Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that revolves around knowing when you could eat and when should you practice fasting throughout the day. Basically, this type of diet plan isn’t strict with what you specifically eat but with when should you eat them. Thus, it’s more considered as a fixed schedule on when can you eat rather than a diet that limits what you can eat.
As amazing as it sounds to be able to eat everything, there’s still a catch with this method. The span of hours you’re allowed to eat is limited and the majority of the hours are dedicated to fasting. So, no matter how much you want to eat, you’re not allowed to as it’ll interfere with the diet plan.
When you start to fast, you’ll be going through the 5 stages of intermittent fasting in which your body will start to break down and burn fat that could be visible to your physical appearance.
Here are the different ways on how you can do intermittent fasting:
This has been the most popular intermittent fasting method as you’ll be able to stay consistent with your motivation for losing weight. This method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eat normally for 8 hours. Usually, you can start eating at noon and your last meal should be by 8 PM. The remaining hours will be for fasting.
During your eating hours, you could chip in 2-3 meals, which should enough for the whole day, including your fasting hours. During your fasting period, you cannot eat anything else. However, you’re allowed to drink water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages to keep you fueled.
As tempting as it sounds, you shouldn’t be eating between 8 P.M. to noon so that you could get the most out of your fasting. The 16/8 method is to be observed every day and there’ll be no cheat days. However, you’re allowed to eat anything that you want to eat during your eating hours. But, to produce fast results, it’ll be best if you eat healthy foods as much as possible.
This method allows you to eat normally for 5 days, and low-calorie intake for 2 days, every week. For instance, you could set your low-calorie day every Monday and Thursday. During your low-calorie intake days, women should only eat 500 calories, while men should only eat 600 calories.
While you’re allowed to eat anything you want for 5 days, you’ll be able to achieve the best results when you eat healthy foods and stay away from sugar and junk foods.
Alternate Day Fasting
A more challenging method would be an alternate day fasting. This is where you alternate your eating day and your fasting day.
During normal days, you can eat anything you want as long as it’s healthy and not sugary and full of preservatives. The day after your normal day, you should be fasting the whole day.
However, if you’re new to this method, it’s not recommended to go for a full fast. You could still eat but only allow yourself to eat a few hundred calories and try to gradually lessen the times you eat on your fasting day until you’re able to go full fasting.
Eat Stop Eat
More challenging than the Alternate Day Fasting, the Eat Stop Eat requires full fasting for 2 days a week. While the fasting days are less, you’re not allowed to eat anything at all but only drink water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages and nothing else during the day.
During your eating period, you should eat normally as you should. Again, it’ll work best if you try to eat healthy foods to help you get the nutrition that you need. As tempting it is to eat those sugary desserts, try to limit them and not munch on them as the fasting period won’t be able to take effect on your body.
This method takes place every day for the week. You’re only allowed to eat large meals for four hours, usually by 4-8 PM, and then start fasting.
However, you’re allowed to eat a small number of fruits and vegetables during the day and complete fasting during the night.
Before you start with intermittent fasting, you should consult with your doctor if your body’s capable of doing fasting as you may have a health condition that could affect it. You should also know which intermittent fasting method works best for you. Pregnant women aren’t recommended to do this method. It’s important for them to focus on eating healthy meals for the proper development of their baby.
You should always be careful when doing intermittent fasting. If you’re feeling unwell during your fasting, you should stop immediately and not continue to do this method. But consider looking for other ways on how you can stay in shape without fasting.