There are several methods of Intermittent Fasting,however the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is one of the most popular styles of fasting for weight loss. The plan restricts food consumption and calorie-containing beverages to a set window of 8 hours per day. It requires abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
What Happens To Body Fat When You Diet?
When you diet, you take in fewer calories than your body needs. Because of this deficit, your body turns to fat reserves for energy.Your body must dispose of fat deposits through a series of complicated metabolic pathways.
The byproducts of fat metabolism leave your body:
- As water, through your skin (when you sweat) and your kidneys (when you urinate).
- As carbon dioxide, through your lungs (when you breathe out).
- Fat breakdown liberates energy for biological functions and physical activity
- It also generates heat, which keeps body temperatures normal.
What Is Intermittent Fasting ?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a very popular eating pattern in the Health And Fitness Community that cycles between periods of fasting and eating
- By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.
- Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.
- IF doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.
- In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
- Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
What Happens To Your Body During Fasting?
Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few
- Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible
- Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells
- Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease
7 methods of Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
- Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity.
- Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
- Each person’s experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the 7 methods of Intermittent Fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
1. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
Fasting for 16 hours a day, leaving an eating window of 8 hours, is called the 16:8 method or the Leangains diet.
What is 16:8 intermittent fasting?
16:8 intermittent fasting is a form of time-restricted fasting that involves consuming foods during an 8-hour window and avoiding food, or fasting, for the remaining 16 hours each day.
- Sometimes called the 16:8 diet or 16:8 plan is the most popular type of fasting.
- People who follow this eating plan will fast for 16 hours a day and consume all of their calories during the remaining 8 hours.
- Benefits of the 16:8 plan include weight loss and fat loss, as well as the prevention of type 2diabetes diabetes and other obesity-associated conditions.
- Most people who follow the 16:8 plan abstain from food at night and for part of the morning and evening. They tend to consume their daily calories during the middle of the day.
- There are no restrictions on the types or amounts of food that a person can eat during the 8-hour window. This flexibility makes the plan relatively easy to follow.
How to do 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
- The easiest way to follow the 16:8 diet is to choose a 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that a person spends sleeping.
- Some experts advise finishing food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, this is not feasible for everyone.
- Some people may not be able to consume their evening meal until 7 p.m. or later.
- It is best to avoid food for 2–3 hours before bed.
People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Noon to 8 p.m.
- Within this timeframe, people can eat their meals and snacks at convenient times.
- Eating regularly is important to prevent blood sugar peaks and dips and to avoid excessive hunger.
- Some people may need to experiment to find the best eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle.
Recommended foods and tips
- Focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods.
- Consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.
- Eat more of :fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned (in water)
- whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
- lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
- healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds
- Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied.
- Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.
- Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet.
- Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.
The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks — such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee — during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.
- People may find it easier to stick to the 16:8 diet when they follow these tips:
- drinking cinnamon herbal tea during the fasting period, as it may suppress the appetite
- consuming water regularly throughout the day
- watching less television to reduce exposure to images of food, which may stimulate a sense of hunger
- exercising just before or during the eating window, as exercise can trigger hunger
- practicing mindful eating when consuming meals
- trying meditation during the fasting period to allow hunger pangs to pass
- Cinnamon herbal tea is available for purchase online.
Benefits of 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
- Weight loss and fat loss
- Eating during a set period can help people reduce the number of calories that they consume.
- Boost metabolism.
- Leads to greater weight loss and fat loss in men with obesity than regular calorie restriction.
- Research from 2016 reports that men who followed a 16:8 approach for 8 weeks while resistance training showed a decrease in fat mass. The participants maintained their muscle mass throughout.
- During the 16:8 diet, men fast for 16 hours each day, and women fast for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fast may be helpful for someone who has already tried the 12-hour fast but did not see any benefits.
- On this fast, people usually finish their evening meal by 8 p.m. and then skip breakfast the next day, not eating again until noon.
- A study on mice found that limiting the feeding window to 8 hours protected them from obesity, inflammation, diabetes, and liver disease, even when they ate the same total number of calories as mice that ate whenever they wished.
2. Fast for 12 hours a day
- A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
- Fasting for 10–16 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
- May be a good option for beginners because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
- The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
3. Fasting for 2 days a week (5:2 Diet) or Fast Diet
- 5:2 diet is eating standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reducing calorie intake on the other 2 days.
- During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
- People separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days.
- There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
- A study involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
- This diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
- Women lost 4.8 % of their body weight and 8.0 % of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
4. Alternate day fasting
- This involves fasting every other day.
- Alternate day fasting means a complete avoidance of solid foods on fasting days, while other people allow up to 500 calories.
- On eating days, people often choose to eat as much as they want.
- Alternate day fasting is effective for weight loss and heart health in both healthy and overweight adults.
- The researchers found that the 32 participants lost an average of 5.2 kilograms (kg) over a 12-week period.
- Quite an extreme form of intermittent fasting and may not be suitable for beginners or those with certain medical conditions.
- Difficult to maintain this type of fasting in the long term.
5. Meal skipping
- This flexible approach to intermittent fasting involves occasionally skipping meals.
- People can decide which meals to skip according to their level of hunger or time restraints.
- It is important to eat healthful foods at each meal.
- Most successful when individuals monitor and respond to their body’s hunger signals.
- Participants will eat when they are hungry and skip meals when they are not.
- This may feel more natural for some people than the other fasting methods.
6. A weekly 24-hour fast (Eat-Stop-Eat diet)
- A person can have tea and calorie-free drinks.
- Fasting completely for 1 or 2 days a week
- Eating no food for 24 hours at a time.
- Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
- People on this diet plan can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period.
- People should return to normal eating patterns on the non-fasting days.
- Eating in this manner reduces a person’s total calorie intake but does not limit the specific foods that the individual consumes.
- It may cause fatigue, headaches, or irritability.
- These effects become less extreme over time as the body adjusts to this new pattern of eating.
People may benefit from trying a 12-hour or 16-hour fast before transitioning to the 24-hour fast.
7. The Warrior Diet
- The Warrior Diet is a relatively extreme form of intermittent fasting.
- Involves eating very little, usually just a few servings of raw fruit and vegetables, during a 20-hour fasting window, then eating one large meal at night.
- The eating window is usually only around 4 hours.
- Best for people who have tried other forms of intermittent fasting already.
- Believes that eating at night allows the body to gain nutrients in line with its circadian rhythms.
- During the 4-hour eating phase, people should make sure that they consume plenty of vegetables, proteins, and healthful fats. They should also include some carbohydrates.
- Challenging to stick to the strict guidelines on when and what to eat in the long term.
- Some people struggle with eating such a large meal so close to bedtime.
- People on this diet may not eat enough nutrients, such as fiber. This can increase the risk of cancer and have an adverse effect on digestive and immune health.
Intermittent fasting is simply one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.
If you don’t like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore this article and continue to do what works for you.The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.
Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others and the only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.