Fasting, either for short intervals or for a period of days, has been increasing in popularity for several decades now. The reason, obviously, is weight loss. Intermittent fasting diet plans may be known to many, but there are other benefits to fasting which may not be immediately apparent.
The benefits of fasting include:
- Allowing the digestive system to rest
- Cleansing and detoxification of the body
- Breaking up habitual eating behaviors
- Promoting greater mental clarity
- Generating a feeling of physical lightness
- Promoting inner stillness
Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan: Common Issues and Misconceptions
Fasting can be very difficult, especially if you’re not used to the feeling of being hungry. To that end, many great products are designed to help fasting be more sustainable and productive. One great example is Fasting Support. This specialized formula helps ease the discomfort that comes with hunger. It also makes fasting more metabolically productive.
As a method of achieving weight loss, fasting is terribly misunderstood. With true fasting, you are not starving yourself. That is to say, you are not going to hurt yourself. The idea is to abstain from eating until the body switches into a more conservative metabolic mode and begins to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The intermittent fasting diet plan may not be for everyone, and a doctor’s advice is recommended.
6 Great Ways to Fast for Better Health & to Promote Weight Loss
1. The 16/8 Method
This method involves daily fasting for 14-16 hours, restricting your meals to an 8- to 10-hour window.
Also known as the Lean-gains protocol, this fasting method was popularized by fitness guru Martin Berkhan. It can be as simple as not eating after dinner and skipping breakfast.
It is recommended that women fast 14 to 15 hours. For those who get hungry in the morning and feel the need to eat breakfast, this can be difficult at first. But many people who naturally tend to skip breakfast often eat this way instinctively.
Drinking water, coffee, and non-caloric beverages during the fast can help reduce hunger and keep you on track. It’s recommended to eat healthy foods during the eating window throughout the intermittent fasting diet plan. This method won’t work if you eat a lot of junk food or consume excessive amounts of calories.
2. The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 fasting method involves eating as you normally would five days out of the week, and restricting calories to between 500 and 600 calories on the remaining two days. Also known as the Mosley diet, this method of fasting was made popular by journalist and doctor, Michael Mosley.
On the two fasting days, women are advised to eat 500 calories, while men should take 600 calories. There is very little research to back up the 5:2 fasting interval specifically, but many studies support the benefits of an intermittent fasting diet plan.
Eat-Stop-Eat entails a 24-hour fast once or twice per week. It was made popular by fitness expert Brad Pilon several years ago. It simply means ceasing eating at a certain time of day and resuming at the same time the next day. You may do the fast from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, or dinner to dinner – it’s up to you. The result is the same.
Most beverages are allowed during the fast, except for alcohol since it metabolizes as sugar. Of course, solid food is not allowed. For those who experience high levels of discomfort and are plagued by cravings during the fasting period, drinking juice or milk can be a good way to ease that discomfort and gradually become accustomed to the regimen.
If your goal is to do an intermittent fasting diet plan for weight loss, it is important that you eat a healthy diet during eating periods. Eat the same amount of food as you would normally. This can be a good way to help you acclimate to this new dietary style. If you wish, you can pursue further dietary changes after your body acclimates to the schedule.
4. Alternate-Day Fasting
Alternate-Day fasting simply means fasting every other day. There are different versions of this method. Some allow about 500 calories on fasting days, and others are stricter. Many studies which have demonstrated the benefits of intermittent fasting were modeled on some version of this.
It might seem rather extreme, so it is not recommended for first-time fasters. You can expect to go to bed very hungry several times each week, which is not pleasant and probably not sustainable.
5. The Warrior Diet
Popularized by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler, the Warrior Diet means fasting all day and then eating a big meal at night. On this regimen, you are permitted to have modest amounts of raw nuts or berries during the day. The idea is to mimic the eating patterns of an ancient person who would hunt and gather all day, and eat a big meal in the evening.
The eating window is four hours before bedtime. Food choices recommended with this diet can be found in the paleo regimen, which makes sense since the point is to model a primitive schedule of eating and fasting. For the most part, the paleo diet is useful for the intermittent fasting diet plan.
6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
With this fasting method, you do not adhere to any real structure. You basically skip means when you can. For people who find it difficult to concentrate when they are hungry and who have to do a lot of mental tasks at work – this can be ideal.
It’s also good for people who set their own schedules and thrive on the ability to self-regulate without having to feel forced to adhere to an arbitrary schedule.
The downside to this form of the intermittent fasting diet plan is that it can be easy to simply forget to fast and go on for several days eating whenever you feel like it. If you can make it work, however, this diet can provide some relief from guilt. You know that, even if you do splurge here and there, you are not breaking any set of rules.
Click on the photo below for a great fasting support complex: