Weight loss is a battle. A war to get the body you deserve.
Your enemy? Intense food cravings and poor eating habits.
Luckily, it’s a battle you can win if you use proven weight loss strategies like fasting.
Fasting is one of the most potent tools on earth for reversing insulin resistance.
It is also useful for weight loss and its long-term protective effects against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, i.e., neurodegenerative diseases are remarkable.
Fasting also helps in the protection against cancer, liver disease, and heart disease.
It revs up your metabolism and reduces the chances of overeating or binge eating. Research even shows it boosts growth hormone levels, making you feel more youthful and energetic.
Now that you know how great fasting is, read on to discover the different methods of fasting. Then pick the fasting method, which you think will work best for you.
Fasting Methods for Weight Loss
1. Time-restricted Fasting
This type of fasting involves choosing a particular eating window every day. This will leave about fourteen to sixteen hours fast. It is ideal for people with families that have early dinners.
For instance, you can set your eating window from 8 am to 4 pm. Most of the time you spend fasting can be spent sleeping. Technically, you don’t get to skip any meal whatsoever.
However, the way you set your window depends on your consistency.
2. 5:2 Fasting
This is another popular intermittent fasting method. The concept behind the 5:2 fasting revolves around eating normally for five days of the week. During this period, you may not count calories or consider them.
But in the next two days, you may not consume more than 500 (for women) or 600 (for men) calories. The fasting days are at your discretion, i.e., any days of your choice.
The idea behind this method of fasting – also known as the Fast diet – is that a short bout of fasting keeps you compliant.
This method will work for people who dread cutting back on calories at a stretch.
3. Overnight Fasting
This is the simplest of the fasting methods. Overnight fasting is about going without food for 12 hours daily.
For instance, you can decide not to eat anything after 8 pm, but resume eating at 8 am the next day.
Autophagy (renewal of cells) still takes place even within the twelve-hour window, though the cellular benefits will be mild.
This method of fasting is easy to implement, and you don’t need to skip meals.
4. 24-Hour Fasting
This method of fasting entails eating once a day. You can choose to eat lunch and not touch anything again until lunch the next day.
This implies that your fasting period is twenty-four hours, which differs from the 5:2 fasting method I mentioned earlier.
The whole-day fasting period is basically twenty-four hours while the 5:2 fasting is essentially thirty-six hours.
I’ve actually written an article on the benefits of 24-hour fasting.
5. Alternate-day Fasting
Alternate-day fasting is all about fasting every other day. There are more than a few versions of this method of fasting.
One of the versions allows approximately 500 calories during the fasting days.
Several laboratory studies that show the immense benefits of intermittent fasting employed some version of this.
However, individuals may fast every other day – with such a fast incorporating 25% of their calorie needs, up to 500 calories. Non-fasting days are regular days when you can eat.
The originator of Alternate-Day Fasting, Krista Varadya and colleagues discovered how effective it was in helping obese adults lose weight.
The side effects of alternate-day fasting – which is primarily hunger – decreased significantly by the second week. By the fourth week, every participant felt more satisfied with the diet.
The Alternate-Day fasting method is somewhat extreme as you will be going to bed incredibly hungry several times every week. This is not too pleasant and is not sustainable over the long term. It is also not recommended for beginners looking to lose weight.
6. 16/8 Method
This fasting method requires fasting each day for 14-16 hours while restricting your eating window to 8-10 hours. You can fit in two or three meals within your daily eating window.
The 16/8 fasting method which was made popular by Martin Berkhan, a fitness expert, is also called the Leangains protocol. It is as simple of not taking anything after dinner and skipping breakfast the next day.
7. Choose-your-day Fasting
This method of fasting relies somewhat on your adventurous spirit. You can decide to do the time-restricted fasting, e.g., eat for eight hours, fast for sixteen hours. This can be done once or twice every week or every other day.
What this implies is that Saturday may be a typical day for you to eat, but no eating after 8 pm. Then the next time you touch any food would be on Sunday at noon. In essence, it is like skipping or missing breakfast several times a week.
A study has shown the effect of skipping breakfast, and this is linked to a lower body mass index (BMI). However, no reliable evidence exists – after randomized trials – which prove that skipping breakfast will result in weight loss.
This is because skipping breakfast has been associated with poor heart health as published in another study.
However, choose-your-day fasting is effective as long as you can adapt it to your lifestyle. You are at liberty to make it work according to any schedule even if you change it every week.
8. Eat-Stop-Eat Fasting
The Eat-Stop-Eat fasting method involves fasting for 24 hours, at least once or twice every week. This method of fasting was propagated by Brad Pilon, a fitness expert.
A 24-hour fast can be as simple as fasting from dinner one day to dinner on the following day. Let’s say you finish dinner on Saturday at 8 pm; you won’t eat anything until dinner on Sunday at 8 pm. That is a full 24-hour fast.
You can decide to fast from lunch to lunch or breakfast to breakfast. The outcome is the same. You may drink coffee, water as well as any non-caloric beverages during the Eat-Stop-Eat fasting, but no solid food.
If the goal for adopting this method of fasting is to lose excess weight, it is crucial to eat normally. This means you need to eat the same amount you will have consumed if you had not fasted at all.
However, this 24-hour method of fasting will be pretty challenging for many people. But then, nobody says you should go all-in straightaway. You can start with a 14-hour or 16-hour window, and then move towards the 24-hour window.
The Eat-Stop-Eat method of fasting also calls for severe self-discipline as you may find yourself ravenously hungry towards the end.
9. Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is one of the newest methods of fasting. It has to do with eating small amounts of vegetables along with raw fruits during the day. Then you get to eat a huge meal at night.
All in all, you fast during the day and then feast at night. But this must be done within a four-hour eating window. The Warrior Diet also calls attention to food choices that are not unlike the paleo diet. It’s basically about whole, unprocessed foods that bear a resemblance to what they look like in nature.
The Warrior Diet – which was made popular by Ori Hofmekler, a fitness expert – is one of the first diets that include a particular method of intermittent fasting.
10. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
This method involves skipping meals from time to time, especially when you don’t feel hungry or too busy to cook. When you skip a meal or two when you feel inclined, it is referred to as a spontaneous intermittent fast.
All you need to do is to eat healthy foods whenever you choose to eat.
Most people fail to lose weight through fasting due to a lack of consistency. If you follow any of these fasting methods diligently, you’ll attain your weight goal in no time.
The good news is you can get extraordinary results if you combine intermittent fasting short fat-burning workouts.
The short workouts will help you retain muscle mass and boost your metabolism as you maintain a calorie deficit.