Types Of Intermittent Fasting
My research focuses on alternate-day fasting, but there are many different kinds. If youre considering them for weight loss, the overall method for achieving that is the same no matter which style you choose. Fasting may help you shrink the number of calories you consume without counting calories. The idea is that these fasting windows create a calorie deficit that is almost impossible to make up during eating windows. Its the calorie deficit that leads to weight loss. Theres nothing inherently magical about fasting.
Although theres a lot of talk about how periods of fasting can improve your metabolic health, thats simply untrue. Like any other diet, fasting may reduce your body weight. When you lose weight, your metabolism decreases. There is some indication that fasting may help you hold onto more muscle and maximize fat loss, but thats as a percentage of the weight you lose. Fasting doesnt help you lose more weight than any other plan that lowers calorie intake.
Its also worth noting that most people struggle a little for a period of time, generally the first ten days, when starting an intermittent fasting plan. Were all accustomed to eating some way, and we dont deal well with the change. Hanger is a real thing. But past the 10-day point, people seem to get used to fasting and actually many of them report feeling less hunger, increased fullness, and even a surge of energy.
What The Studies Show
Intermittent fasting has been shown, in many short-term research studies, that it can help you lose weight, improve your health and potentially protect you from developing certain diseases. And whats most appealing, is that it doesnt restrict you daily, like conversional dieting.
Studies have also shown that intermittent fasting may help prevent or even reverse diabetes. This is because it helps to control and reduce insulin and glucose concentrations in your blood.
However, theres still not enough studies to show how safe intermittent fasting is if you do it for a long time. But in general, most research highlights that its safe in otherwise healthy adults.
If You Prefer An Early Dinner This Intermittent Fasting Method Is The One For You
By now, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of intermittent fasting some people experience, such as weight loss, more energy, improved digestion, decreased sugar cravings, and better sleep. There are so many ways to fit intermittent fasting into your life, so if you’ve been thinking about it, there’s bound to be one that’s right for you.
Of course, before starting any new diet plan, including intermittent fasting, be sure to check in with your doctor first. Once you get the OK, doing 14:10 fasting is a great place to start, where you fast daily for 14 hours and have a 10-hour eating window. If you’re ready to do longer fasts, the 16:8 protocol is the perfect next step. It extends your fasting window by two hours for example: eating from noon until 8 p.m. If you find that you eat dinner earlier, though, you might be interested in trying 18:6.
See An Expert Or A Doctor
Your health is at stake here. Rather than jump into a fasting program, learn whats right for your body. This way, you would know what you can handle. For instance, if you have a medical condition like diabetes, seek an expert opinion. Besides, if youre under medication or feel sick during the process, consider stopping.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Weight loss isnt the only benefit of IF. Fasting is a practice that dates back to ancient times, and in some cultures is still practiced regularly.
Health benefits are a pleasant side effect of IF, and many of those perks can affect womens health specifically.
Musculoskeletal health. This includes conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, and lower back pain. Fasting has been shown to promote hormone secretion from the thyroid. This can promote bone health and help prevent bone fractures.
Metabolic health. Some women go through menopause in their 50s. Menopause can cause changes in your body that increase belly fat, insulin, and glucose. Fasting can help you decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol, and belly fat, which can improve insulin sensitivity. Fasting can also keep your metabolism on track as you age.
Mental health. Fasting has been shown to promote mental health. It may reduce anxiety, depression, and the emotional roller coaster that can go hand-in-hand with menopause. Fasting has also been proven to improve self-esteem and reduce stress.
Other proven benefits of IF include:
- Improved memory
- Heart health
You May Like: What Does Fasting Mean In The Bible
Modified Alternate Day Fasting
If the thought of going an entire 24 hours without eating freaks you out, youll be happy to know that you dont have to do that with the modified alternate-day fasting plan.
Like alternate-day fasting, you will fast 24 hours, every other day. However, you are allowed to eat a small number of calories during your fasting window. The limit is 500 calories or 20-25% of your regular calorie budget.
Learn more about alternate-day fasting:
The 3 Types Of Intermittent Fasting Compared
Fasting for five days with juice will just leave you cranky and hungry. But fasting for 16-24 hours throughout the week? Thatll leave you energized and leaner.
Intermittent fasting, as this diet method is known, is just as effective as daily calorie restriction for improving body composition, according to a 2017 study analysis from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Unlike calorie restriction, though, intermittent fasting doesnt require you to count calories all the timeand its better at preventing hunger.
Furthermore, intermittent fasting is especially good at helping you lose fat while maintaining muscle, rather than losing both , says Krista Varady, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago and key researcher on intermittent fasting. According to a study analysis in Nutrition Reviews, intermittent fasting also helps improve total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both overweight and normal-weight people. The best part: Theres virtually no downside.
There are three types of intermittent fasting: whole-day fasting, alternate-day fasting, and time-restricted feeding.
Youll see the same benefits from eachthat is, losing fat without losing musclebut, since each type incorporates a different fasting period and fasting frequency, some are better-suited to certain guys and fitness lifestyles.
Interested? Here are the three types of intermittent fasting, and whether each is right for you.
Diet Plan: What Can You Eat And What Are The Benefits
The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans weve seen in years and with good reason.
The 16:8 plan also called the 8-hour diet is an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids heavily calorie restricted days found in other popular intermittent fasting plans like the 5:2 diet or Fast 800 calorie diet.
A famous fan of the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is Hollywood icon Jennifer Aniston. In an interview with the Radio Times, Jennifer revealed that shes a big fan of intermittent fasting in general but specifically this plan. I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. She said, I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the postabsorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isnt processing a meal. The postabsorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
You May Like: What To Expect With Intermittent Fasting
Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting Simplified
So you want to try intermittent fasting, but all the information out there is so overwhelming! How on earth are you supposed to decide which intermittent fasting type is right for you?
Heres what you need to know to choose the best type of fasting schedule for your lifestyle and health goals so you can start losing weight and reaping all the health benefits now.
Quick Links to Information in this Post
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.
Don’t Miss: Which Is More Accurate A1c Or Fasting Glucose
Types Of Intermittent Fasting: Which One Is For You
When looking at the best type of intermittent fasting, you will find many articles. But they often seem to only scratch the surface, giving you guidelines, but not much science or insights on it. Based on studies, my own experience, and the one my friends shared with me, what would be the best type of intermittent fasting?
The best type of intermittent fasting is the one that suits your lifestyle and goals. If you are aiming for fast weight loss, try one meal a day or alternate-day fasting. If youre looking to get thinner and healthier in the long term, 16:8 intermittent fasting is the best compromise. But it is important to experiment to find what suits you best.
Ill talk in-depth about the different types of intermittent fasting, but Ill also talk about prolonged fasts, my take on it and why you should definitely consider them.
Can Women Fast Intermittently
Both males and females can take on the responsibility that comes with a fasting diet plan. However, a 2005 study has proved that the results of fasting may differ from man to woman. What you want to do is figure out what works for you before beginning your fasting routine. BetterMe app offers a friendly user interface to help you make the best choice. Youll find what suits your body type.
Recommended Reading: How Long Do You Have To Fast For Intermittent Fasting
Schedule #: The : 2 Diet
Popularized by Dr. Michael Mosleys The Fast Diet, this approach involves consuming a lot less food two days of the week, and eating normally the other five.
Maybe youre thinking, Thats not fasting! Thats part-time dieting! And youre right.
Technically, this style of eating is called intermittent energy restriction .
What it involves
Exactly what and how much someone eats on the two fasting days can vary from around 20 percent of normal intake to 70 percent. For someone consuming 2800 Calories a day, a fasting day might range from 560 Calories to 1900.
As you can imagine, the lower end of that range is a lot more challenging than the upper end.
People who benefit
People who do best with 5:2 fasting tend to have a lifestyle and/or fitness schedules that align with it.
Heres an example: Robin Beier, PN2, is a German nutrition coach who practices IF personally and coaches a number of clients who do the same. In Germany, most shops are closed on Sundays, including grocery stores. So for one of his clients, a 5:2 diet naturally emerged.
This client would wake on Sunday with hardly any food at homeand didnt want to eat out. So hed have breakfast and then eat either very little or nothing at all for the rest of the day. He broke the fast Monday evening, after hitting the grocery store for dinner supplies.
If you try it:
What Is Intermittent Fasting And Does It Really Work
The best diet is the one where you are healthy, hydrated and living your best life.
Generally, intermittent fasting is a diet strategy that involves alternating periods of eating and extended fasting. Theres quite a bit of debate in our research community: How much of the benefits of intermittent fasting are just due to the fact that it helps people eat less? Could you get the same benefits by just cutting your calories by the same amount? said Courtney M. Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who studies time-restricted feeding, a form of intermittent fasting.
We asked Dr. Peterson and a few other experts to help us sort out the real from the scam on intermittent fasting.
Dont Be Too Hard On Yourself
As with anything in life, lapses can occur. Beating yourself up for breaking a set routine is a common thing. However, dont get too discouraged or disappointed. Thankfully, the BetterMe app can help you get back on track whenever youre ready. Forgive yourself and get back fasting for better results.
Reasons why BetterMe is a safe bet: a wide range of calorie-blasting workouts, finger-licking recipes, 24/7 support, challenges thatll keep you on your best game, and that just scratches the surface! Start using our app and watch the magic happen.
Find Out The Perfect Intermittent Fasting Schedule For Your Goals
If you’re new to Intermittent Fasting, the first place to start is determining what your Intermittent Fasting schedule should be. Will a 20 hour fast with a 4 hour eating window work best for you? Maybe a 16 hour fast with an 8 hour eating window sounds more do-able. Or perhaps the 12:12 approach fits your social life better.
Today, I’m sharing a 3 minute Intermittent Fasting quiz to help you better understand which Intermittent Schedule will be best for you and your goals!
Recommended Reading: Does Fasting Cleanse The Liver
Cons Of 1: 6 Intermittent Fasting
For those who are used to eating all day long, limiting your meals and snacks to a six-hour window may seem impossible. It can also be tough if you have to consume a ton of daily calories, as you might find it hard to eat as many as you need without feeling stuffed. If you’re going from 16:8 to 18:6, it’ll take a week or so to get used to cutting your eating window by two hours. Also, if you don’t make a point to eat enough calories or eat enough protein and healthy fats, 18:6 may cause you to feel hungry or tired.
Any form of intermittent fasting, especially 18:6 since it’s stricter, could potentially be a trigger for unhealthy behaviors for those with a history of eating disorders. Lisa Eberly Mastela, MPH, RD, told POPSUGAR that any form of IF should be done under the supervision of a registered dietitian, and any diet that encourages a restrictive eating schedule really should be approached with caution from the start. You might be fine doing a less rigid form of intermittent fasting, such as 16:8, but if you have any doubts, it’s best to talk to a doctor or dietitian, and, if you have a history of disordered eating, a therapist. Intermittent fasting shouldn’t negatively affect your life.