is intermittent fasting bad for teens

Is Intermittent Fasting Bad for Teens?

Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.

is intermittent fasting bad for teens

Many teenagers are concerned about their weight, always looking for the next diet to help them shed 10 pounds overnight. Dieting isn’t magical. You’re not going to instantly lose weight without putting in the time and effort to make it happen, especially if you are intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is perfectly safe for teenagers, as long as they’re no longer in a high-growth period like puberty. Intermittent fasting could have adverse impacts on their development if they are, so you’ll want to consult with a doctor before you or your teenager makes any changes to their diet.

The quality of food your teenager eats is just as important as when they eat, so make sure their diet is rich with protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  With care to what they eat and when they eat, your teenager will get the nutrients they need to thrive. They can successfully make health changes if they adhere to intermittent fasting plans.

Key Takeaways

  • Intermittent fasting can be safe for teenagers, but they should consult with a doctor before making any changes to their diet, especially if they’re in a high-growth period like puberty.
  • Intermittent fasting can help teenagers develop healthy eating habits and set an eating schedule, but they should be careful not to develop an eating disorder or overindulge during their eating window.
  • A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for optimal health and well-being, regardless of whether they practice intermittent fasting or not. Teenagers should focus on consuming whole foods, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates while limiting processed and sugary foods.

What to Watch Out for With Intermittent Fasting for Teens

Intermittent fasting has different programs that can be as lenient or restrictive as you feel comfortable doing. 16:8 is a great program for teenagers, where they will eat for 8 hours and fast for 16. Many naturally follow this pattern as they skip breakfast in lieu of sleeping in later – this is simply putting a name to their eating habits!

Pay attention to your teenager if they become overly strict with their diet. Intermittent fasting can trigger eating disorders if your teenager has suffered from them in the past. Even if they haven’t, they may develop them after starting intermittent fasting. If they hyper-focus on their eating habits and windows, it may be time to try an alternate meal plan. Additionally, if they have any health conditions, including diabetes, or take certain medicines, your teenager should not try intermittent fasting as it could be detrimental to their health.

Always consult with a medical professional before making lifestyle adjustments that could significantly impact your day-to-day life. They will help you and your teenager make changes in healthy and sustainable ways.

Why Should My Teenager Try Intermittent Fasting?

If your teenager is trying to lose weight, they may want to try intermittent fasting with permission from their doctor. Intermittent fasting will not prompt the body to enter starvation mode. Your teenager isn’t going that long without food – though, it dramatically may feel as if they are wasting away as the hours tick on. Instead, intermittent fasting will help the body to burn the fat it’s already storing by burning through the calorie intake and sugar stores to help your teen lose weight.

Intermittent fasting can help your teenager set an eating schedule, which is essential to developing healthy habits. Rather than snacking throughout the day, your teen is limited to certain times they can eat. During this time, it’s essential to make smart choices about their food. While there are no restrictions on most intermittent fasting programs, this is not the time to binge eat or overindulge in all the sweets they’ve been dreaming about. As your teen is intermittent fasting, they should eat healthy, high-nutrient foods that provide sustained long-term energy. This will keep them moving throughout the day, and they may even want to consider downloading a fasting app to help them on their journey.

Intermittent fasting may be challenging to get used to, but once your teenager does, they’ll see major benefits, including weight loss, increased metabolism, reduced insulin resistance, and so much more. It’s worth checking out if they’re interested in making lifestyle changes and putting in the work to make it happen.


  • Can teens safely try intermittent fasting?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Intermittent fasting may be safe for some teens, but it can also be risky for others. Teens need to talk to their doctor or a registered dietitian before trying intermittent fasting.

  • What are the potential risks of intermittent fasting for teens?

Intermittent fasting can lead to malnutrition, which can be particularly harmful to growing teens. It can also lead to disordered eating patterns and may interfere with a teen’s ability to concentrate or perform well in school.

  • Are there any benefits of intermittent fasting for teens?

There is some evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting may have benefits for people of all ages, including teens. For example, some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.

  • What are some alternative ways for teens to improve their health?

Instead of trying intermittent fasting, teens can focus on developing healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active. Teens can also talk to their doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice on improving their health.

  • What should parents do if they’re concerned about their teen trying intermittent fasting?

Parents should talk to their teens about their concerns and encourage them to speak to a doctor or registered dietitian before trying intermittent fasting. Parents can also model healthy behaviors and promote their teens to focus on developing a positive relationship with food and their body.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at are here with you every step of the way!