Intermittent Fasting (IF) has been one of the world’s most popular fitness and health trends in modern times. It has been claimed to result in weight loss, enhance metabolism, and even extend your lifespan.
Intermittent Fasting involves fully or partially skipping meals for a specific time, then eating normally again for a set period of time. Experiences with Intermittent Fasting varies with different individuals, and various methods suit different people.
Here are the Right ways you can Practice Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8 Procedure
This is also known as the Leangains Method. You have to fast daily for 14 to 16 hours and limit your every day eating period to 8-10 hours. You can only fit 2 to 3 meals within the eating window.
A simple way to practice this technique of Intermittent Fasting is by simply not eating meals after dinner and not having breakfast. If you have your dinner at 8 pm, you are not supposed to eat anything until noon the following day.
Women are advised to fast between 14 and 15 hours as they tend to cope well with shorter fast periods.
This method may seem hard at first if you are usually hungry when you wake up and like having a substantial breakfast.
You can take water, coffee, or other noncaloric beverages to reduce the fangs of hunger while fasting.
Also, you have to eat healthy meals during the eating period. Otherwise, your efforts will bear no fruits when you eat junk or foods with a lot of calories.
The 5:2 Diet
This method is also known as the Fast Diet. It involves fasting for two days a week and only eating standard amounts of healthy foods for five days. During the 2-day fasting period, men limit their intake to 600 calories, while women consume 500 calories.
Mostly, people separate their fasting days during the week. For instance, you can fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, then eat ordinarily on other days of the week. During these two days, you reduce your calorie intake by taking small meals. You can also have one non-fasting day between fasting days.
Obese or overweight people who restrict their calorie intake for two weekdays lose weight and become healthier. This method also reduces insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
This fasting procedure involves skipping meals for 24-hours, one or two days a week. This has been a popular method of intermittent fasting for quite some time now.
You can fast from dinner until dinner the following day. This adds up to 24 hours. For instance, if you have dinner at 8 pm one day and not eat until 8 pm the following day, you’ve completed your one-day fast. You can also choose to avoid meals from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. They all yield the same result.
You can take water, coffee, or non-calorie beverages during the fasting period. However, no solid foods are allowed.
If the goal is weight loss, you should eat ordinarily during the eating period. You must eat as if you have not been fasting.
This method may be a bit difficult for beginners. However, you can start with a fasting period of 14 or 16 hours, then move upwards.
This is a flexible approach that may suit beginners. You don’t have to follow a structured approach to reap the benefits of intermittent Fasting. Spontaneous meal skipping simply involves occasionally skipping meals.
You decide which meals to skip based on your levels of hunger and time restraints. You must eat healthy meals during your non-fast period.
This method is likely to be successful when you track and respond to your body hunger signals. Primarily, people who use this method of intermittent Fasting will eat meals when they are hungry and skip when they are not.
This method feels more natural than others.
Alternate Fasting involves fasting every alternate day. This technique has various versions.
For some, it may mean completely avoiding solid foods on their fasting days, while others may be limiting their calorie intake to 500 calories. On non-fasting days, people often choose to eat what they want.
A complete fast on the fasting days is not recommended for beginners or those with certain medical conditions as it may be a bit harsh for them. A full fast may make you very hungry at the end of the fasting days, making it untenable in the long term.
Alternate Fasting is effective for weight loss and heart health. It is suitable for both overweight and healthy adults. Overweight adults can lose an average of 5.2KG over a 12-week period.
The Warrior Diet
This is an extreme form of Intermittent Fasting. This is because you eat limited quantities of raw fruits and vegetables during a 20-hour window, then have one large meal for dinner. The eating window is only about 4 hours.
Primarily, you fast for the whole day, then have one huge meal at night. This form of fasting is only suitable for those who have already tried other forms of Intermittent Fasting.
Most of the people who follow the Warriors Diet claim that humans are naturally nocturnal eaters. They claim that eating at night allows the body to gain nutrients.
You are allowed to consume meals, mainly consisting of proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats during the 4-hour window. You can also include some carbohydrates.
While it’s possible to eat small amounts during the fasting period, it may be challenging to stick to the strict guidelines in the long term, on when and what to eat. Some people also have difficulties eating huge meals before sleeping.
This Diet also has a risk that you might not consume enough nutrients, such as fiber. This may increase the likelihood of diseases such as cancer. It can also have a considerable effect on immune and digestive health.
Intermittent Fasting is a health and weight-loss technique that has worked for many people. It involves wholly or partially abstaining from meals. You can skip taking solid meals for some hours per day or limit your calorie intake.
Some intermittent fasting methods include the 16/8 method, the 5:2 Diet, eat-stop-eat, and the warriors’ diet. You can also choose not to follow any structured approach by using the spontaneous meal skipping method. This involves eating when hungry and skipping when you are not.
Please note that Intermittent Fasting is not advocated for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with medical conditions such as diabetes. If unsure, consult with your doctor before partaking in IF.