What is Intermittent Fasting?
By Reading This Article you Will Get the Following:
- What is Intermittent Fasting?
- What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
- 3 Different ways of Intermittent Fasting
What is Intermittent Fasting?
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
3 Different ways to Try Intermittent Fasting
There are many different methods of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and calorie allowances. Each person's experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
It is recommended that you start with the time-restricted method and work your way towards more extreme forms of intermittent fasting should you choose to do so.
1. Time Restricted Method:
This method is the most popular form of intermittent fasting.
In this option, you have set strict fasting and eating time frames.
- For example, you plan to fast for 16 hours of the day and are able to eat for the other 8 hours of the day.
- The hours you choose are flexible but the idea is that you are not eating after dinner until the next day.
It’s convenient as you can extend the overnight fast by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch. Here are some of the most common fasting schedules:
- 16/8 method: Only eating between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m.
- 14/10 method: Only eating between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
This method of intermittent fasting can be repeated as often as you’d like or even done once or twice a week. We suggest you try out different schedules and find what works best for you.
Finding the right eating and fasting windows for this method might take a few days to figure out, especially if you’re very active or if you wake up hungry for breakfast. For example, this may be difficult for athletes or those who like to exercise heavily. This group of people tends to need more calories and it is important to make note of your caloric intake.
The time-restricted form of intermittent fasting is a safer way for people who are interested in trying intermittent fasting for the first time.
2. Twice a Week Method:
This approach to intermittent fasting focuses on limiting your calories to 500 for two days a week. During the other five days of the week, you maintain a healthy and normal diet.
On days that you fast, this approach usually includes a 200 and a 300-calorie meal.
- It’s important to focus on high-fiber and high-protein foods to help fill you up but to also keep calories low when fasting.
- Meals like chicken and vegetables tend to work well with this high protein, low-calorie requirement.
You can choose whichever two fasting days of the week you would like as long as there is a non-fasting day between them. Be sure to eat the same amount of food you normally would on non-fasting days.
3. The 24 Hour Fast:
Take caution with this approach, as it is the most extreme method of intermittent fasting.
This method involves fasting completely for a full 24 hours. Often times, it’s only done once or twice a week.
- Most people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
- With this version of intermittent fasting, the side effects can be severe, such as fatigue, headaches, irritability, hunger, and low energy.
This type of fasting is not recommended for those who burn excess calories such as athletes or marathon runners. The 24 hour fast should be approached with caution.
If you follow this method, you should return to a normal, healthy diet on your non-fasting days.
Consider a simple approach to intermittent fasting if you're starting out. The long term research is not clear on this method, however recent literature suggests that intermittent fasting can have health benefits. As with any diet, proper nutrition and healthy eating are vital to the success of the diet.
*Consult your doctor or nutritionist before trying intermittent fasting.
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