The approach towards a healthy diet is increasing day by day to gain a healthier lifestyle, prevent numerous diseases, and boost longevity. However, most people are adopting intermittent fasting for weight loss goals.
There are several strategies to achieve it, depending on your aim and lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting has recently become one of the most popular health trends. Also, fasting for weight loss is a popular trend.
As it significantly improves metabolic health, causes rapid weight loss, and even boosts lifespan.
Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting
Also, there are more than a few ways to practice intermittent fasting.
However, one way is not sufficient for everyone; thus, it takes time and patience in figuring out which one works best for you.
Below are 6 of the most popular ways to do intermittent fasting, which will surely inspire you to adopt fasting for its unique health benefits.
1. The 16:8 method
In the 16:8 method, fasting involves 14 to 16 hours every day and restricting the eating window to 8 to 10 hours.
You are allowed to consume 2 to 3 or more meals within the eating window.
Moreover, practicing this method intermittent fasting method is straightforward as you have to restrain yourself from consuming any meals after dinner and skipping breakfast.
For instance, if you happen to finish your last meal at 8 p.m. and you prevented yourself away from consuming any food until noon the next day, then, you have been practically fasting for 16 hours.
It is recommended for women to fast only for 14 to 15 hours as they are likely to do better with a little shorter fast.
If you get hungry in the morning and do not like skipping breakfast, this method may be hard to get used to initially.
Though, numerous people who tend to skip their breakfasts inevitably eat this way.
You are allowed to drink water, coffee, and any other zero-calorie drinks during the fast. Consuming zero-calorie drinks will aid in reducing the feeling of hunger.
Also, it is necessary to consume healthy foods in 8 to 10 hours of eating window and especially avoid consuming junk food or food with high-calorie intake.
2. The 5:2 diet
In the 5:2 diet, you usually eat for five days of the week. In contrast, calorie intake is limited to 500 – 600 calories for the other two days of the week.
For instance, in a 5:2 diet, you usually eat every day of the week except any two days of the week.
On those two days, consume two small meals of 250 calories each for women and two small meals of 300 calories each for men.
On five days of fasting, the recommendation for women is to consume 500 calories, whereas men should consume 600 calories.
Although there are no adequate studies on the 5:2 diet itself, there are numerous studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
3. The Alternate Day Fasting
As the name implies, in the alternate-day fasting, you are supposed to fast every other day either by not consuming any food or restricting calorie intake to a few hundred calories.
Although, there are several different types of alternate-day fasting and some of them even allow calorie intake up to 500 calories during the days of fasting.
However, it is not recommended for a beginner as full 24 hours fast can be pretty extreme.
Moreover, numerous test-tube studies used alternate-day fasting method and showed significant health benefits of intermittent fasting.
The downside of the alternate-day fasting is that several times a week, you may have to go to bed feeling very hungry.
It is not a pleasant experience at all and perhaps unmaintainable in the long term.
4. The Warrior Diet
The Warrior diet includes consuming adequate amounts of only raw vegetables and fruits during the day and consuming one large meal during the night.
In other words, fast all day and consume healthy food at night within a four-hour eating window.
However, you are allowed to consume mostly whole and unprocessed food during the fasting period.
According to a recent study, the warrior diet may improve blood sugar, reduce inflammation, aid in weight loss, and even prevent the risk of cognitive diseases.
Even though there are many studies on the health benefits of intermittent fasting, a few pieces of research are available on the method of the warrior diet.
Therefore, consider this while deciding whether or not to try the warrior diet.
5. Eat Stop Eat
In eat stop eat intermittent fasting, you are supposed to have 1 or 2 fasts with a duration of 24 hours each per week.
It includes starting fast from dinner one day and ending it on the second day’s dinner, and this adds up to 24 hours fast.
For instance, if you happen to finish your dinner at 7.pm. Moreover, you have to restrain yourself from consuming any meals until dinner 7.pm. The next day, then practically, you have completed a full 24 hour fast.
Additionally, you can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or from lunch to lunch, whichever suits because the results are the same.
Furthermore, you can consume water, coffee, or any other zero-calorie beverages, whereas solid foods are restricted.
Even if you are doing intermittent fasting for weight loss, you still must consume healthy meals during the eating periods.
Although, the possible downside of the eat stop eat method is that a full 24 hour fast can be extreme for most people.
Thus, it is recommended to do 14 to 16-hour fasts in the beginning and then gradually move towards 24-hour fasts.
6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
Intermittent fasting is very beneficial for your health. You do not need to follow a fasting plan to achieve its health benefits.
Another way to practice intermittent fasting is to skip one or two meals now, and then when you do not feel hungry.
Your body can handle long periods of famine, so skipping one or two meals from time to time is not a problem at all.
Also, it is a myth that you have to eat after every couple of hours, or your body will go in starvation mode, or you will experience muscle loss.
For instance, if you do not feel like eating at dinner, skip dinner and go for a healthy breakfast and lunch.
Alternatively, in case you do not find anything that you want to eat, do a short fast.
However, make sure that you consume healthy foods and beverages during eating and avoid junk or high-calorie food as much as possible.