Many people across the world have become health conscious and they wish to simplify the process of finding a healthy diet. Well, Intermittent fasting is one of the simplest and easiest ways of losing weight and thus helps in improving overall health.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that concentrates on what you should eat rather than what you should consume. It simply means an eating pattern that allows you to alternate between eating and fasting on a schedule. This procedure has become widely popular among young people and many other people around the world.
Intermittent fasting can be ultimately a powerful tool for weight loss and offer numerous health benefits apart from helping you to lose weight. It gives you a more efficient metabolism, a sharper mind, and even a longer life. However, this isn't a single method to follow, there are several different methods too fast which make it tough to know where to start or which plan works great for you.
If you want to try the best one or are curious about the methods to find the plan that works great for you, keep reading.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
1) The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 method also called lean gains protocol, involves skipping breakfast and restricting your eating period only for 8 hours then fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
This method is completely simple and very easy to do, all you need to do is skip your breakfast and do not eat anything after your dinner.
For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 pm and don't eat until noon the next day, you're technically fasting for about 16 hours in a day. This method seems hard for the people who get hungry in the morning and like to eat breakfast. However, many breakfast skippers instinctively eat this way.
Instead of having solid foods, you can drink liquids like coffee, water, and other zero-calorie beverages which might help you to reduce the feelings of hunger in the morning.
Well, it’s quite important to eat healthy during your eating window. Because this method doesn’t work if you eat a lot of processed food or food that has excessive calories.
2) Eat Stop Eat
Eat stop eat method involves 24 hours of fasting once or twice a week. Simply means, you must starve yourself from Solids dinner one day to dinner the next day amounts to a full 24 hour fast.
Simply, if you finish your dinner at 7 pm, then don’t eat until Monday dinner at 7 pm. You can also do fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch, well the results will be shown the same.
You can have liquids like water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted.
If you’re doing this to manage your weight, it’s very important to stick to a particular diet during the eating periods. However, you don’t need to go all in the right way, it’s fine to start with 14-16 hours and then move upward from there.
3) The Warrior Diet
The warrior diet involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating one huge meal at night. This simply means you will fast all day long and feast at night within a 4-hour eating window.
Warrior diet is considered to be one of the first popular diets to include a form of intermittent fasting. Try to avoid unprocessed foods when following this method to see some good results within short periods.
4) Alternate Day Fasting
This simply means you will fast every other day. But, it’s not recommended for beginners because a full fast every other day can seem extreme. Including this method in your diet might take you to bed very hungry several times a week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long run.
5) The 5:2 Method
The 5:2 diet involves eating what you typically eat in the 5 days of the week and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 for 2 days of the week. This diet is also known as the fast diet and on the fasting days of this method, it’s not recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600 calories.
This is one of the most effective methods to follow when you aim to lose weight.
6) Spontaneous Fasting
You don’t need to follow a certain intermittent fasting plan to reap the benefits of it. You can simply skip meals from time to time, such as when you are not in a mood to cook or when you’re extremely busy with other work.
However, some people eat every few hours left to allow themselves to stay in starvation mode or to lose muscles. Whereas other bodies are well equipped to handle long periods and can miss one or two meals from time to time.
So, if you’re not hungry one day, skip breakfast and eat healthy lunch and dinner. Skipping one or two meals when you feel inclined to do so is spontaneous intermittent fasting. Just make sure to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
There are many powerful and positive benefits of intermittent fasting in both human and animal studies. Below are a handful of health benefits from intermittent fasting.
1) Helps In Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the major benefits of intermittent fasting, it also helps in improving your metabolic rate and increases growth hormone levels. Intermittent fasting also helps in lowering insulin levels and helps you consume fewer calories.
2) Improves Your Heart Health
Involving in intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and blood pressure levels. However, these are all risk factors for heart diseases.
3) Boosts Brain Function
According to a study in 2018 of intermittent fasting, it has been found that it may help protect against the decline in memory that comes with age. However, the study was done only on animals, though it’s still unclear whether the benefit holds for humans.
4) Reduces Inflammation
Many studies have shown that fasting contributes to a reduction of inflammation markers which are considered to be key causes of several chronic diseases.
5) Works For Anti-Ageing
In a study conducted on rats and fasting, those that fasted lived nearly 83% longer than those rats that didn’t fast. It clearly shows that fasting helped extend the lifespan of those rats.