The intermittent fasting method involves periods where you completely or partially refrain from eating. Many methods of intermittent fasting exist, which vary in terms of the number of days fasted and the amount of calories allowed.
Some studies indicate that this eating style may have benefits, such as weight loss, improved health, and longer life. Some people claim that an intermittent fasting program can be easier to follow than traditional calorie-controlled dieting.
A pattern of intermittent fasting is not based on random times but rather follows a schedule. Nevertheless, the experience of each individual is unique, and different styles suit different people.
This article discusses the science behind the most popular forms of intermittent fasting and provides tips for maintaining this type of diet.
Six ways to intermittent fast
People will have different preferences when it comes to the methods they use for intermittent fasting. Find out six different ways of doing intermittent fasting.
1. Fast 12 hours per day
This diet is simple. Every day, a person must decide and stick to a 12-hour window of fasting.
Researchers have found that fasting for 10-16 hours could cause the body to convert its fat stores to energy, releasing ketones into your bloodstream. This should help you lose weight.
For beginners, this type of intermittent plan is a good choice. The fasting window is small, most of it occurs while sleeping, and you can consume the same amount of calories every day.
Include the time spent sleeping in the 12-hour window of fasting.
A person can choose to fast from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. The person would have to finish eating before 7 p.m., and then wait until 7 a.m. to eat their breakfast. They would also be sleeping for most of the time between.
2. Fasting for 16 Hours
The 16:8 diet or Leangains method is a fasting regimen of 16 hours per day with an 8-hour eating window.
The 16:8 diet requires males to fast 16 hours per day and females 14 hours. This type of intermittent diet may be useful for those who have tried the 12-hour feast but didn’t see any benefit.
On this fast, most people finish their dinner by 8 p.m. and skip breakfast the following day. They don’t eat again until noon.
In a studyTrusted Source, mice fed a high-fat diet were protected from obesity, inflammation, and diabetes by limiting their feeding window to eight hours, even though they consumed the same number of calories.
3. Fasting 2 days per week
The 5:2 diet involves eating healthy food in standard quantities for 5 days and reducing calorie intake for the remaining 2 days.
During these two fasting days, men consume an average of 600 calories while women consume 500 calories.
People usually separate their fasting in the week. They may, for example, fast on Mondays and Thursdays and eat normally on other days. It is recommended that there be at least one non-fasting day between each fasting day.
The 5:2 diet is also called the Fast diet. There are limited studies on this diet. In a study conducted by Trusted Source, 107 obese or overweight women were studied. They found that calorie restriction twice weekly and continuous caloric restriction led to similar weight losses.
This diet also reduced insulin levels in participants and improved insulin sensitivity.
In a small-scale study, 23 overweight women were examined to see the effects of fasting. During one menstrual period, the women lost 8.0% of total body fat and 4.8% of body weight. After 5 days, most women returned to their normal measurements.
4. Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate-day fasting is a plan that involves fasting every alternate day.
Some people choose to fast on alternate days by avoiding solid food on the fasting day, while others allow 500 calories. On feeding days, many people choose to eat whatever they like.
According to a study by Trusted Source, alternate-day fasting can be effective in weight loss and improving heart health for healthy and overweight adults. Researchers found that 32 participants lost a total of approximately 11 pounds or 5.2 kilograms over 12 weeks.
This extreme form of intermittent eating is not suitable for those who are new to fasting or have certain medical conditions. This type of fasting may be difficult to maintain over the long term.
5. Fasting for 24 hours a week
The Eat-Stop Diet, also known as the Eat-Stop Diet, is a 24-hour fast. Many people fast between breakfast and lunch or from breakfast to lunch.
This diet allows people to drink water, tea, and other drinks that are calorie-free during the fasting period.
On non-fasting days, people should resume their regular eating habits. This method of eating reduces the total calories consumed by a person but does not restrict the foods they consume.
It can be difficult to maintain a 24-hour fast. You may experience fatigue, headaches, or irritability. As the body adapts to the new eating patterns, these effects tend to become less severe.
Before attempting the 24-hour fast, people may find it beneficial to try a 12-hour fast or a 16-hour one.
6. The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet involves a form of intermittent fasting that is relatively extreme.
The Warrior Diet involves eating little during a 20-hour fast, typically just a few portions of raw fruits and vegetables. At night, you eat a large meal. The eating window usually lasts only 4 hours.
This type of intermittent fasting is best for those who have already tried other forms.
Warrior Diet supporters claim that humans are naturally nocturnal and that eating during the night allows your body to gain nutrients according to its circadian rhythms.
During these 4 hours, it is important to consume a lot of vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins. Also, they should include carbohydrates.
It is possible to eat certain foods during a fasting period. However, adhering to strict guidelines about when and what you eat can be difficult over the long term. Some people also have difficulty eating a large meal close to bedtime.
This diet can also lead to a lack of nutrients such as fiber. This can increase cancer risk and negatively affect digestive and immune system health.
Tips on maintaining intermittent fasting
It can be difficult to adhere to a program of intermittent fasting.
These tips can help you maximize the benefits and stay on track with intermittent fasting.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and other calorie-free beverages throughout the day. You can ensure that you are getting enough sodium, potassium chloride, and electrolytes by drinking plenty of water.
- Don’t think about food.
- Resting and relaxing. Avoid strenuous activities on fasting days, although light exercise such as Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients helps to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent nutritional deficiencies. A balanced diet can also help with weight loss and improve overall health.
There are several ways to intermittently fast, and no one plan will work for all. The best results will be achieved if individuals try different styles and see which one suits their lifestyles.
Fasting for long periods when your body is not prepared can be dangerous.
These types of dieting are not suitable for everyone. These approaches can exacerbate disordered eating in people who are prone to it.
Before attempting to fast, people with certain health conditions such as diabetes should consult their doctor.
It is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet during non-fasting times. A person can get professional assistance to customize an intermittent fasting program and avoid common pitfalls.
A registered dietitian can help people choose the right intermediate fasting for their lifestyle.