I have followed a vegan diet for 12 years and I am more than happy with this choice, both the effects on my own well-being and the implications of this choice for the well-being of both animals and the environment.

For the last 2 months I have also embarked on a 7-day 18:6 intermittent fasting regime which I have viewed as a solid investment in both health and longevity. My main influence here was the following New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article (I acknowledge with sadness that large parts of this review article focus on studies with animals):

Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging and Disease
Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D
NEJM 381:26 NEJM.ORG December 26th, 2019

For those who cannot view the full article (subscription, either free or paid is required) I give some relevant quotes below:


[...] intermittent fasting enhances cognition in multiple domains, including spatial memory, associative memory, and working memory; alternate-day fasting and daily caloric restriction reverse the adverse effects of obesity, diabetes, and neuroinflammation on spatial learning and memory...

Cardiovascular Disease:

Intermittent fasting improves multiple indicators of cardiovascular health in animals and humans, including blood pressure, resting heart rate; levels of high-density and low-density lipoprotein (HDL and LDL) cholesterol, trigycerides, glucose and insuling; and insulin resistance...

In Summary:

Preclinical studies and clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting has broad-spectrum benefits for many health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders...

My own 18:6 pattern of fasting has been:

  1. 1800hrs - 1200hrs: Fast: fluids encouraged (water and herbal tea)
  2. 1200hrs: Main meal
  3. 1500hrs: Light snack
  4. 1700hrs: Light meal

So: an 18 hour fast with a 6 hour feeding 'window' = 18:6 fasting.

My question is: What sort of adaptations, or strategies, are required to optimise a vegan diet to allow for this pattern of fasting?


1 Answer 1


I don't know that there would be much difference in optimizing a vegan vs non-vegan diet for intermittent fasting but rather general intermittent fasting tips and vegan tips. As someone who has eaten a vegan diet on an 18:6 pattern for several years, I can still share some recommendations:

Don't break your fast with sugar or foods with a high glycemic index.

Understand vegan sources of protein (despite popular belief there are plenty of ways to get protein outside of meat)

Eat the rainbow and get reduce processed foods as much as possible (don't simply opt for vegan protein shakes, eat actual vegetables with good carbs).

The best thing about shifting to a plant-based diet has been learning the nutritional value of foods rather than defaulting to 'a meat and side' for dinner every night. Since you've been a vegan for quite some time, I imagine you're well aware of these insights. I think if you continue to practice a balanced vegan diet within your eating windows, you'll do well. Don't forget to listen to your body and talk to your doctor about any deficiencies and how to adjust your diet or supplement accordingly.

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