Recently, Intermittent fasting has become a trend. People claim it can help them lose weight, improve their metabolism, and even extend their lives. While every method can be effective, figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
There are several methods of following this eating pattern. You should consult a healthcare provider before starting an intermittent fast or deciding how often you should fast.
Listed below are six ways to practice intermittent fasting.
1. The 16/8 Method
It is recommended to fast for 16 hours every day and restrict eating between 8 and 16 hours each day. It is possible to squeeze in two, three, or more meals within the eating window.
It was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan under the name Leangains protocol. Fasting can be as simple as not eating afterward and skipping breakfast.
It may be hard to adjust to this method for people who get hungry in the mornings and like to eat breakfast. Many people, however, eat like this instinctively.
Drinking water, coffee, or other zero-calorie drinks can help suppress hunger while you are fasting. Healthy foods should be consumed primarily during your eating window. If you consume too many processed foods and too many calories, this method won’t work.
2. The 5:2 Diet
On a 5:2 diet, you eat what you normally eat 5 days a week and restrict your calories to 500-600 calories on two days. Michael Mosley, a British journalist, popularized this diet, also known as the Fast Diet. For women, a 500-calorie fasting day is appropriate, whereas, for men, a 600-calorie fast is appropriate.
There is evidence that the 5:2 diet helps people lose weight.
3. Eat Stop Eat
Eat Stop Eat consists of a 24-hour fast once or twice a week. Brad Pilon popularized this method, which has been quite popular for a few years now. A 24-hour fast starts after dinner one day and ends after dinner the next day. There is no restriction on liquids during the fast, but solid foods are prohibited.
Maintain a healthy diet during your eating sessions if this is meant to help you manage your weight. So eat as much as if you hadn’t been fasting at all.
Some people may have difficulties managing a full 24-hour fast using this method. Don’t do it all at once, though. You can start with 14–16 hours and then increase from there.
4. Alternate-day Fasting
Alternate-day fasting involves fasting every other day. These methods come in a variety of versions. The fasting days for some people are capped at 500 calories.
Despite this, one study found alternate-day fasting was no more effective than a typical calorie-restrictive diet at producing weight loss or weight maintenance.
It’s not recommended for beginners to fast completely every other day. By using this method, you may end up all hungry several times per week, which is unpleasing and probably unsustainable over time.
5. The Warrior Diet
Fitness expert Ori Hofmekler popularized the Warrior Diet. This diet involves eating raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day and eating a huge meal at night. There is a four-hour window in which you eat during the day and fast during the night.
In the beginning, the warrior diet included a form of intermittent fasting. In the paleo diet, a lot of the food choices are whole, unprocessed foods.
6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
The benefits of intermittent fasting can be reaped without following a structured regimen. You can also skip meals from time to time, for instance when you are too busy or do not feel like eating.
In contrast, some people eat every few hours to avoid starvation or muscle loss. While other people’s bodies are capable of surviving long periods of famine, they may miss one or two meals from time to time. The only person who knows you best is you.
Whenever you do not feel hungry, skip breakfast and only eat lunch and dinner. It may also be possible to fast briefly if you’re traveling somewhere and are unable to find your preferred food.
A spontaneous intermittent fast consists of skipping one or two meals when you feel inclined to do so. You only need to eat healthy and balanced meals during non-fasting periods.