Let’s face it, losing weight or maintaing one is not as easy as gaining some. What about dieting? Well, it’s not cheap either… and fasting? Well, that can be even tougher. For some of us, just the idea of purposely missing a meal is enough to make your body crave more food.
Despite the seemingly tough nature of fasting, there are plenty of folks out there who are up for the challenge, we have seen some serious results from a well structured and scheduled eating plan. So what’s the secret to their success? It’s called Intermittent Fasting. And there’s how to go about it.
First of all, intermittent fasting is a type of eating plan that involves periods of fasting, during which you can consume only water, coffee, and tea instead of eating whenever you like. You see, for intermittent fasting, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan or the “right” way to do it. This is because our bodies are different especially with how much calories to get or shed. To help, here are a few tips;
Fast for 12 hours a day:
The person who picks this, needs to adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day. This 12 hours a day fasting plan may be a good option for beginners because the fasting window is relatively small. Here’s a trick. The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window. For example, you could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m, meaning you would need to finish your dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. before having breakfast. Easy right?
Fast for 16 hours a day:
Let not your heart be troubled. Fasting for 16 hours a day, is also called the 16:8 method. This type of intermittent fast may be helpful for those who have already tried the 12-hour fast but did not see as much result as they want. For this fast, the evening meal is taken latest by 8 p.m. and then breakfast is skipped the next day, until noon.
Fast for two days a week:
Also known as the 5:2 diet, people who engage in this kind of fast eat standard amounts of healthy food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
For better understanding, you can separate your fasting days in the week -fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least one non-fasting day between fasting days.
Alternate day fasting:
There are several variations of the alternate day fasting plan. For some people, it means a complete avoidance of solid foods on fasting days, while other people allow up to just 500 calories. Alternate day fasting is quite an extreme form of intermittent fasting, especially for beginners or those with certain medical conditions.
A weekly 24-hour fast:
Also known as the Eat-Stop-Eat diet, this type of fasting involves eating no food for 24 hours at a time. Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. People on this diet plan can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period. People should return to normal eating patterns on the non-fasting days. Eating in this manner reduces a person’s total calorie intake but might not limit the specific foods that the individual consumes on non-fast days.
Truth be told, a 24-hour fast can be challenging, as it may cause fatigue, headaches, or irritability for some. However, some people find that these effects lessens over time as the body adjusts to this new pattern of eating.
If your plan is to increase your hours of fasting then you can start from the 12-hour then move to 16-hour fast before transitioning to the 24-hour fast.
It simply involves occasionally skipping meals. You can decide which meals to skip according to your level of hunger or time restraints. Essentially, you can use this style of intermittent fasting to eat when you are hungry and skip meals when you are not. It may feel more natural than the other fasting methods.
The Warrior Diet:
The Warrior Diet is an extreme form of intermittent fasting like the name implies. This diet involves eating very little, usually just a few servings of raw fruit and vegetables, during a 20-hour fasting window, then eating one large meal at night. The eating window is usually only around 4 hours. During the four hour eating phase, people should consume plenty of vegetables, proteins, and healthful fats. This form of fasting may be best for people who have tried other forms of intermittent fasting already without result.
Of course fasting comes with its benefits. Ensure you observe your body during these fasts and eat healthy when you’re not fasting so you can get the best result. Fasting works if you obey the rule – no solid food on the clock and eat healthy when off the clock.
Have you tried any fasting method and it worked? Do share your tips with us in the comment section.