By Wellness Author
In recent years, intermittent fasting has gained popularity among health-conscious people. Although it is widely known to promote weight loss, it offers various other benefits like improving metabolic health and helping extend one's lifespan. Many celebrities and people who have success stories of transformation and weight loss prove that intermittent fasting diet plans really work.
Depending on the dietary plan and intermittent fasting hours, you will find several intermittent fasting options. Although all of them are effective, it can be pretty confusing to figure out the best one for you. Wellness Forever helps you create the best intermittent fasting schedule with the help of an expert, evidence-based guidance on weight loss and nutrition.
Among the different types of intermittent fasting, these five intermittent fasting diet plans are most effective and will give you the best possible health benefits.
The 5:2 diet involves indulging in your regular diet for five days a week and reducing your calorie intake to around 500 (for men) to 600 (for women) for the other two days of the week.
This diet is also referred to as the fast diet and was greatly popularized by Michael Mosley, a British journalist.
You can choose any two days of the week for fasting (for instance, Monday and Thursday). You can eat two small meals (250 to 300 calories per meal) on those days. This diet is extensively known to benefit weight loss.
The 16:8 method implies fasting for sixteen hours in a day and restricting your dietary intake window to about eight hours a day. Within these eight hours of eating window, you can accommodate two, three, or more meals.
Also referred to as the Lean gains protocol, this method was recommended by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.
It is indeed simple to implement this intermittent fasting schedule; just have an early dinner (for instance, at around 8.00 pm) and skip your breakfast (don't eat till noon), getting your intermittent fasting hours to sixteen.
You can drink zero-calorie beverages like coffee and water during the intermittent fasting hours. However, make sure you consume healthy food during your eating window, as this method won't work if you consume lots of packaged foods or an excessive number of calories.
People who get very hungry in the morning or prefer eating breakfast may find this intermittent fasting schedule slightly tricky.
One of the simplest types of intermittent fasting is fasting for a 12-hour duration every day. For instance, you can have dinner at around 7.00 pm and continue to fast till 7.00 am the following day; it is the best time for intermittent fasting. You are advised to fast for a minimum of 12 hours to get maximum benefits.
The best perk of this method is that you don't skip any meals. In fact, if anything, you are cutting a bedtime snack which is not a bad idea. This is one of the most recommended types of intermittent fasting for beginners. However, this method doesn't help you decrease your calorie intake, so it may or may not help with weight loss. So, take a call before opting for it as a weight-loss method.
This intermittent fasting schedule involves a 24-hour fast once or twice a week. Popularized by Brad Pilon, a fitness expert, this method is quite popular.
For instance, you can fast from dinner one day to dinner the next day, amounting to a complete 24-hour fast. You can also opt for lunch to lunch or breakfast to breakfast, which gives you the same end results.
During your 24 hours fast, you can drink zero-calorie beverages. However, you are advised to stick to a regular diet for the other days.
Some people may find this method slightly tricky; however, if you plan to implement this schedule, we suggest you first start with 14-16 hours of intermittent fasting and then move further upwards.
It is not always necessary to abide by a structured intermittent fasting schedule to reap some benefits. One of the most effective intermittent fasting, which is easiest to follow among different types of intermittent fasting, is to just skip meals from time to time. For instance, when you are not that hungry or too busy, just skip breakfast and indulge in a healthy lunch and dinner. But, ensure to eat healthy and balanced meals at other times.
Skipping one or two meals randomly when you feel like doing so pretty much sums up the method of spontaneous intermittent fasting.
However, if you plan to fast for a longer duration, ensure your body can handle long periods of intermittent fasting. This is important, as some people tend to lose muscle (their body goes in starvation mode) if they don't eat for a few hours, while others can comfortably miss one or two meals from time to time without any unwanted effects.
Myth: Skipping breakfast increases your weight.
Fact: Studies show that in most cases, breakfast doesn't affect your weight. While it may benefit some people, you can skip it without any negative consequences.
Myth: Your brain needs a consistent supply of dietary glucose.
Fact: Your body can produce glucose with the help of a process called gluconeogenesis and ketone bodies from fats. Ketone bodies can fuel your brain and help reduce its glucose requirement significantly, even during long-term fasting.
Myth: Intermittent fasting is not suitable for your health.
Fact: Studies suggest that intermittent fasting has several impressive health benefits like prolonging life span, better brain aging, improved insulin sensitivity, improving your heart health, and reduced oxidative stress.
Myth: Intermittent fasting implies skipping breakfast.
Fact: While most people follow this intermittent fasting schedule, there are many other ways to do intermittent fasting.
Myth: Intermittent fasting weight loss is effortlessly attainable.
Fact: While intermittent fasting may support weight loss, it is not a magic pill. Achieving an overall calorie deficit is essential to notice the difference despite following the intermittent fasting schedule.
Myth: Alternate-day fasting is the most effective option for weight loss.
Fact: As the name implies, you fast every alternate day in alternate-day fasting. However, a study suggests that it was not as effective for weight loss as following a calorie-restrictive diet. Besides, it is rather extreme and usually not recommended for beginners.
Myth: You can eat anything in your eating window.
Fact: If you want to experience the benefits of intermittent fasting, you must follow a healthy, balanced diet. Your diet should mainly include wholesome foods like whole grains, pulses, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. If you crave something less nutritious, you may consume in minimum quantity.
Myth: Intermittent fasting pushes your body into starvation mode.
Fact: Like any other weight-loss method, different types of intermittent fasting may reduce the overall calories you burn over time. However, there is no evidence that it shuts down your weight loss, and in fact, some studies state that short-term fasting helps increase your metabolic rate.
Intermittent fasting immensely helps certain people lose weight; however, it may not work for all. Nevertheless, you will get the best results if you eat healthily and do not binge on processed foods during eating periods.
Also, it is better to avoid indulging in intermittent fasting if you have any underlying health condition. Before starting any of the types of intermittent fasting, consult a health expert, like the ones we have at Wellness Forever, to steer you accurately on intermittent fasting.