For thousands of years, the ancient practice of fasting extends across many cultures and religions around the world.
How it Works: One of the most popular styles of fasting, Intermittent fasting Is an umbrella term that includes a variety of diet plans (5:2 diet, 16:8 diet, etc.) which consists of eating and fasting cycles either whole-day fasting, alternative-day fasting or time-restricting. A popular diet trend that is currently under preliminary research and evaluation to determine if weight loss is equivalent to other long-term calorie restriction plans.
Pros: Intermittent fasting is very flexible, easy following and sustainable way to improve overall health. It helps to cut down on the cost of food and preparation each week. Studies show that fasting increases weight loss by boosting metabolism. Improves blood sugar control and decreases diabetes risk by reducing insulin levels by 31% and lower blood sugar by 3-6%.
Cons: restricting eating windows may cause some to overeat, gain weight, create digestive issues. Hunger or “hangry”, fatigue and weakness may occur during first few days or week. It could interfere with fertility and reproduction.
The 16/8 method is the most popular method of the intermittent fasting lifestyle diets. This method was popularized by Martin Berkhan a fitness expert and involves fasting 14-16 hours, and limiting your eating window to 8-10 hours per day. It is recommended that men follow a 16-hour fasting window, and 14-15 fasting window for women. Generally, people skip breakfast and get in 2-3 meals a day. This is the method that I currently follow.
Example: My eating window opens at 1pm until 9pm daily. After my eating window closes, I will fast until 1pm the next day.
Popularized by doctor Michael Mosley, the 5:2 diet involves eating normally for 5 days and restricting calories on 2 days per week. Also, known as the Fast diet, this method recommends eating between 500-600 calories on the 2 restricted days.
Example: maybe you eat normally for 5 days, Tuesday thru Saturday. On Sunday and Monday, you eat approximately 500-600 calories. Your 2 days do not have to be consecutive. They can be any day of the week.
Although, the Warrior Diet does not include a full day of fasting. It is one of the first diets to include some form of intermittent fasting. Popularized by fitness guru Ori Hofmekler, the Warrior Diet allows you to fast during the day and feast at night.
Example: this diet involves eating small amounts raw fruits and veggies during the day and then eating one big meal at night.
Eat Stop Eat Diet
Eat Stop Eat method involves a full day of fasting either once or twice a week. Fasting usually occurs from dinner or breakfast to dinner or breakfast the next day, respectfully. Popularized by fitness expert, Brad Pilon, the Eat Stop Eat is one of the more popular Intermittent Fasting methods.
Example: when you finish breakfast on Tuesday at 9am. You will not eat until 9am the next day resulting in a 24-hour fast.
Alternative Day Fasting is exactly how it sounds; fasting every other day. There are several versions of this method. Some versions will allow about 500 calories while fasting or no food at all.
This method may be difficult for some due to the 24-hour fasting every other day. It’s not a method that is suitable long term.
Example: you will eat normally on Monday and will not eat again until Wednesday. Depending on the version, you may eat 500 calories on your fasting days.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping
This method is ideal for those who prefer flexibility. The Spontaneous Meal Skipping method involves skipping meals occasionally as needed. So, if you’re not hungry, traveling or too busy to cook, simply skip a meal or do a quick fast.
Occasional skipped meals will not send your body into starvation mode or force muscle loss which dispels some myths. Our bodies can handle long periods without foods. So, when you don’t feel like eating, fast.
Example: you’re traveling during breakfast and lunch hours. Plan on doing a short fast during that time then finishing the day with good dinner.