Intermittent Fasting - Benefits, Types and Diet Tips

By Jenny Wilson March 29, 2021 in Healthy Life

Being careful about maintaining your health and fitness is essential to pursue the life of your dreams actively. This crucial matter of wellness often gets sidetracked by obsessively chasing specific or spontaneous desires tied to consuming particular foods and beverages.

The practice of intermittent fasting can help you break free from this cycle to help you cultivate a better lifestyle. Instead of eating to satisfy your impulses to consume something sweet, intermittent fasting can help you manage your eating habits. Doing so can build a disciplined routine that honors all the activities you should perform to support and improve yourself.

In this guide, we’ll elaborate on certain matters related to intermittent fastings, such as how it can be performed along with what it entails when you follow it successfully. Additionally, the given diet tips might serve to help you to follow this dietary routine rigorously.

Table of Contents

What is Intermittent Fasting?
How to Intermittent Fast?
Tips for Intermittent Fasting Diet
Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Intermittent Fasting Procedure, Diet and Results

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Doing intermittent fasting pertains to following a combined pattern of fasting and eating at different times.

Though this way of dieting does not put restrictions on the types of food you should eat, it emphasizes when you should eat these foods and in which quantities.

To hear a concept that urges you to refrain from eating at several hours might sound all too difficult to follow, but realistically, it is possible. The chances are that you already do it while you sleep. The only thing that will initially make such a diet seem monumental is the matter of dealing with hunger, which will soon not make much of a difference after your body adjusts.

Humans have already followed fasting since primitive times, thereby earning themselves the title of being the deadliest predator on the planet. Apart from this, fasting is evidently performed throughout history for spiritual or religious reasons—the goal being to help the body establish a balance.

Let’s learn about the different known methods of intermittent fasting that are in practice throughout the world.

When and How to Intermittent Fast?

Before you begin to learn about the different types of intermittent fasting, it is important to know that it is not logical to expect a method to work for you the same way it does for another person. Moreover, if you do not find one of these methods to work for you, you can then slowly adapt to another that intrinsically works better.

       1.   Alternate Day Fasting

Beginners might not do well with this tough fasting regime that requires skipping a meal every other day or consuming fewer calories. Among the different versions of this fasting method, some require performing it by only eating about 500-600 calories on the day of fasting.

Though this type of fasting is known to help lose weight and be more mindful about the food you eat, for some people, it might not be well sustainable in the long run. To successfully follow this type of fasting, you should normally eat when you aren’t fasting to avoid becoming very hungry for several days in a week.

        2.   Eat Stop Eat

This diet type involves fasting once or twice a week but with an adequate duration between both days of fasting. The days of fasting require one to consume no calories throughout the day of 24 hours from the time you take the dinner on a non-fasting day.

The only beverages allowed on the nonfasting days are water, coffee, and any similar zero-calorie drinks that can help you avoid dehydration and prevent you from eating solid foods. If the 24-hour fasting may seem difficult initially, you may start by fasting for mere 14-16 hours and then gradually increase it to 24 hours.

        3.   The Warrior’s Diet

Such a diet was one of the core concepts of intermittent fasting, and it deals with only taking a hefty meal in the four-hour window in the night. Throughout the rest of the day, you are required to eat less, say eat only raw vegetables and fruits in smaller quantities once or twice and then take the whole meal at nighttime hours.

Such a diet helps align your hunger with the desire to eat instead of surrendering to impulse eating. It is crucial that the smaller meals in the daytime hours are limited to unprocessed foods, or you may risk failing to follow the diet.

       4.  Spontaneous Meal Skipping

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t starve to death or lose significant weight if you skip a mean a few times a week. The spontaneous meal skipping diet does exactly that, requires skipping one or more meals in a week without a pattern.

This diet does not aim to starve your or your hunger, but rather, it helps develop mindful eating. If you aren’t hungry at the time of lunch after having a sizeable breakfast, you can skip the lunch and directly take dinner. Doing so will help you eat with zeal when you finally take a meal after skipping it once at a random hour of the day.

      5.   The 5:2

This diet might appear similar to eat stop eat diet, but it contains a slight yet significant difference. Unlike where you are required to perform a whole 24 hour fast after taking your dinner, in the 5:2 method of intermittent fasting, you can consume a certain number of calories on the day you’re fasting.

You fast for a day and then have regular meals on the two successive days, followed by fasting again and having meals for two days. What’s important here is that you should not ideally consume just one meal of nearly 500-600 calories on the day you’re fasting, and instead, you should break it down to two meals to better make it through the day without feeling lightheaded or weak.

     6.   The 16/8

It is perhaps the most popular method of performing intermittent fasting. This simple method requires that a person fast for at least 14-16 hours and then keep their eating window limited to 8 hours a day. Doing this every day might initially seem daunting, but it’s not so.

It is as simple as eating dinner and skipping breakfast the next day to consume lunch and dinner again and so on. Again, drinking zero-calories beverages is allowed in fasting hours, while one should maintain that you do not consume junk foods or too many calories during the eating hours.

Tips for Intermittent Fasting Diet

Using these tips for when you’re doing intermittent fasting can help you keep your body from starving excessively and make the hunger manageable for limited periods. Eating food containing fiber, healthy fats, and proteins could collectively form a more nutritious diet that also helps you feel satisfied.

  • Avoid consumption of junk foods.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthier meal.
  • Consume whole grains such as barley, oats, quinoa, and brown rice.
  • Take lean sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, tofu, beans, low-fat cheese, etc.
  • Drink water regularly because thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Make a habit of drinking some cinnamon tea while fasting as it is known to curb hunger.

Read More: Things You Need To Know Before Starting The Keto Diet

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

When you make a conscious decision to stick to intermittent fasting for reasons that pertain to gaining specific health benefits, the following are some of the results that you may observe for yourself:

Weight Loss

Following any of the abovementioned fasting methods will help you reduce body fat. It can lower your weight and help with reducing belly fat, too, without requiring strenuous exercises. The habit of eating vegetables and fruits will also contribute to having better skin and more fitness.

Healthier Heart

There are numerous things that intermittent fasting does to your body. Making sure that your heart stays healthy is also a perk. Intermittent fasting reduces cholesterol, blood sugar, and similar markers that later lead to heart-related diseases.

Brain Development

Some studies have shown that people who follow intermittent fasting may have an edge towards minimizing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It is also learned that intermittent fasting might increase the development of nerve cells and the brain hormone BDNF that are crucial for the brain.

Insulin Resistance

Some people can protect themselves from the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by following intermittent fasting. Such a diet may bring down blood sugar and insulin levels significantly that then help the patient avoid those diseases.

Anti-Aging

Although studies have shown that rats can live longer for up to 30%-80% of their average lifespan by following intermittent fasting, the same can also be true for most humans, as people have reportedly mentioned experiencing such effects.

Chronic Troubles

Following intermittent fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation effects in the body as Inflammation is associated with the cause of chronic diseases. Avoiding them allows a person to live healthier naturally.

Final Words

Following intermittent fasting may seem all too difficult, but it can be a boon for your body and even your lifestyle. You can not only find time for the things you enjoy doing, but you can also mindfully pay attention to each time you eat instead of merely putting food in your mouth. The habit of eating raw fruits and vegetables will make you eat healthier, thereby helping you quit junk food habits.  

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Jenny Wilson

15 articles by Jenny Wilson | View Author Profile

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