3 Most Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
As a dietary approach, intermittent fasting is increasingly becoming popular as a way to possibly keep a healthy weight, starve off disease, simplify lifestyles, and even boost longevity. Nonetheless, there are a number of ways to do it, based on your goals and lifestyle.
What Intermittent Fasting is all About
Intermittent fasting encompasses the eating patterns that cycle between episodes of eating followed by episodes of fasting. It doesn’t specify the foods that you should be eating, but rather the periods when you can eat them. As such, it’s not a diet in the traditional sense but an eating habit.
Fasting is one of the practices that have been present throughout human evolution. Of course, ancient man didn’t have refrigerators, supermarkets, or food available throughout the year. They often found themselves with nothing to eat. As a result, human beings have evolved to be able to function without eating for long periods of time.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
Intermittent fasting can be done in a number of different ways, all of which entail splitting a day or week into fasting and eating periods. There are three most common methods of intermittent fasting:
• The 16/8 method
• The 5:2 diet
You either eat very little during the fasting periods, or eat nothing at all. And by reducing the caloric intake, all of these methods should help you lose weight, provided you don’t compensate by eating too much during the eating periods.
- The 16/8 Method
This method of intermittent fasting is also referred to as the Leangains Protocol, and was widely popularized by the fitness expert Martin Berkhan.
The 16/8 method involves fasting for 14 to 16 hours every day and restricting the “eating window” of your days between 8 and 10 hours. During this daily eating window, you can fit in 2, 3 or more meals. You can make the 16/8 method easier for you by avoiding eating anything after supper and then skipping breakfast the next morning.
For instance, taking your supper at 8 pm and not eating anything until 12 noon the following day is actually a 16-hour fast between your meals. Nonetheless, it’s recommended that women should fast for only 14 to 15 hours, since they tend to do better with shorter fasts.
If you tend to get very hungry in the morning and simply can’t afford to miss breakfast, then this method can be hard to get used to, especially in the beginning. But, many people who skip breakfast instinctively follow this routine. Keep in mind that you’re allowed to drink coffee, water, and other low-calorie drinks while fasting, which can help to minimize the hunger pangs.
It’s crucial to only eat healthy foods during the eating window, as the method simply won’t work if you eat excessive amounts of calories or lots of junk foods. Most people consider this method as the ideal way to do intermittent fasting, as it doesn’t require a lot of effort.
- The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 Diet is also referred to as Fast Diet, and was popularized by Michael Mosley, a British doctor and journalist.
The method involves eating as you normally do for 5 days a week, while restricting your caloric intake to about 500 to 600 calories on 2 days of the week. On the fasting days, it’s recommended that women eat 500 calories while men eat 600 calories.
For instance, you can eat normally on all days of the week except Thursdays and Mondays where you only eat two small meals (about 300 calories a meal for men and 250 for women).
It’s important to note that as critics often point out, there are no research supporting the 5:2 diet itself. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of research that support the benefits of intermittent fasting.
This method has been quite popular for the last few years, and was mostly popularized by Brad Pilon, a fitness expert.
The Eat-Stop-Eat method entails fasting for 24-hours, either once or twice a week. When you fast from dinner on one day to the next dinner on the following day, it amounts to a 24-hour fast. During the fast, you can take coffee, water, and other low calorie drinks, but strictly no solid food! If you’re doing the Eat-Stop-Eat to lose some weight, it’s important to eat as you normally do during the eating periods. This means eating the same amount of food as if you haven’t been fasting.
The only drawback to this method of fasting is that a full 24-hour fast can be quite difficult for most people. Nonetheless, if you do like the idea, you can start with 14 to 16 hours as you slowly progress towards the full 24 hours.
There are many people who report getting great results with these three methods. However, intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. It’s just one of those lifestyle strategies that can help get you in better shape, both in terms of health and weight. Eating healthy, natural food, exercising, and getting ample sleep are still the key factors to focus on.
The only way to find out if intermittent fasting is great for you is to try it out. If you feel good while fasting and you find it to be a sustainable way of healthy eating, then you’ve found yourself a pretty powerful strategy to lose weight and stay healthy. If you need a structure eating plan that uses intermittent fasting, I will be happy to help you. Please contact me for more info.
Rob Lagana, Fitness Coach
Elite Nutritionist, and Stress Reduction Therapist
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