Intermittent Fasting Methods
IF is a popular method of fasting with a number of ways to achieve the goal of abstaining from food for a period of time. Intermittent fasting has proven effective in achieving weight loss, increasing metabolism and improving overall health.
During the fast, the only thing that should be consumed is water, herbal teas or black coffee.
Although it is advisable to eat a healthy diet during the eating window, I have found that even if I stray from time to time I still manage to achieve my weight loss goals.
Here are some of the ways you can do Intermittent fasting
16/8 Intermittent Fasting
This involves fasting for 16 hrs every day. This is the one I use most frequently.
Routinely I will skip breakfast and not eat anything after dinner. This takes some getting used to, especially if you are not a morning person.
If you are familiar with the term ‘Hangry‘ then prepare to experience frequent bouts of this phenomenon while getting used to this eating routine.
24hr Fast Once or Twice Per Week
This involves a full day fast once or twice per week. It doesn’t matter when you start and end the fast, as long as it lasts 24 hrs in total. You can consume the usual hot or cold beverages during this time period – as outlined above.
I have done 24 hr fasts on numerous occasions but I only embarked on these type of fast after doing a few prolonged juice fast. I find them quite easy but not sure if that would have been the case was I not accustomed to some sort of fasting.
The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 days per week.
The 5/2 diet is another popular form of intermittent fasting and requires eating normally for 5 days then severely restricting calories on the other two days.
On the fasting day, one is required to consume 500 calories for women and an extra 100 calories for men. This is not a lot. Typically a fast meal will be a salad with cheese or a small piece of meat or fish and some vegetables.
My experience with this diet is that it is easier for me to not eat at all than to eat and be left feeling hungry. Your experience may be different.
One Meal a Day Fast
This involves fasting every day and eating one huge meal whenever is convenient. The problem with this diet is managing to stuff enough calories into your only meal of the day. This fast is also known as the warrior diet.
The idea behind this particular fast is that during earlier periods of mankind, in fact up until quite recently in terms of human existence, men and women did not have easy access to food. Certainly, they would not have been consuming 3 meals per day. Thus this is how our bodies were used to functioning and working at optimal levels.
I find this type of fasting to be the most convenient. I have used this method many times over the past couple of years but it isn’t something that I am able to sustain. The social aspect of eating breaks the cycle for me more than anything else.
Like all the other types of IF though, it is very effective in losing and maintaining a healthy weight. It also can promote mental clarity and a feeling of well-being while fasting.
Fast Every Other Day
Just like it says you fast one day eat normally the next. This is the only one of the methods of fasting that I haven’t tried, mainly because I doubt that it would be sustainable for me. Even though I have done prolonged water fasts and many juice fasts I think this type of fasting would be more difficult.
As with all types of fasting it is more efficient and beneficial to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet during the eating periods. That said, incorporating some sort of fasting in your life is better than not doing it at all and eating the usual western diet of processed fatty food.
What About You?
What has your own experience of fasting? Have you tried any of these methods? Please leave your comments and/or questions in the comments section.