Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule For Men
For most men, in my experience, it is possible to start directly with a 16/8 fasting plan. Finally, you will unlearn appetite in the morning in less than two weeks.
In addition, 24- or 36-hour fasting is also excellent for men, as they find it easier on average to fast for more extended periods at a time.
Those who are athletes and do not like to restrict themselves in everyday life are best served with 36-hour fasting. Because two nights lie in the fasting period, this method is feasible weekly and effective for health goals.
Men who have been engaged in intermittent fasting for a long time also tend to use more extreme methods more often.
People who travel a lot or have a physically active working day can optimize their health by skipping lunch.
So 16/8 becomes a 20/4 or OMAD fasting schedule. In any case, the daily routine must fit to increase the fasting window from 16 hours to 20 or more.
I practice OMAD, especially when I want to maximize productivity and free time. There is no question that lunch brings losses in concentration. Still, it has social benefits and may reduce stress on your working day.
Frequency Of Intermittent Fasting
Now that you understand how to do intermittent fasting, it raises a question: How often should you fast?
The answer varies from person to person. Most people implement the above schedules every week or every other week. If youre new to fasting, start with a moderate schedule, trying it every other week or every three weeks. If your body adapts well, aim for a regular weekly schedule.
Theres no wrong answer here. Pay close attention to how your body responds to your fasting schedule and adjust it as needed. Keep in mind that life changes can happen. You may need to tweak your schedule to allow for social gatherings, vacations, and physical activity or competition.
Schedule #: Fasting Mimicking Diets
Fasting-mimicking diets are similar to the 5:2 diet, except the time scale is longer:
- The low-energy period usually lasts around 3-7 days.
- Its done less often, generally once every 3-6 weeks.
What it involves
In practice, an FMD might include 1 week of low energy intake, say around 50 percent of normal needs, then 3-4 weeks of normal energy intake. Repeat.
People who benefit
This is an advanced fasting schedule that works best for people who have already mastered 5:2 eating or another less intense protocol.
Its ideal for people whose lifestyles reinforce the fasting schedule. Consider the life of a long-distance trucker who spends a week on the road followed by a couple weeks at home. Such a person might decide to eat very little while driving.
Why? For one, theyre quite sedentary, so their body doesnt need as much energy. Two, they may be incentivized to drive as long as possible and not want to take lots of breaks.
Then when that trucker arrives home, they might eat more normally.
If you try it
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Schedule #: Skipping A Meal Sometimes
Though it may not offer all of the physiological benefits of true IF, meal-skipping offers an easy way to ease into IF.
What it involves
There are a couple of ways to try this schedule.
Level 1: Wait until youre hungry to eat. You might remember this from chapter 4 as IF Lite. So if youre not hungry for breakfast when you wake up, for example, you might wait to have your first meal until 11am.
Level 2? Sometimes, dont eat a meal youd normally eat.
For instance, if youd normally eat dinner, and youre not actually hungry for it dont. Or skip lunch. Or breakfast. Try intentionally skipping a meal once or twice a week and see how you feel.
People who benefit
This is an approachable way for beginners to explore how their bodies and minds respond to hunger.
Youll discover: Are you the type of person who can experience hunger, ride it out, and use what you learn to graduate to more intense fasting schedules? Or are you better suited to regular meals and snacks?
If you try it
Foods List And Meal Plan
To maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.
Filling up on nutrient-rich foods helps round out your diet and supports a healthy weight. Try balancing each meal with a wide variety of whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, etc.
- Veggies: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, etc.
- Whole grains: barley, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, oats, etc.
- Healthy fats: olive oil and avocados
- Protein sources: eggs, fish, legumes, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, also helps control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Its best to avoid ultra-processed foods like packaged snacks, deep-fried items, sugary drinks, and most frozen meals. These negate the positive effects of 16/8 intermittent fasting and may harm your health.
To begin 16/8 intermittent fasting, choose an 8-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span. Be sure to follow a balanced diet based in whole foods.
Animal and human studies suggest that intermittent fasting may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, and extend longevity.
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Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
#1) Because it can work for your goals. Although we know that not all calories are created equal, caloric restriction plays a central role in weight loss.
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Examples Of Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
If youre considering giving fasting a shot, there are a few different options for working it into your lifestyle.
Daily Intermittent Fasting
Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16hour fast followed by an 8hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated.
It doesn’t matter when you start your 8hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.
Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting
One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. The occasional fast has been shown to lead to many of the benefits of fasting we’ve already talked about, so even if you don’t use it to cut down on calories consistently there are still many other health benefits of fasting.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Risk Factors With Intermittent Fasting
There are some risk factors that you should be aware of before starting intermittent fasting.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, diabetics and people with low blood pressure should not attempt to do intermittent fasting except under the advice of a doctor.
If you are on medications, for example, blood pressure medication or insulin, remember that fasting can change how they work. This is another reason why consulting with a doctor before starting intermittent fasting is advisable.
You should also not fast if you are underweight or trying to put on weight quickly.
It is important that your body has enough calories to support it through the fasting period and this may not be possible if you are already underweight.
Finally, people who are at risk for eating disorders should refrain from doing intermittent fasting as hunger becomes an issue very quickly when fasting and could lead some people into bingeing behaviors where they lose control of their consumption of food.
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Omad Fasting One Meal A Day Aka 23/1
How: Fast for 23h and eat once a day
Another popular fasting schedule is called one-meal-a-day .
It is exactly what it sounds like you choose a time in a day that is the most suitable for you to have your on and only meal of the day.
I know what youre thinking isnt that almost starving? And yes, you are right OMAD diet shouldnt be done without thought on how to get at least 1200 calories during that one meal.
Thus if you choose this 23/1 fasting make sure your meal is a hearty and nutritious one.
If youre keen to try out OMAD we do have a21-Day OMAD Challengethat is packed with all the info you need, and also includes meal ideas and recipes to make it super simple.
A full article on OMAD diet you can find here: All You Need To Know About OMAD Diet
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe And Healthy
Yes, intermittent fasting does havea lot of benefits. We talk about them in our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge a lot.
In general, Intermittent Fasting is safe for most people, but you have to know the risks too.
It is also a good time to say that this article should and does not intend to replace advice from your doctor and you should always consult your physician before planning any fasting and especially extended fasting .
Now that we made it clear, here are some of the cases that does not go well with intermittent fasting:
- if you have a diabetes
- if you take medications for blood pressure or heart disease
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- if you have a history of disordered eating
- if you dont sleep well
- if you are under 18 years old
Also, you should be a lot more careful if you are practicing extended fasting, which depending on the source you follow will be continuous fasting for either anything more than 24, 48 or 72 hours. There is a general consensus that any fasts longer than 72 hours should be done under strict medical supervision.
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How To Find The Best Method For Beginners
Although approaches exist that fit most people, its perfectly reasonable to experiment in the beginning.
After all, your body and daily schedule are unique, so its not always the same method that can best fit that routine.
For example, you can start slowly with a 12/12 day plan, as this is an effortless way to get started for most people.
You stop eating a few hours before bedtime and postpone breakfast for a few hours after waking up.
If that works well, extend the fasting window the next day and repeat the process until you arrive at a daily schedule that works for you.
Since you have to subtract 8 hours of sleep, 12 to 16 hours is not long to wait for a meal. Accordingly, its easy to experiment with classic intermittent fasting, where you still eat every day.
What Are You Allowed To Drink On Intermittent Fasting
You can have water, coffee, or tea during your fast. Hardcore fasters will tell you no sugar, cream or milk however, others say as long as its under 50 calories youre in the clear.
What do we say? Listen to your body 50 calories never made or broke someone.
You may also have a diet soda or artificial sweeteners if they have no calories.
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Isnt It Important To Have Breakfast Every Morning
Not necessarily. This appears to be an old misconception, based on speculation and statistics, and it does not hold up when its tested.57 Skipping your morning meal gives your body more time to burn fat for energy. Since hunger is lowest in the morning, it may be easiest to skip it and break your fast later in the day.58
How Do I Manage Hunger
The most important thing to realize is that hunger usually passes like a wave. Many people worry that hunger during intermittent fasting will continue to build until it is intolerable, but this does not normally happen.46 Instead, hunger comes in a wave. If you simply ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it will often pass.47
During extended fasts, hunger will often increase into the second day. After that, it gradually recedes, and many people report a complete loss of hunger sensation by day 3 or 4.48 Your body is now being powered by fat. In essence, your body is eating its own fat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore is no longer hungry. Learn more
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/1 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
One Meal A Day is not a diet but rather a more extreme form of the classic 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. By limiting the eating window to one meal, it represents the step up from the Warrior diet.
Therefore, OMAD means nothing more than that you only eat once a day and fast the rest of the day. With this in mind, OMAD is not the proper method for beginners.
Hence, OMAD can be a situational method for people who have been fasting with the 16/8 schedule for a while.
In my opinion, this is one of the most significant advantages of fasting. Its tremendously flexible. If you are busy and just in the workflow, you skip lunch, gain time, and 16/8 becomes OMAD without additional effort.
Accordingly, OMAD is similar to 16/8 and 20/4 intermittent fasting and is also called the 23/1 method or 23/1 diet.
Anyway, with the following schedule, OMAD is even simpler than 16/8 intermittent fasting:
- Fasting window: 23 hours
Dinner: Salmon & Veggies At : 30 Pm
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 healthy fats, and dark green veggies like kale and broccoli are high in antioxidants. Salmon is one of my personal favorites for its taste and nutrient density, but you can select any wild-caught seafood of your choosing. Serve alongside some of your favorite vegetables roasted in coconut oil, and you have a quick and easy superfood meal.
- 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
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Best Intermittent Fasting Apps To Track Fasting
Sometimes technology can really be our best friend and help us stick to our commitments.
If you need extra support or simply want to make your life easier, there are a number of intermittent fasting apps available on the market to help you out.
We have reviewed several apps and made our list of the best intermittent fasting apps. Heres our top 2:
- Life Fasting Tracker
You can find a comprehensive review of all 6 intermittent fasting apps here, to get more information on the pros and cons of each fasting app, costs, and other features.
Choosing A Fasting Schedule: Faqs
What Can I Eat?
You need to eat healthy and nourishing foods during your feeding window. Even if youre on a limited-calorie fast, choose nutritious whole foods to maximize the benefits of your program. Also, low-carb and Ketogenic diets may be synergistic when combined with an IF schedule for general health and managing type 2 diabetes.
What Can I Drink?
Hydration is also key when it comes to fasting. Not only does water maintain crucial bodily functions, but it can also effectively curb hunger pangs. If you wish to add a flavor to your fasting routine, black coffee, tea, and other zero-calorie drinks are all fair game. Youll have to pass on the alcohol though.
Can I Take Supplements/Medication?
You may also be wondering about supplements and medication on your IF schedule. In some instances, it is recommended that these are taken with food, in which case you can include these within your feeding window. If you have any doubts about taking either during a period of fasting, we recommend consulting with your health professional.
Is fasting different for women?
Both men and women have been fasting successfully throughout human history. Some research, however, suggests small differences in how women fast. For instance, in one study, men had better muscular adaptations to exercise in a fasted state, while women did better in a fed state. Another study found that a two-day-fast provoked a significant stress response in overweight women. This hasnt been shown in men.
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