Intermittent fasting is a fitness regimen that focuses on eating and fasting at particular periods. Apart from promoting weight-loss, fasting improves heart health and aids cellular repair. Different plans work for different individuals. Here are some common intermittent fasting protocols.
1. Alternate-day Fasting
It entails staying hungry for one day and fasting on the next. One such plan involves starving for 36 hours and consuming whatever you want for 12 hours. By so doing, you induce a calorie deficit necessary for weight-loss. While you can eat as you please on your feeding days, don’t exceed 500 calories when fasting. In addition to reducing cholesterol, this program eliminates belly fat and stabilizes your blood sugar. Though you may experience dizziness, bad breath, weakness, constipation, and stress when starting, these problems go away as your body adapts to the program. However, consult a doctor for suitable weight-loss alternatives if you’re pregnant or suffering from chronic illnesses.
2. Leangains Diet
Also called the 16:8 diet, this method requires you to stay without food for 16 hours and eat within 8 hours each day. The 16-hour period allows the liver to deplete available glycogen, forcing your body to eat into fat reserves for energy. This protocol also boosts your metabolism, controls your blood sugar and helps fight heart conditions, inflammation, and stress. The fasting state should last overnight until noon the following day. Don’t ingest calories while fasting. However, you can consume diet soda, coffee, and unsweetened gum, their calorie traces notwithstanding. After that, exercise for one hour before breaking your fast. The post-workout dish should be followed by two smaller meals during the feeding window. Even so, you can adjust this pattern to fit your schedule.
3. Warrior Diet
The diet was inspired by traditional warriors who hunted all day long and feasted when the night fell. It involves shunning food for 20 hours overnight and filling up on whatever you like within 4 hours. Even so, you can consume minimal amounts of uncooked veggies and fruits, dairy foods, as well as boiled eggs during the fast. Having big meals at night boosts muscle development because the growth hormone is at its peak when you’re sleeping. Additionally, eating once a day generates the required calorie deficit for shedding weight. However, one meal a day exposes you to nutrient deficiency making this protocol unsuitable for athletes, expectant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those living with cancer, diabetes, eating disorders, and heart conditions.
4. Eat Stop Eat
This protocol requires you to go without food for 24 hours, once or twice every week. As a result, your body utilizes more energy than it takes in causing the required calorie shortage for slimming down. What’s more, the body taps into glucose deposits for nourishment instead of carbohydrates. Although you’re free to indulge in any food during the rest of the week, don’t exceed your body’s energy needs. Ensure you stay hydrated while fasting. Aside from water, you can drink sugar-free tea or coffee. While this is a safe weight-loss plan, it can cause hormonal imbalance, nutrient deficiency, and volatile moods. Final Thoughts Though most intermittent fasting techniques don’t restrict what you eat during the feeding window, go easy on junk food. Processed foods still contain calories which may frustrate your weight-loss efforts.