Intermittent fasting for weight loss has been the talk of the town for recent years now. As people aspire for that dream body, specific means and techniques have sprung virtually everywhere, all competing for that glorified attention and widespread use. That’s when intermittent fasting has made its way, especially for those who wish to lose weight and be fit for the gods.
Today, we will explore the basics of this famous weight loss program and enumerate seven popular ways to lose weight through fasting in general. Let’s go.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
As it grew throughout the years, there are now many different ways of intermittent fasting for weight loss. These methods differ from each other in terms of the number of fast days needed together with their respective calorie allowances. Intermittent fasting is a weight loss scheme that involves an entire or partial portion of your diet. This diet scheme is the act of abstaining from eating for a given amount of time before regularly eating again.
Studies have suggested that this way of eating offers potential benefits like fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents of intermittent fasting claim that this fasting program is relatively easier to maintain than those traditional, calorie-controlled diets. With each person’s intermittent fasting experience being individual, different styles of this weight loss scheme suit different types of people.
Let us now go ahead and discuss the science behind some of the most popular types of intermittent fasting for weight loss, providing tips on how to maintain each type of diet as we move along.
7 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting
Various methods have evolved from the basics of intermittent fasting, with each people preferring different styles suitable for their personal needs. Let’s now find out about seven of these different ways of doing intermittent fasting for weight loss.
1. Fasting 12 hours a day
The rules for this diet scheme are simple – one needs to decide on a 12-hour fasting window and adhere to it every day.
This type of intermittent fasting for weight loss may be suitable for beginners. Due to the relatively small fasting window, a chunk of the fasting occurs while the person is asleep, allowing the consumption of the same number of calories each day. The best and easiest way to do this 12-hour fast is to have the period of sleep be included in the fasting window.
2. Fasting for 16 hours
This diet scheme requires fasting for 16 hours a day, leaving an eating window of 8 hours. This type is popularly called the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet.
During this 16:8 diet, men usually fast for 16 hours each day, while women fast for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fasting for weight loss is helpful for those who have already tried the 12-hour fast but didn’t see the benefits.
3. Fasting twice a week
Known as the 5:2 diet, people who follow this intermittent fasting for weight loss eat standard amounts of healthy food for five (5) days while reducing calorie intake on the two (2) remaining days.
Typically, those who practice this diet scheme separate their fasting days in a given week. It is important to note that there should be at least one (1) day of non-fasting between the two (2) fasting days.
4. Fasting on alternate days
This diet scheme has several variations, which involve fasting every other day, hence, alternate-day fasting.
However, alternate day fasting is quite an extreme type of intermittent fasting for weight loss and may not be suitable for beginners or people with medical conditions. In addition, there may also be some difficulty in maintaining this fasting in the long run.
5. Fasting 24 hours once a week
Fasting for a total of one (1) or two (2) days weekly is known as the Eat-Stop-Eat diet. This intermittent fasting for weight loss involves no food intake for 24 hours at least once or twice a week. Most people fast either from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
However, those on this diet plan can have drinks like water, tea, and other calorie-free beverages during the fasting period and should return to normal eating patterns during non-fasting days. This manner of eating reduces one’s total calorie intake; however, it does not limit specific foods that an individual consumes.
6. Meal skipping
This flexible approach to intermittent fasting for weight loss may be beneficial for beginners. It involves skipping meals occasionally, with the power to decide which meals to cut based on their hunger levels or time restraints.
Meal skipping is likely the most successful in terms of an individual’s body monitoring and response to hunger signals. In essence, those using this style of intermittent fasting will eat whenever hungry and skip meals whenever not.
7. The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is a relatively extreme form of intermittent fasting for weight loss that involves eating very little, usually only a few servings of raw fruit and vegetables—then eating one large meal at night. During this 20-hour fasting window, the eating window is usually only around four (4) hours.
During the 4-hour eating window, make sure that there is a lot of vegetables, proteins, and healthful fats, including some carbohydrates.
This intermittent fasting type may be the best option for those who have already tried other forms of intermittent fasting, suitable for natural nocturnal eaters that eat at night. This behavior lets the body gain nutrients in-sync with circadian rhythms.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting for weight loss can be executed together with any other diet plan and involves eating calories within a given amount of time, then fasting the rest of the time. Some benefits one can get from this weight loss program includes:
- Increase of up to 5x in levels of human growth hormone (HGH), helping lose fat and build muscles
- Improvement in sensitivity and lower insulin, encouraging fat usage
- Cellular repair that digests and removes old and dysfunctional proteins
- Gene expression that functions with longevity and improvement on disease protection
- Weight loss, reduction in calorie intake, and increase in norepinephrine (fat burning hormone) release
- 3-8% weight loss between 3-24 weeks
- 4-7% reduction in waist circumference
- Inflammation reduction
- Drink liquids during the fast
- Still, work out while fasting
- Increase in protein intake and weight training to help avoid muscle loss while doing any weight loss program
Intermittent fasting for weight loss works subjectively depending on the person practicing. Although each type promises typical results through different means, it is essential to remember that each type promise individual results per individual. If you think intermittent fasting for weight loss is for you, best to do some research or talk to experts first for safe and better results. If you like to know more about intermittent fasting for weight loss and how it can work for you, our amazing friends from Absolute Health Care are here to help you out! Visit them now!