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Intermittent fasting has been gaining massive popularity as a weight-loss program in recent years. But it can be a challenge to figure out how to start intermittent fasting, especially if you are not sure what works best for you.
Lose Weight with Intermittent Fasting
So, those looking to lose weight can try intermittent fasting in eight different ways.
Method 1- 16:8 Fasting
The 16:8 fasting method is perhaps the most popular way to do intermittent fasting. It involves a 16-hour fasting window followed by an 8-hour window for eating. This can be done every day or on certain days of the week.
For example, you could choose to fast from 8 p.m. to noon the next day or from Monday evening until Tuesday afternoon. The 16:8 method is a great starting point for those new to intermittent fasting as it is not too restrictive.
How it works: As you consume fewer calories, it helps amp up your body’s metabolism and eventually lose the visceral fat to live longer.
Method 2- 12:12 Regime
The 12:12 fasting program involves fasting for 12 hours and eating only during a 12-hour window. It is considered a beginner’s diet because it’s easy to follow, and you spend most of your fasting hours sleeping.
However, one must approach this new dietary habit step by step. Start by staying away from one meal at a time, and then gradually work your way up so that the transition isn’t too difficult on your body.
How it works: Daily 12-hour fasting will convert your stubborn fat cells into energy, thus releasing ketones into the bloodstream.
Method 3- 23:1 (Weekly Fast for 24 hours)
The Eat-Stop-Eat method includes fasting for 24 hours once a week. For example, you would fast from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
While this method is challenging for beginners, it is suggested that you do it on weekends to make it easier on your body. Also, when on a weekly fast, you can consume anything you like but try to focus on whole foods to reap the benefits in the longer run.
How it works: The benefits of 23:1 include a reduction in insulin spikes which help regulate blood sugar levels. Autophagy is also triggered as a result.
Method 4:- 5:2 Fasting Method
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days a week and reducing your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on two days of the week. But keep a check on your calorie intake on both fasting and non-fasting days; eat a balanced diet throughout.
Some people find it easier to stick to 5:2 as they only have to diet two days a week. These fasting days can be back-to-back or spread out throughout the week.
How it works: If you do not try to compensate for the calories consumed less on fasting days, 5:2 IF will work to burn fat slowly and steadily.
Method 5:- Alternate Day Fasting
With alternate day fasting, you fast every other day. This can be done by either skipping meals on fasting days or eating very little. For example, you might eat only 500 calories on fasting days.
Alternate day fasting is a more advanced intermittent fasting method and should not be attempted by those new to fasting. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, if you are experienced, you can try out this fasting diet.
How it works: Alternate-day fasting improves your metabolic rate while detoxifying it of the toxins, thus making you feel lighter over time.
Method 6:- 20:4 (The Warrior Diet)
The 20:4 diet, also known as the Warrior Diet, involves eating one large meal at night and fasting during the day. This method is only suitable for those who can go without food for long periods.
It is not recommended for beginners as it can be challenging to stick to. Start it with a plan of three weeks (three times a week), and if it works, you may begin again. You can consume tea or coffee, but no high-calorie drinks are allowed.
How it works: Following a strict regime of exercise, protein-rich meals, and staying hydrated, 20:4 will help you lose weight healthily with the 20:4 method.
Method 7:- 18:6
The 18:6 method is quite similar to the 16:8 method, but you fast for 18 hours and eat during a 6-hour window. Start by practicing once or twice and slowly work your way up.
In this fasting method, you can begin your eating window at 12 p.m. and end it at 6 p.m. You can have an early dinner before going off food until noon the next day.
How it works: 18:6 IF raises the amount of HGH in our bodies which causes burn off of the existing fats faster and helps in gaining lean mass.
Method 8:- 14:10
The 14:10 diet involves fasting for 14 hours and eating only during a 10-hour window. This method can be done every day or on certain days of the week.
This is a more moderate approach to intermittent fasting and may be a good option for those who find the 16:8 method too restrictive.
How it works: A study published in Cell Metabolism backs this approach to losing weight.
If you’re planning to break your weight loss plateau, intermittent fasting may be the answer for you. There’s no reason not to give it a go with so many ways to try it. Just be sure to stick with it for at least a few weeks to see results.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska