As people are becoming more and more health-conscious, becoming fit and healthy is gaining popularity every day. With the fast-growing lives and stress, more and more people are becoming overweight and getting diagnosed with obesity.
According to a survey, more than half of the US population is obese. It is the need of our time to get fit and live healthy lives. People are taking refuge in different kinds of diet plans. I personally have tried different kinds of diet methods, but benefitted from intermittent fasting.
The difference between other diets and intermittent fasting methods is that it is backed by scientific research and above all, it is realistic. When I started fasting, I had no idea about intermittent fasting. One of my friends suggested to me a book that helped me a lot in my dieting journey.
If you are a beginner and want to learn more, I would suggest you download the free PDF on Intermittent Fasting 101 to learn more. This eBook is a step-by-step guide on your fasting journey.
However, there is lots of confusion among people about intermittent fasting and how it benefits our health. Let me explain that in simple words for you.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
First of all, intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends around the world. But, unlike its contemporaries, intermittent fasting is backed by scientific explanation.
In simple words, intermittent fasting is a balanced cycle of alternating eating and fasting.
To be specific, intermittent fasting is a diet pattern where you maintain a particular gap between your eating and fasting cycle. It can be done in many ways. In fact, there are several different methods of intermittent fasting.
The best thing about intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t regulate your food intake. Also, it doesn’t suggest to change your food habits. You can be anywhere in the world, eat anything you want while maintaining this diet protocol.
Different Types of Intermittent Fasting
As I have said earlier, this is the most flexible among all the dietary plan or methods. Intermittent fasting cycle can literally be moulded according to your lifestyle and need.
However, there are six popular intermittent fasting patterns you can follow. Let’s learn in details:
1. 16/8 fasting method
This popular method involves fasting daily for about 16 hours and controlling your daily eating time to approx 8 hours. Within the eating cycle, you can fit in two, three, or as many meals you want.
This method is also named as the Leangains protocol and was popularized by dietitian and fitness coach Martin Berkhan. Regular practice of this method of fasting is actually as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast.
2. 5:2 diet method
The 5:2 method involves eating what you generally eat 5 days in the week and restraining your calorie consumption to 500–600 for at least 2 days of the remaining week.
This diet is also named the Fast Diet, which was popularized by British journalist and fitness enthusiast Michael Mosley.
On the days of fasting, experts recommend that women should intake 500 calories and men eat 600. This method is extremely helpful with weight loss.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat method
Eat Stop Eat involves a whole day fast once or twice every week.
This method was invented by fitness expert Brad Pilon and has become quite popular in a few years.
Fasting from dinner to the next day’s dinner amounts to a full 24-hour fasting programme.
Coffee, water, and other zero-calorie and low-calorie beverages are allowed during the fasting period, but no solid foods are allowed.
If you’re doing this to lose your weight, it’s very crucial that you stick to your everyday diet during the eating time.
4. Alternate-day fasting method
In alternate-day fasting, you fast about every other day.
There are various different versions of this diet method. Some of them allow almost 500 calories intake during the fasting period.
However, one small study found that alternate-day fasting wasn’t anymore effective at producing weight loss or weight maintenance than a typical calorie-restrictive diet.
A complete fast every other day can be rather extreme, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
5. The warrior diet plan
The Warrior Diet was made famous by dietitian Ori Hofmekler.
It involves eating little amounts of vegetables and raw fruits during the day and eating one fulfilling meal at night.
Basically, you have to fast all day to feast at night within a 4-hour eating time period.
The warrior diet was one of the oldest and popular practice to include a form of intermittent fasting.
6. Spontaneous meal skipping
You don’t need to follow any structured intermittent fasting diet to gain some of its health benefits. Another way is to simply skip meals randomly, such as when you are too busy to cook and eat or you are not hungry.