Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Research suggests it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 5 popular ways to do intermittent fasting..
1. The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 Method, involves fasting every day for about 16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to approximately 8 hours.
Within the eating window, you can fit in two, three, or more meals.
Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast.
For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 p.m. and don’t eat until noon the next day, you’re technically fasting for 16 hours. For people who get hungry in the morning and like to eat breakfast, this method may be hard to get used to. However, many breakfast skippers instinctively eat this way.
You can drink water and other zero-calorie beverages during the fast, which can help reduce feelings of hunger.
2. The 5:2 diet
The 5:2 diet involves eating what you typically eat 5 days of the week and restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 for 2 days of the week.
On the fasting days, it’s recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600.
For example, you might eat normally every day of the week except Mondays and Thursdays. For those 2 days, you eat 2 small meals of 250 calories each for women and 300 calories each for men.
3. Eat Stop Eat
Eat Stop Eat involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week. This method was popularised by fitness expert Brad Pilon and has been quite popular for a few years.
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. Tuesday, you’ve completed 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 zero-calorie beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted.
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. It’s fine to start with 14–16 hours and then move upward from there.
4. Alternate-day fasting
In alternate-day fasting, you fast about every other day. There are several different versions of this method. Some of them allow about 500 calories during the fasting days.
However, one found that alternate-day fasting wasn’t any more effective at producing weight loss or weight maintenance than a typical calorie-restrictive diet.
A full fast every other day can seem rather extreme, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
With this method, you may go to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long term.
5. The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet was popularized by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler. It 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.
The Warrior Diet was one of the first popular diets to include a form of intermittent fasting. This diet’s food choices are quite.