How to Do Intermittent Fasting – 9 Different Ways You Can Try

How to Do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is trending these days and for good reason. It can possibly reduce the risk of serious health conditions like breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. In fact, research has proven that restricted calorie intake can add years to your life.

Intermittent fasting is a type of eating plan that calls for different periods of eating and fasting. During the times you can eat, you generally eat whatever you like. This is why the plan works for a lot of people. It’s simple, and you can tweak the schedule to fit your needs.

But there’s no one way to do it. There are multiple approaches and in this article, we will tell you what they are. From eat stop eat, the 5:2 diet, half-day fasting, spontaneous meal skipping to time-restricted fasting, and more. Read till the end to learn about all of them.

The 16:8 Diet:

The 16-8 Diet - How to Do Intermittent Fasting

The 16:8 method involves fasting every day for 16 hours and only eating for 8. For most people, this schedule means not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. You might eat between, say, noon and 8 p.m.

In a study, those on the 16:8 diet took in fewer calories, lost a modest amount of weight, and lowered their blood pressure. Although this diet is not a surefire way to shed pounds.

Following this kind of eating plan may help with appetite control. Sounds counterintuitive? A study showed that people who ate during a six-hour window, compared to a normal eating schedule, felt less hungry, even though both groups ate the same amount of calories.

Would you be able to go without food for 16 hours every day? Tell us in the comments section!

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The 5:2 Diet:

The 5-2 Diet - How to Do Intermittent Fasting

The 5:2 diet involves eating normally 5 days of the week while only having 500-600 calories for the remaining two days. This diet is also called The Fast Diet and was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley.

On the fasting days, it’s recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600. For those two days, you eat two small meals of about 250 calories per meal for women and 300 for men.

As critics correctly point out, there are no studies testing the 5:2 diet itself, but there are plenty of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting.

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The Eat Stop Eat Diet:

The Eat Stop Eat Diet

Eat Stop Eat involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice per week. This method has been quite popular for a few years. By fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day, amounts to a full 24-hour fast.

For example, if you finish dinner at 7 p.m. Monday and don’t eat until dinner at 7 p.m. the next day, you’ve just done a full 24-hour fast. You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. The end result is the same.

Water, coffee, and other no caloric beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted. If you’re doing this to lose weight, it’s very important that you 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 up from there is fine.

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Half-Day Diet:

Half-Day Diet - How to Do Intermittent Fasting

The rules for this diet are simple. You need to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day. According to some researchers, fasting for 10–16 hours can cause your body to turn its fat stores into energy. This releases ketones into the bloodstream which encourages weight loss.

This type of intermittent fasting may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can eat the same number of calories each day. The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.

For example, you could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. You would need to finish your dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.

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The 20:4 Diet:

The 20-4 Diet

The 20:4 is based on a 20 hour fast, with a four-hour eating window. Generally, you can eat to your heart’s content during the four-hour feasting. But by design, it’s difficult to eat too many calories during such a short time frame. The four-hour eating window typically happens in the evening but can be any part of the day that suits you.

For example, you can eat two meals between 2 pm and 6 pm, and fast for the remaining 20 hours.

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This would be suitable for those who are confident with intermittent fasting or are busy day workers who don’t have time to eat. It is also useful for people who don’t feel hungry during the day or find that eating makes them less productive and sluggish. You can also use this diet for those special occasions, whether you’re heading out for an evening meal, or about to feast on a delicious buffet with friends and family.

Whole-Day Fasting:

Whole-Day Fasting

Here, you eat once a day. Some people choose to eat dinner and then not eat again until the next day’s dinner. That means your fasting period is 24 hours. That can be from dinner to dinner or lunch to lunch.

The advantage of this approach is that, if done for weight loss, it’s really tough to eat an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting. Its disadvantage is that it’s hard to get all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally with just one meal. Not to mention, this approach is tough to stick to. You might get really hungry by the time dinner rolls around, and that can lead you to eat not-so-great, calorie-dense foods.

Think about it: When you’re ravenous, you’re not exactly craving broccoli. Many people also drink coffee in excess to get through their hunger, which can have negative effects on their sleep. You may also notice brain fog throughout the day if you’re not eating.

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Spontaneous Meal Skipping:

Spontaneous Meal Skipping

You don’t actually need to follow a structured intermittent plan to reap some of the benefits. With this option, you simply skip meals from time to time, such as when you don’t feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat.

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It’s a myth that people need to eat every few hours or they’ll hit starvation mode and lose muscle. The human body is well equipped to handle long periods of famine, let alone missing one or two meals from time to time.

So, if you’re really 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. Skipping one or two meals when you feel inclined to do so is basically a spontaneous intermittent fast. Just make sure to eat healthy foods during the other meals.

It is very important to eat only healthy foods when you are skipping meals and eating less. Learn more about what they are by reading “The Best Healthy Breakfast Menu – 12 Healthiest Foods for Morning” Now, back to different ways you can do intermittent fasting.

Alternate Day Fasting:

Alternate Day Fasting

As the name suggests, alternate-day intermittent fasting is when you fast — or severely restrict your caloric intake — every other day. This approach is not as popular as the others. Plus, it may be the most challenging type of intermittent fasting to attempt. It is not very practical because it leads to intense hunger on fasting days.

In fact, it was found that most people who dropped out of an intermittent fasting study to lose weight were attempting to do alternate day fasting. Also, it didn’t really make a difference when it came to weight loss.

Generally, it’s not recommended as it’s hard to not eat for a whole day. You should also consider other factors like your blood sugar, insulin levels, and energy levels, and your ability to think when going for this diet.

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Time-Restricted Fasting:

Time-Restricted Fasting

With this type of fasting, you choose an eating window every day, which should ideally leave a 14 to 16 hour fast. Due to hormonal concerns, women should fast for no more than 14 hours daily. Fasting promotes a process where your body clears debris and toxins.

For this to work, you may set your eating window from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This can work especially well for someone with a family who eats an early dinner anyway. Then much of the time spent fasting is time spent sleeping. You also don’t technically have to miss any meals, depending on when you set your window.

While Intermittent Fasting is a great way to lose weight, your habits also contribute a great deal towards getting to your goal. Learn more about this by Reading: How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Week – Healthy Weight Loss Tips or Top 16 Effective Diet Changes – That Will Make Weight Loss A Breeze. These 2 articles will definitely make your weight loss journey faster and smoother.

So go ahead and pick an article, or read them both for maximum benefits. Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? Which method did you use? Let us know in the comments section below!

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