Intermittent fasting is a popular type of eating pattern which is followed by many health and fitness communities. Most of the people who follow this type of eating pattern fast for maximum 12-16 hours a day. For achieving good results, intermittent fasting depends upon the longest duration of not eating anything rather than on the type of food you consume. Your body knows how to cope up with fasting as everyone performs it while sleeping. Only low calorie beverages like water, tea and coffee are allowed during fasting.
This form of eating food with long intervals is being followed from thousands of years. In early times humans used to fast most commonly due to no availability of food. Sometimes fasting was followed by the people who believed in different religions like christianity, buddhism and islam. Following fasting was compulsory for the people of these religions at that time.
The most common question asked by many people before adapting fasting is, is intermittent fasting healthy?
There is nothing unhealthy about this type of eating cycle as your body knows how to handle long periods of no eating food. When you don’t eat for several hours your body perform many changes like decrease in blood sugar levels and insulin, increase in body growth hormone. The most popular benefit of intermittent fasting is weight loss as you can easily perform a calorie deficit and burn fat. Intermittent fasting also improves metabolism as there is less loss of lean muscle mass and greater burning of fat. Many people feel more energetic while following some type of intermittent fasting program. Many experts believe that following a healthy intermittent fasting program makes you live longer.
You can also save large amount of time as you don’t have to eat more than 3 meal’s a day, less meals means less dishes to clean which results in saving time, leading to a simple life. These all benefits makes intermittent fasting best for the people who live a busy lifestyle and for the people who work for long shifts.
Types Of Intermittent Fasting Methods
Intermittent fasting involved many different types of fasting methods which are differentiated according to their period of fasting and eating.
1) 16:8 Fasting
The 16:8 fasting is the most basic form of fasting which is followed by many people around the world. While following this type of fasting you get a window of 8 hour’s to consume your meals rest 16 hour’s you’re restricted to consume any calorie containing food item, only water and other low calorie beverages are allowed during this fasting period.
You can do 16:8 fasting for one day, two or even for a week depending upon your personal preference. In comparison to other types of fasting, 16:8 intermittent fasting is more reliable as it easily fits into your schedule and also gives amazing results like weight loss, blood sugar level control and better brain functionality.
Eating food during 9am to 5pm is the most common time period for 16:8 fasting as most important meals can be consumed during these hours. You can also pick the time period which will be suitable for your schedule. Consuming healthy and balanced meals like fruit’s, vegetable’s and different sources of protein during eating hour’s can give you faster and better results.
2) Warrior Diet
The warrior diet is a more strict form of intermittent fasting as eating and fasting periods are divided into 20:4. Warrior diet allows you only 4 hours of eating period rest 20 hours including sleep time is for fasting. You can eat low calorie food and beverages like boiled eggs, vegetables and fruit during the fasting hour’s, eating low calorie food keeps you full.
This strict form of fasting was founded by Ori Hofmekler, a well known author of health and fitness related books. Hofmekler developed warrior diet in 2001, he created this diet by observing the military training as he was working for special forces at that time. Warrior diet is not strictly based upon science. Some experts not recommend this diet for children and young adults as it is unnecessary and can cause deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
Such a long duration of fasting can cause problems for people suffering from diabetes. You should always consult your doctor before following any strict fasting pattern.
Warrior diet also contains many benefits like weight loss, improves brain health and reduces inflammation, which makes this diet worth to follow.
3) Alternate Day Fasting
The alternate day fasting is a type of intermittent fasting in which one day the dieter can eat regular meals and on the next day they have to fast for 24 hour’s. On the fasting day you can consume low calorie beverages like water, coffee and tea without sugar. There is a modified version of this diet in which you can consume 500 calories on the fasting days. You can eat healthy food like fruits and vegetables to reach goal of 500 calories on fasting days. Consuming some calories during fasting allows your body to generate the required energy which helps you to perform daily activities more easily.
Studies have shown that the modified version of alternate fasting is much more easier to follow than other types of intermittent fasting techniques.
Adding different physical activities like running, walking and cycling to alternate fasting can accelerate weight loss while preserving muscle mass, lower the risk of heart diseases, control blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also control blood sugar levels for the people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Alternate fasting helps you in the stimulation of autophagy, the process in which old cells in your body are replaced by the new ones. Autophagy plays a important role in preventing diseases like cancer, heart diseases and infections.
4) One Meal a Day (OMAD)
OMAD diet is the most strict type of intermittent fasting in which the dieter is allowed to consume only one meal a day. In OMAD you are given only 1 hour window to consume your meal rest 23 hours are scheduled for fasting. Only water, coffee and tea are allowed during the fasting hour’s.
Many experts don’t recommend people to follow OMAD diet as it can be dangerous for children and people with health related problems. It’s hard for many people to consume their daily calorie intake in 1 hour, failing to consume your daily calories can result into low energy levels, hungriness and fatigue. Not eating for 23 hours can cause cravings which can cause overeating. OMAD diet doesn’t restrict you from eating your desired meals but eating unhealthy food for many days can cause serious health problems.
People following OMAD diet are advised to eat different combination of healthy food in order to complete their daily required nutrients. You can schedule your one hour eating period with your most active hours as it will recover your energy levels and provide you with important nutrients, so your body can easily work for rest of the day.
5) One Day a Week Fasting
Fasting for one day a week can be easy and is suggested by many experts as it contains many benefits and is tolerable in comparison to other fasting methods. One day fasting brings a change to your weekly schedule, only low calorie food and beverages are allowed during the fasting day. On fasting day it is important to drink lots of water, so you’ll be hydrated. You can still perform less intensive workouts on fasting days as it boosts weight loss.
This method of fasting is like a calorie restriction as you consume less calories than your daily intake which creates a calorie deflect resulting in weight loss.
Fasting for 24 hour’s a week control’s your hormones and is great for maintaining blood pressure. Eating less makes your brain function well, making you smarter and healthier.
This type of intermittent fasting is safe for people with diabetes as only one day a week is scheduled for fasting. Many chronic diseases like cancer and inflammation can also be prevented by following a simple fasting method
6) Overnight Fasting
Fasting for night hour’s is the most easiest methods to fast as most of the time you sleep, so it will not cause any cravings or feeling of hunger. You can easily do 12-13 hours of fasting, starting from evening 7pm to morning 8am. People who fast at night accumulate less amount of fat in their body as the amount of fat stored is converted into energy.
Your body doesn’t burn the calories that you consume right before sleeping, storing it as fat in your body, so it’s recommended to not consume any meals before sleeping.
Overnight fasting control’s the amount of glucose in your body. This fasting type can be easily equipped by people with diabetes and other health problems, athletes can also follow this type of fasting as the required nutrients are consumed during the day.
Overnight fasting also relaxes your mind by reducing the stress levels helping it to function better. This type of fasting method can be easily followed by beginner’s as it will not cause any negative effect on your health.
Applying overnight fasting everyday to your schedule will help you in creating a good habit which will make your body and mind healthy.