5 Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight

Intermittent fasting (IF) has several benefits that have been confirmed by studies. Apart from helping you lose weight, IF can also lower inflammation, improve gut health, and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. The idea behind IF is simple, you only eat during certain time windows while fasting at other times. One IF plan cannot fit all so here are 5 different fasting plans that you can choose from based on your lifestyle and preferences.

1. The 12-Hour Fast

Like the name suggests, you fast for 12 hours straight when you’re on this plan. You finish breakfast at 7 a.m. and have dinner no later than 7 p.m. This IF plan is usually easy to follow because you’ll be sleeping for 8 hours between the meal windows. Studies also support this type of fasting. Researchers divided mice into four groups; one group could eat whenever they want and the other three groups ate during a 9-, 12-, or 15-hour windows. After 38 weeks, the

group that ate at any time gained weight while the 9- and 12-hour eaters stayed lean even if they strayed from the plan once in a while.

2. The 8-Hour Window

In this plan, you can stop eating by 8 p.m. and have lunch at noon, so that there’s a 16-hour daily fasting window. This is a great option for people who need over 12 hours of fasting daily to get results. Studies done on mice have shown that an eight-hour eating window compared to eating whenever you want can help prevent obesity, diabetes, and liver disease.1

3. Alternate-Day Fasting

This IF plan has a fast day where you consume 25% of

your regular caloric intake, followed by a feed day where you can have whatever you want. On the fast day, you eat strictly protein, vegetables, and some healthy fats but no sugar or carbs. A study on normal weight and overweight adults found that ADF was effective for weight loss and protecting the heart.2 This plan is not ideal for beginners as you might feel the urge to have more food on your feed days than you normally would.

4. The 5:2 Plan

This plan is a slight variation of the alternate day fasting plan. The 5:2 plan allows you to eat normally for five days a week while eating only 500 to 600 calories on the other two days.

The challenge you might face is to control yourself on the calorie restricted days. Also, you’ll have to be careful about what you eat as not all calories are created equal. The type of calories you eat is as important as the number of calories. The goal should be to avoid carbs and restrict your calorie sources to protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

5. Erratic Hunger-Centered Fasting

This plan is a little tricky because most people interpret it in a way that suits them. If you’re thinking of going for this IF plan, you really need to be able to listen to your body well. The plan in itself it quite simple; you eat when you’re hungry and abstain when you’re not. The idea is to eat when your body is actually hungry and not just because it’s time to eat. People who follow this plan focus on eating sensibly and not eating anything for long periods of time. Though this plan is the least restrictive, it

relies on your self-discipline and common sense for it to succeed. So this plan is ideal for people who don’t want to be bound by rules but are willing to exercise their willpower to do what it takes.