A person’s body is meant to transition between two opposite states: “fed” and “fasted.” And while modern lifestyles often allow for less and less time in the fasted state, this is actually the time in which you burn your stored body fat. And your fed state is when you store more. As such, for anyone looking to get fit and lose weight, it is important to make sure that you are experiencing both regularly. Enter an intermittent fasting diet.
Despite what you might think, intermittent fasting does not necessarily have to involve fasting for entire days, and it can simply be a calorie restriction or even time-restricted feeding. If you are considering an intermittent fasting diet to shed some weight, you might not know where to start. So we’ve collected a few of the most popular types of intermittent fasting 101 diets to give you an idea.
Before You Start Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and it’s important to make sure that it is going to be safe for you before you do it. Here are some things to know before you start an intermittent fasting diet:
- Check with your doctor before starting any kind of fasting diet. Insulin levels decline when you are fasting, so if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, the consequences may be more than simply going hungry — especially if you are on diabetes medication.
- Just because you are fasting sometimes, does not mean that you can eat whatever you like on other days. Switching between tons of junk and nothing at all is counterproductive — make sure to maintain a healthy diet throughout fasts.
- Eat smart on your “fed” days, ensuring to eat plenty of protein to maintain muscle, and perhaps considering a low carb, high-fat diet during your fasts.
- Fasting water is not recommended. Always drink lots of water during fasts. Hydration is essential anyway, but especially when you are not eating as much as normal.
Now that you know some of the essentials, here are some of the more popular intermittent fasting diets.
Rumored to be a favorite of Hugh Jackman, the 16-8 diet involves eating all of your meals in an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining sixteen hours. Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s a little more to it than that. Aside from the hunger that kicks in outside of the eight hours, it’s also recommended that you are abstaining from junk food and follow a strict healthy diet and exercise regimen in the fed hours that will help you with burning fat and gaining muscle. Overall, this diet should help you to plan your meals better, as well as cutting out late night snacking.
Rather than time restricting, this diet restricts fasting to certain days of the week — two days, to be exact. These partial fasts might sound daunting, but on those two days you do not have to go without food entirely; you simply restrict your calorie intake to 500 (for women) or 600 (for men) per day. Progenex Susta!n
is a great option for your calorie intake on these fasting days, supplying critical amino acids in a low calorie beverage. The other five days are regular eating days. This is one of the more popular fasting diets, and many have seen positive results from it.
Eat Stop Eat
Unlike the 5:2 diet, the Eat Stop Eat diet actually does involve going without food completely for an entire day at a time (longer fasts). The goal here is once or twice a week, and for a complete 24-hour period. This diet was created by Brad Pilon, a nutrition expert, and is popular for its relative flexibility. There are no restrictions or strict guidelines for what you should eat on your fed days, though weight training is recommended.
Alternate Day Fasting
To expand upon the idea behind Eat Stop Eat, many people like to practice their own brand of Alternate Day Fasting, or ADF. It also involves fasting for 24-hour periods, though with more flexibility to customize it how you want, whether limiting calories or fasting altogether and for one or two days a week.
Conceived in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, the Warrior Diet is designed to bring an end to the kind of ballooning weight loss and gain that many people experience. This plan involves undereating during the day and overeating at night. Controlled fasting and exercise takes place during the day, and a then a large meal of whole foods at the end of the day. You can find good fasting tips for this type of fasting.
Other Types of Fasts
There are plenty of other fasting types out there. Here are just a few of the “other” fasts.
- Dry Fasting: This is a type of fast that doesn’t allow water intake. The theory behind it is that the lack of water may help accelerate some of the protective effects you get on a regular water fast, like reduced inflammation and metabolic health. Fasting water is a more advanced fasting method that only people who have previous experience with normal fasts should attempt.
- Juice Fasting: Also known as juice cleansing, this type of fast is where a person consumes only fruit and vegetable juices while abstaining from solid food consumption. It’s helpful for detoxification and can last for two to seven days. The “Master Cleanse” diet falls under this category. The Master Cleanse aka Lemonade Diet is a liquid-only diet consisting of three things: a lemonade-like beverage, salt-water drink, and herbal laxative tea.
As mentioned — regardless of diet — what you eat during and after your fast is crucial. PROGENEX Susta!n
is a great thing to consume post fast, as it is specially formulated for fast absorption and maximum uptake. And for working out during your fasting periods, PROGENEX Force
can provide necessary BCAAs to help you power through with maximum benefit.
An intermittent fasting diet might not work for you, but it might be exactly what you need. Either way, you have to try it to find out, and these diets are a great place to start experimenting.