Intermittent fasting is the practice of cycling between periods of eating and fasting. It’s quite popular for its potential to help with weight loss and improve overall health. With different fasting methods to choose from, it’s important to find the right fit for your lifestyle.
In this blog post, we’ll explore popular intermittent fasting techniques for weight loss in detail. With that said, let’s roll in.
Does Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss?
Intermittent fasting can definitely help you lose weight. It’s a way of eating that alternates between eating and fasting. When you do this, you tend to eat fewer calories, which is good for weight loss.
During the fasting time, your body uses stored fat for energy. This means you start losing fat and extra weight. The kind of food you eat matters. Eating healthy, balanced meals is important when you’re not fasting.
There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, like the 16:8 or 5:2 methods. We’ll explore these below. Some might work better for you than others.
That said, if you also exercise while doing intermittent fasting, it can boost your weight loss. Exercise helps you burn more calories and build muscle, which is good for your metabolism.
Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight
There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. We’ll explore a few here:
The 16:8 Method
The 16:8 method is also called the Leangains diet. It involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eating during an 8-hour window. For men, the fasting period is 16 hours, and for women, it’s 14 hours. If a 12-hour fast didn’t work, this method might be worth trying.
Typically, you’d have your last meal at 8 p.m. and skip breakfast, waiting to eat until noon the next day. It’s a way to control when you eat and can be beneficial for some people in managing their weight and health.
Fast for 2 Days a Week
The 5:2 diet refers to fasting for five days a week. It’s a unique approach to weight management. On this plan, you eat normally for five days, and for the other two days, you cut back on calories. During those fasting days, men usually have around 600 calories, while women aim for 500.
People usually spread these fasting days throughout the week, like on a Monday and Thursday, with at least one regular eating day in between. Although research is limited, a study with 107 overweight or obese women revealed that intermittent fasting and regular calorie restriction both resulted in similar weight loss. This makes it a viable option for some.
Fast for 24 Hours a Week
The Eat-Stop-Eat diet involves a full-day fast once or twice a week, where you don’t eat any food for 24 hours. Some folks choose to fast from breakfast to breakfast or from lunch to lunch. During the fasting hours, you can drink water, tea, and other calorie-free beverages.
On non-fasting days, you return to your regular eating habits, so you’re not restricted in terms of food choices. While a 24-hour fast can be tough and lead to fatigue, headaches, or irritability, these effects often lessen as your body adapts. Trying shorter fasts, like 12 or 16 hours, can be a stepping stone to this approach.
The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is an extreme approach to intermittent fasting. It’s designed for those who have already experimented with milder forms of this eating pattern. It involves a 20-hour fasting window, during which individuals consume very little – typically a few servings of raw fruits and vegetables. This rigorous fasting is followed by a 4-hour eating window in the evening, where one large meal is consumed.
Proponents of the Warrior Diet argue that humans are natural nocturnal eaters, aligning nutrient intake with the body’s circadian rhythms. During the brief eating phase, it’s important to prioritize a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and even some carbohydrates.
However, this regimen is challenging to maintain over time, as it necessitates strict adherence to specific eating schedules. Many individuals struggle with consuming a substantial meal just before bedtime, which may disrupt sleep. M
Moreover, the risk of inadequate nutrient intake, particularly fiber, raises concerns about potential health implications, including cancer risks and effects on digestive and immune health.
Fast On Alternate Days
Alternate day fasting is a method involving fasting every other day. It comes in various forms – some people abstain from solid foods entirely on fasting days, while others allow up to 500 calories. On feast days, individuals often eat without restriction.
Research suggests that alternate day fasting can be effective for both weight loss and heart health in healthy and overweight adults. In a study involving 32 participants, they shed an average of 5.2 kilograms (11 pounds) over 12 weeks.
However, it’s important to note that alternate day fasting is a rigorous form of intermittent fasting. Also, it’s not suitable for beginners or individuals with certain medical conditions. Maintaining this fasting pattern long-term can also prove challenging.
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