Health and fitness trends are the most adopted in the modern world. Currently, intermittent fasting is the talk of the internet. Many celebrities like Halle Berry say they are into this trend, which has numerous benefits including fat loss and improving general health.
It involves abstaining from eating meals on a predetermined schedule and then eating regularly again. Experts have developed patterns that work to help health and fitness enthusiasts make the right decisions. Each one has pros and cons, but they generally work well for most people. Sometimes, you might find it necessary to try more than one until you figure out the best.
There are about six popular intermittent fasting schedules. You can choose one that will work for you, so read and take notes.
In This Article
- The 16/8 – Intermittent Fasting for 16 Hours
- The 5:2 Way– Intermittent Fasting for 2 Days Weekly
- Eat-Stop-Eat – Intermittent Fasting for 24 Hours
- Alternate-Day Fasting – Intermittent Fasting Every Other Day
- The Warrior Diet – Intermittent Fasting During the Day
- Meal-Skipping Fasting – Intermittent Fasting by Avoiding Some Meals
The 16/8 – Intermittent Fasting for 16 Hours
When talking about intermittent fasting, the 16/8 method comes to the minds of most people because it is the most popular. While on this schedule of fasting, the eating window is only 8 hours, where you can eat two to three times. The other 16 hours are left for fasting.
There is no limit as to how long you can repeat the cycle. Some do it twice a week while others make it a daily habit, especially if they are determined to lose fat. But if you want to make it effortless, try the DoFasting or intermittent fasting app, which will keep you organized perfectly.
To start, all you need is to choose the 8-hour eating window, often between 9 AM and 5 PM. This will allow you to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. No wonder, this schedule has skyrocketed in popularity. Experts recommend eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and minimal carbohydrates.
The three main benefits of this method include fat loss, enhanced longevity, and regulated blood sugar. Just so you know, this method is safe and sustainable.
The 5:2 Way– Intermittent Fasting for 2 Days Weekly
Another popular intermittent fasting schedule is the 5:2 method, which involves limiting calories to 500–600 on two days a week. You can eat normally on the other five days of the week. Michael Mosley, a British science journalist, popularized the schedule, and it has gained a lot of popularity recently.
The main benefit of this option is weight loss, fat loss, and overall improved health and fitness in both men and women. During the two fasting days, say Tuesdays and Fridays, men are supposed to limit their calories to 600 while women should keep calories to 500. And this should be broken into two meals of about 250–300 calories. Again, there are many intermittent fasting apps to help you do this successfully.
Unfortunately, there is no documented scientific test on 5:2, but those who have practiced the schedule explain that it has the health benefits we have mentioned. However, numerous studies have proven that intermittent fasting in general has health benefits.
Eat-Stop-Eat – Intermittent Fasting for 24 Hours
This type of intermittent fasting is also dubbed fast and feast and involves 24 hours of fasting for up to two non-consecutive days in a week. Some people prefer one day, while many who are dedicated to intermittent fasting prefer two, for instance Monday and Thursday. Brad Pilon, the author of the Eat Stop Eat book, brought this schedule into its current popularity.
So, how can you do this? Health and fitness experts confirm that you have the option of fasting between one meal, say dinner, until the next similar meal, say dinner the following day. This amounts to 24 hours of fasting. While fasting, you can have zero-calorie drinks such as water.
This method calls for discipline because 24 hours can be too long for many people. But the good thing is that it is great for weight loss and overall fitness. Those who find it too long to fast for 24 hours straight can instead substitute 16 hours, which is still acceptable.
Alternate-Day Fasting – Intermittent Fasting Every Other Day
If you like intermittent fasting with flexibility, alternate-day fasting (ADF) is the best option for you. The idea behind this schedule is to fast one day and eat what you want the next. During the fasting day, you can drink water and any other zero-calorie beverages.
However, there are several variations of ADF. Some strictly abstain from food during the fast day while others limit calories to 500. If you were to follow the schedule exactly, it would mean sleeping without eating for a couple of days in a week. And this is extreme for beginners, hence not recommended.
The health benefits associated with this type of intermittent fasting are confirmed by several studies and include faster weight loss, improved metabolism, and overall improved health.
The Warrior Diet – Intermittent Fasting During the Day
Ori Hofmekler is a fitness expert who has popularized this extreme fasting schedule. It can be called 20:4 intermittent fasting because one has to fast for up to 20 hours during the day and only eat at night during the 4-hour window. Well, one can eat a small serving of fruit during the 20-hour fasting window while waiting for a larger meal during the 4-hour window.
Since this schedule is extreme, it is recommended when the other schedules have failed. Fasting successfully yields faster results according to those who have practiced this schedule. It is good for fat loss but can take a toll on your health if you miss important nutrients during the eating window.
But to avoid this, always eat a nutrient-rich meal with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, essential fats, and enough carbs to give your body sufficient energy.
Meal-Skipping Fasting – Intermittent Fasting by Avoiding Some Meals
If you are a beginner and are looking for user-friendly intermittent fasting that works, opt to skip some meals. There is no restriction as to how one can skip the meals; it should be random but fair enough to yield positive health and fitness results. Generally, skip meals when convenient for you.
The common approach is to spontaneously skip meals when you are not hungry and can easily wait for the next meal. For instance, after eating a heavy breakfast, you can skip lunch at work and opt for a healthy dinner later.
Intermittent fasting is proven to be effective if you follow your schedule to the letter. Numerous people are confirming positive results all over including celebrities who are dedicated to intermittent fasting. All you need is to pick a schedule that is convenient for you and follow it.