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3 tips for safely trying intermittent fasting, approved by doctors

This tip is specific to those struggling with intermittent fasting. If you are hungry or miserable, do not force it! Shah says even 12 or 13 hours of fasting can have significant effects on our health – there is no reason to jump to a 16- or 18-hour fast from the start.

"The research looked at just 13 hours of fasting in a group of women who had breast cancer history, and they found a 34% reduction in breast cancer. So you can get great benefits, even with short fixed windows," she says.

So if you're new to intermittent fasting (or maybe you're just having a hard time with it), you might want to take this "less is more" approach. As long as there is some kind of time-limited food model, you can reap the many benefits of intermittent fasting, Shah says.

"I think a lot of the play media is really pushing people to do 1

6 and 18, plus on a daily basis. But I think you can start to see benefits even earlier, especially when you do this time-limited food model."

You can even eat a spoonful of peanut butter or avocado if you feel particularly peckish in the morning – Shah says you can eat up to 40 calories that are not sugar-free protein if you have trouble with your fast, and you will not steer from your intermittent fixed goals.

Before embarking on your IF journey, it is important to keep these guidelines in mind. Just the term "intermittent fasting" alone involves lots of different information, definitions and eating plans, and – as always – it's best to navigate your way through health trends as educated and informed consumers. Although Shah has many more tips and tricks under his belt, these three tips will help you get started on a firm plan that is safe, effective and personal for you.

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