Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight + Feel Great…Just Wait!

Dr. Edelman has been practicing intermittent fasting since the beginning of 2022. Not only are his blood sugars better, but he’s also looking svelte! His UCSD colleague, Dr. Preethika Ekanayake, also practices intermittent fasting, and they share the benefits that can be especially helpful for people with diabetes.


Additional Resources:

Intermittent Fasting: A Physician’s Perspective

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    How long do you have to do intermittent fasting, say 16:8, before you would empty all your stores of glucose? Trying to see if I can reset the insulin resistance. I’m not overweight so only want to do to lower blood sugar. I do find evening exercise does help lower fasting but not to below 112. I’m doing low carb diet, actually have lost 50 lbs in a year but hasnt helped with that blood sugar thing.

    • To answer your initial question, it depends on your degree of exercise, because exercise will deplete your glucose and break down your glycogen. So at least 10-12 hours, but it could be faster if there’s exercise involved burning up your glucose.

      If you’ve lost 50 lbs and you’re not overweight and your fasting blood sugar gets down to 112, it may be the best you can do. If your fasting blood sugars begin to creep up over time, which they might, not in relation to anything you’ve done wrong, just the nature of the progression of the condition, you may need therapy…insulin or another medication.

  2. Great video! Good information. More people, diabetic and non-diabetic, need to follow you.

    • Thanks Sandie – appreciate it!

    • Hi Sandie. I’m Sandie J Murray Taylor and have been Type 1 since May 28, 1972, 49 years. I have been on Omnipod since 2006, Dexcom since 2011and now on Omniopd 5/Dexcom 6.
      Welcome to “the club”.

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    Your videos an content are great! Would you ever consider covering pregnancy and insulin resitence in the third trimester?

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    I would have liked to see your Dietitian weigh in on this topic

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    I’m type 1 and would like to try intermittent fasting. I think it would help control my BG for part of the day. The only problem is that I get so hungry and binge on low carb high fat foods whenever I try to skip a meal. Do you get crazy hungry during fasting?

    • For me personally, I’ve gotten used to fasting until my first meal at lunchtime, but sometimes I do get hungry and I’ll snack on something like nuts, or something low in calories. I’m not going to kill myself over sticking to the exact time frame, but if I do get a little hungry, I’ve probably fasted 10 hours or so by that point which is pretty good. Remember, there aren’t any set rules – it’s whatever works for YOU.

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    Is it ok to exercise while fasting? I’m a morning brisk-walker and have always “needed” breakfast first, even before I became type 1 (LADA, dx @age 58 in 2016).

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    I have been intermittent fasting since March of 2020. I lost forty pounds , using a 18:6 schedule. I didn’t limit foods, but did try to eat more whole food based and exercised 3-5 times a day. It was great. I got off track after an extended vacation this spring and gained back 12 pounds and let sugar creep back in. I’m working on getting back to it, and feeling more energy again.

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    Dr. E,
    I have T1D and (like you!) am past 50 years! In fact, this week will be my 52nd “Diaversary”! I am on Omnipod 5 (LOVE it!!) and could lose about 20 pounds. I have started a 16:8 schedule, but am finding that I rebound to very high bg’s (300) when I eat the first meal. Could my body be releasing glycogen stores and it just is not a great idea for me? (That’s my theory!) I thought I would see if you have any thoughts before I completely abandon the idea! I have been doing the 16:8 schedule for about 2 weeks and have noticed this trend during this time. My non diabetics sister has had success with I.F. And when I heard you were doing it too, I was inspired to try. I will not sacrifice control though. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Marsha,
      Not knowing the full story, I assume your control is good and your blood sugars are fine until you go into your first meal. If your blood sugar is too low, you may have extra glucagon around, but I don’t think that’s the reason why you’re jumping up. You can try to give yourself a higher dose of insulin with your first meal and give it early, like 30-45 minutes before you eat. Obviously you need to know what your blood sugar is and the trend, but early administration of the bolus goes a long way to prevent the post-meal high. If you’re eating everything but the kitchen sink because you haven’t eaten for 16 hours, that also makes a difference. If you’re having trouble with control though, it’s possible intermittent fasting may not be for you. The problem of a high post-meal blood sugar after the fast can be fixed with timing and dose – the timing between the bolus and the meal. If you’re not comfortable giving the whole bolus, give about half of what you might take, but I think you might need a little bit more insulin Your Omnipod 5 is just not compensating fast enough.

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    Is there any danger with ketone production with this? I’m newly diagnosed 28(f), and I’m one of a very lucky few that was not diagnosed in DKA, so I know almost nothing about it, and my endo didn’t go over it with me. She just said that newly diagnosed Type 1s are at a high risk for it. Is that something I would need to fear with this diet? So far on MDI my morning levels are always in the mid 80s o
    If that matters for the safety of this at all. Also you guys have been an amazing resource for me in general and I really appreciate you!

    • I am betting that your pancreas still is secreting some insulin on its own, and intermittent fasting causes absolutely no danger of going into DKA. In fact, you are at a lower risk based on the fact that your pancreas is probably secreting some insulin.

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