Plant-Based Nutrition and Intermittent Fasting: The Perfect Combination

How to combine plant-based eating with intermittent fasting

  • Published: 8/16/2023
  • 4 min. read

Scrolling through your social streams, you’ve likely seen some friends and influencers promoting intermittent fasting and others plant-based eating. Combine the two and the benefits are boosted! Find out how a blend of plant-based nutrition and intermittent fasting can work together to help your health and the planet.

Intermittent fasting and plant-based nutrition

Intermittent fasting 

Fasting seems to be a new trend but cultures around the world have fasted for reasons including religious, spiritual, or medical. Now fasting is categorized into different cycles of when to eat and when to fast. For example, the 16:8 intermittent fasting method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eating for 8 hours. The 5:2 intermittent fasting plan is when calories are limited to 500-600 calories per day for two days per week. Learn about more types of intermittent fasting here: All about Fasting

Plant-based nutrition 

Plant-based nutrition is just like the name describes, an eating pattern that focuses mainly on plant foods. This includes fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. It can be going vegan or vegetarian, but it can also mean you mainly focus on plant foods and occasionally include meat, poultry or fish. Just like with intermittent fasting, it’s finding out what works best for you. 

The perfect combination

If plant-based nutrition combined with intermittent fasting is something for you, it can be relatively easy to combine the two. Since intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat, rather than what you eat, you can seamlessly pair it with your preferred way of eating. 

In general, the best way to approach a healthy eating plan is by focusing on balanced, wholesome foods. So to get the best out of your plant-based nutrition and intermittent fasting plan and make sure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients by eating lots of these wholesome plant-based foods during your eating times:

  • Colorful fruits and vegetables: berries, citrus fruits, melon, leafy greens, root vegetables.
  • Legumes: beans, lentils, and peas. 
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds.  
  • Whole grains: breads, rice, pasta, quinoa. 
  • Dairy alternatives: soymilk, almond milk, oat milk.
  • Vegetable oils and healthy fats: olive oil, olives, avocado. 

Low fat dairy, eggs, fish: if you’re going vegetarian or pescetarian.

Plant-based and intermittent fasting benefits 

Plant-based nutrition and intermittent fasting each have shown benefits when it comes to human health and the environment. Combined, the perks are even more powerful!

Increased nutrients

Eating more plants is a great way to up nutrient levels. Not only can this help keep your body healthy, strong, and energized, it can also improve your looks. Plants contain powerful compounds, such as vitamin C and beta carotene, which can contribute to decreased inflammation, aka less bloat, and support the structure and function of your skin, eyes, and hair (1). 

A challenge here is that if your diet is already lacking in vitamins, minerals, and protein, eating less by restricting your eating times, may put you at risk of deficiencies (2). So when you combine a plant-based diet with intermittent fasting, make sure you’re focusing on vitamin B12, iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium and omega-3 by including the wholesome foods listed above (3). 

Disease prevention 

Plant-based diets can reduce your risk of certain diseases. Research shows they are cost effective ways to lower your risk of weight gain as well as high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. They may also help decrease the need for medications down the line (4). 

Some studies also suggest that intermittent fasting can reduce disease risk. People with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease) found that adults who did a 10-hour intermittent fasting restriction for 12 weeks, had reduced body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, as well as better sleep - something many of us can use more of these days (5). 

Better digestion 

If you’re new to plant-based diets, it may take a bit for your digestion to catch up. Ease into it by upping your plant foods slowly and drinking lots of water. Once you adjust, you’ll really be benefiting your digestion. The fiber in plants feeds the healthy microbiome in your gut and keeps things moving so you stay regular. 

Intermittent fasting allows those gut bacteria to take a break, letting them recharge for the next day. It also helps prevent heartburn or tummy troubles, if you give yourself a couple hours before bed to digest. Intermittent fasting improves circadian rhythm, which also improves our gut bacteria balance.


Plant-based diets are not only good for our bodies, but also the environment. Since livestock contributes to 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, too much meat can place a heavy burden on the environment (6). 

Intermittent fasting may also help save the world by contributing to sustainability. About 60% of animals on the planet are raised for our consumption and 30-40% get wasted (7). Intermittent fasting makes meals more mindful, especially if we plan ahead by meal prepping

Are you ready for the personal and sustainable benefits of a plant-based intermittent fasting way of life? The Lifesum app will guide you through both!

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