Intermittent fasting has become very popular. It helps to reduce weight, boost metabolism and improve the life span.
There are several methods of intermittent fasting and all of them are very effective. You should follow the method depending on your capability of fasting.
Here are the best ways to follow intermittent fasting:
One Meal a Day (OMAD)
This is another simple intermittent fasting technique where you eat only one meal a day. So you fast for 21-23 hours and eat your meal in 1-2 hours of time slot. This is great because you feel full and satisfied compared to being hungry the whole day.
This is perfect for losing fat but not ideal for the growth of muscles.
Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)
This fasting technique involves eating 800-1000 calories per day for 2-5 days in a month which is followed by a refeed day on day 6 and resuming back to a normal eating schedule. This diet includes low protein, moderate carb and moderate fat food options.
This diet helps to reduce blood pressure, lowers the insulin and controls IGF-1. For preventing unwanted loss of good mass, you will have to lower down carbs and slightly increase the fat intake.
Protein Sparing Modified fasting (PSMF)
This diet is a low carb, low fat, high protein diet which helps to lose weight quickly along with maintaining muscles.
This diet maintains more muscles compared to the Fasting mimicking diet but there are chances of being kicked out of ketosis because of too much of protein.
So keep the protein intake moderate which is around 0.8-1.0 g/lb of your body weight and slightly increase your fat so you stay under 1000 calories per day.
In this diet you consume only fat. Usually when you are in ketosis, you use fat and ketones for continuous energy production instead of glucose.
Consuming fat doesn’t kick you out of ketosis. It slightly raises your ketones but controls it eventually. You can have some coffee, 1-2 teaspoons MCT oil or some butter. But avoid taking anything with carbs or protein.
This diet is used to increase adherence.
The 16/8 Method
This method involves fasting for 16 hours at a stretch and restricting your eating time to 8 hours like 1-9pm and fast for the hours after that. This method is also called as Leangains protocol.
In your eating time you can have 2-3 meals. Do not overeat or have junk food during this time as it may not solve the purpose of losing weight. This is a simple method of fasting, which involves skipping breakfast.
Example: If you finish your meal around 8 pm, you don’t eat until 12 pm the next day which is 16 hours of fasting.
A Woman should fast for 14-15 hours as they show better results when fast for short hours.
You are allowed to drink water, coffee and tea, but do not add sugar to it. You can add a little amount of cream or milk to your coffee and tea. These help to keep your hunger at bay.
I personally like this way of fasting. It is 100% effortless and works great for me.
The 5:2 Diet
This diet involves following your normal diet for 5 days of the week, but having 500-600 calories on two separate days in the week. This is also called as a Fast Diet. It is recommended that on fasting days man should eat 500 calories and woman should eat 600 calories.
This fasting method involves 24-hour fast once or twice a week. So after you have your dinner you should fast till dinner time of the next day. You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch depending on your convenience.
During the fast you can have non-caloric beverages like water, coffee and tea but not solid food. If your prime focus is on losing weight you should ensure that you eat normally during your eating slots.
This method is not perfect for everyone as for many people it is difficult to fast for 24-hours. So I would suggest don’t go all in but first follow the 14/8 method and when you get comfortable with it, you can switch to this diet.
There are several versions of alternate day fasting where you fast on every other day. Some follow a fasting pattern of having 500 calories on the fasting day.
I would not suggest beginners to follow this as fasting the entire day on every other day is too intense. This keeps you feeling very hungry several times in the week, which is not a good thing.
The Warrior Diet
This was one of the initial popular diets that was included in intermittent fasting. This diet involves eating small portions of vegetables and fruits during the entire day and eating a big meal at night.
So this is a fast all day and have a feast at night method. You can eat in the 4 hour slot. This diet includes food options like whole, unprocessed food.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping
This method is the easiest. You don’t need to follow a hardcore routine of fasting. You can skip your meals from time to time when you are not in a mood to cook your meal or don’t feel hungry.
The human body is capable of staying hungry for a long period of time, so you can miss one or two meals from time to time. If you are not hungry one day you can choose to skip your breakfast and have a good lunch. But make sure you eat healthy food during the meal time.