It’s no surprise several individuals seek to know in detail different ways to do intermittent fasting. Answers to these assist in understanding the intermittent fasting benefits. Intermittent fasting impacts your cells and hormones as your body adjusts its hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Also, your cells initiate repair processes and change the expression of genes, thereby boosting your health and helping you achieve your weight loss goals. You can eat less and burn more calories. It works by prolonging the period your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins to burn fat.
What to eat during intermittent fasting
If you’re wondering what to eat during intermittent fasting, you can drink water, black tea, and black coffee during the fasting times. During the eating window, you can eat normally but don’t overeat, as it will be counterproductive. You can opt for unrefined carbohydrates, leafy greens, healthy fats, and lean protein.
There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, as they vary depending on how many days you fast and how you control your calories. Intermittent fasting patterns follow a schedule, and you can choose from different fasting styles to get your suitable intermittent fasting pattern.
Different ways to do intermittent fasting
The different ways involve splitting the day or the week into periods of fasting and eating. There are different methods you can use for intermittent fasting weight loss, which include:
The 12 - Hour Fast
This diet requires you to fast for 12 hours a day which is a good option if you’re a beginner. You can fast between 8:00 p.m and 8:00 a.m; so you won’t eat during these hours. It’s suitable for a beginner since the fasting window is small as you sleep most of your fast hours. When you fast for around 10 to 16 hours, your body can transform fat stores into energy, releasing ketones into the bloodstream and encouraging weight loss. It’s an excellent method to start your intermittent fasting weight loss program.
The 16:8 Method (Leangains Diet)
Here, you can fast for 16 hours a day and have an eating window of 8 hours. This intermittent fasting method suits an intermediate faster who has already attempted the 12-hour fast and wants more results. In this fast, your last meal could be at 8:00 p.m and the next one is the next day at noon.
The 5:2 Diet
You can follow this diet whereby you eat portions of healthy food for five days, then reduce your calorie intake for two days. On these two days, the general consumption for males is 600 calories, while for females, it is 500 calories. It’s better to space out these two days instead of conducting a consecutive fast. This diet contributes to weight loss and reduced insulin levels, improving insulin sensitivity.
Alternate Day Fasting
This method involves fasting every other day, and you can avoid solid food altogether or eat a maximum of 500 calories on these days. You can eat as much as you want on feeding days. This method proves to be effective in promoting heart health and weight loss. This method is not suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions.
This fast is a 24-hour fast where you can do a complete fast one or two days a week. You will eat no food for 24 hours at a time, but you can take tea, water, and calorie-free drinks. On non-fasting days, you can continue with your regular eating patterns. Fasting is challenging as it can cause fatigue, irritability, and headaches. This method is recommended for those who have tried the 12-hour or 16-hour fast.
The Warrior Diet
This extreme intermittent fasting method involves eating small servings of fruits and vegetables during a 20-hour fasting window and eating a large meal at night. This method only has a 4-hour eating window to consume vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Intermittent fasting offers you benefits that include:
- Increased longevity
- Promotes weight loss
- Reduces insulin resistances
- Reduces markers of inflammation, protecting you from chronic illnesses
- Improves your heart health
- Increases brain hormone BDNF and supports the growth of new nerve cells