with your diabetes management plan.
  • Your provider can help adjust medications and monitor your health during fasting.

2. Don’t fast excessively.

  • Avoid long fasting periods that may lead to blood sugar imbalances.
  • Start with shorter fasts and increase gradually under medical guidance.

3. Don’t overlook medication adjustments.

  • Work with your healthcare team to adjust medications according to your fasting schedule.
  • Monitor medication effectiveness and potential side effects.

4. Don’t stress or compare.

  • Avoid excessive stress about perfect intermittent fasting compliance, as it can harm your mental and physical health.
  • Recognize that effects may vary among individuals with diabetes, so avoid comparing outcomes and understand that what works for one person may not suit another.

By following these guidelines, individuals with diabetes can safely incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyle while effectively managing their condition and promoting overall health.


Incorporating intermittent fasting into a diabetes management plan requires careful consideration and personalized approach. While intermittent fasting may offer potential benefits for blood sugar control, weight management, and overall health, it’s essential for individuals with diabetes to approach fasting with caution and attention to detail.

By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this article and consulting with a healthcare professional, individuals with diabetes can safely incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyle while minimizing potential risks and maximizing potential benefits.

Remember to prioritize balanced nutrition, monitor blood sugar levels regularly, and listen to your body’s signals to ensure a safe and effective fasting experience. With careful planning, flexibility, and support, intermittent fasting can be a valuable tool for managing diabetes and promoting overall health and well-being.


1 Vasim, I., Majeed, C. N., & DeBoer, M. D. (2022). Intermittent fasting and metabolic health. Nutrients, 14(3), 631. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030631

2 Snyder, C. (2023, June 21). Pros and Cons of 5 intermittent fasting Methods. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-do-intermittent-fasting#what-it-is

3 Sharma, S. K., Mudgal, S. K., Kalra, S., Gaur, R., Thakur, K., & Agarwal, R. (2023). Effect of intermittent fasting on glycaemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Endocrinology, 19(1), 25. https://doi.org/10.17925/ee.2023.19.1.25

4 Grajower, M. M., & Horne, B. D. (2019). Clinical Management of Intermittent Fasting in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients, 11(4), 873. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040873

5 Ojo, T. K., Joshua, O. O., Ogedegbe, O. J., Oluwole, O., Ademidun, A., & Jesuyajolu, D. (2022). Role of intermittent fasting in the management of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Curēus. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.28800

6 Diet Review: Intermittent fasting for weight loss. (2022, May 17). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/intermittent-fasting/

7 Dong, T., Sandesara, P. B., Dhindsa, D. S., Mehta, A., Arneson, L., Dollar, A. L., Taub, P. R., & Sperling, L. (2020). Intermittent fasting: a heart healthy dietary pattern? The American Journal of Medicine, 133(8), 901–907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.03.030

8 Agbonifo-Chijiokwu, E., Nwangwa, K. E., Oyovwi, M. O., Ben‐Azu, B., Naiho, A. O., Emojevwe, V., Ohwin, E. P., Ehiwarior, A. P., Ojugbeli, E. T., Nwabuoku, S. U., Moke, E. G., & Oghenetega, B. O. (2023). Underlying biochemical effects of intermittent fasting, exercise and honey on streptozotocin-induced liver damage in rats. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 22(1), 515–527. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40200-022-01173-2

9 Shabkhizan, R., Haiaty, S., Moslehian, M. S., Bazmani, A., Sadeghsoltani, F., Bagheri, H. S., Rahbarghazi, R., & Sakhinia, E. (2023). The beneficial and adverse effects of autophagic response to caloric restriction and fasting. Advances in Nutrition, 14(5), 1211–1225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advnut.2023.07.006

10 Yuan, X., Wang, J., Yang, S., Gao, M., Cao, L., Li, X., Hong, D., Tian, S., & Sun, C. (2022). Effect of Intermittent Fasting Diet on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Patients with Impaired Glucose and Lipid Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Endocrinology (Print), 2022, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/6999907


More Posts...