Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again. Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction. Intermittent fasting is good for fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. There are several ways to do Intermittent Fasting as follows-
#1 The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 Hours Each Day
The 16/8 Method involves fasting every day for 14 to16 hours and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8-10 hours. 16/18 method of fasting can be as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast.
It’s generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts.
You can drink water, coffee, and other noncaloric beverages during the fast, which can help reduce feelings of hunger.
It’s very important to primarily eat healthy foods during your eating window. This method won’t work if you eat lots of junk food or an excessive number of calories.
#2 The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 Days Per Week
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally 5 days of the week while restricting calories to 500-600 for two days out of the week. This diet is also called The Fast Diet
On the fasting days, it’s recommended that you can eat 500 calories and men eat 600 calories.
As critics correctly point out, no studies are testing the 5:2 diet itself, but there are plenty of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
#3 Eat-Stop-Eat: Do a 24-Hour Fast, Once or Twice a Week
Eat-Stop-Eat involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice per week. By fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day, amounts to a full 24-hour fast. You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. The result is the same.
Water, coffee, and other noncaloric beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted.
If you’re doing this to lose weight, you must eat normally during the eating periods. As in, eat the same amount of food as if you hadn’t been fasting at all.
The potential downside of this method is that a full 24-hour fast may be fairly difficult for many people.
However, you don’t need to go all-in right away. Starting with 14-16 hours and then moving upward from there is fine.
#4 Alternate-Day Fasting: Fast Every Other Day
Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day.
There are several different versions of this method. Some of them allow about 500 calories during fasting days. A full fast every other day can seem rather extreme, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
With this method, you will be going to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long term.
#5 The Warrior Diet: Fast During the Day, Eat a Huge Meal at Night
The Warrior Diet involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating one huge meal at night.
Basically, you “fast” all day and “feast” at night within a 4-hour eating window. This diet also emphasizes food choices that are quite similar to a paleo diet — whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature.
#6 Spontaneous Meal Skipping
You don’t need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to reap some of the benefits.
Another option is to simply skip meals from time to time, such as when you don’t feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat. So, if you’re not hungry one day, skip breakfast and just eat a healthy lunch and dinner. Or, if you’re traveling somewhere and can’t find anything you want to eat, do a short fast.
Tips for intermittent fasting
- Staying hydrated. Drink lots of water and calorie-free drinks.
- Avoiding obsessing over food. Plan plenty of distractions on fasting days to avoid thinking about food, such as catching up on paperwork or going to see a movie.
- Resting and relaxing. Avoid strenuous activities on fasting days, although light exercise such as yoga may be beneficial.
- Making every calorie count. If the chosen plan allows some calories during fasting periods, select nutrient-dense foods that are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fats. Examples include beans, lentils, eggs, fish, nuts, and avocado.
- Eating high-volume foods. Select filling yet low-calorie foods, which include popcorn, raw vegetables, and fruits with high water content, such as grapes and melon.
- Increasing the taste without the calories. Season meals generously with garlic, herbs, spices, or vinegar. These foods are extremely low in calories yet are full of flavor, which may help to reduce feelings of hunger.
- Choosing nutrient-dense foods after the fasting period. Eating foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and prevent nutrient deficiencies. A balanced diet will also contribute to weight loss and overall health.