In a prior blog, I addressed the basics of intermittent fasting and why you might want to give it a try to achieve your weight loss goals. As mentioned, intermittent fasting is essentially a pattern of eating that defines a specific period of time during your waking hours in which you will eat, and then you fast for the remaining hours.
If you research intermittent fasting, you will find that there are variety of different methods from which you can choose. It can be a challenge to find the right method for you with all the available options, but as is the case with finding the right formula for diet, exercise and stress management, you must investigate and test the options and find the perfect fit for your body and lifestyle. Below are the top five popular variations of intermittent fasting, with a brief description:
- 16:8 Method: Using the 16:8 method, you would eat during an eight-hour period you select, and then fast for the remaining sixteen hours. There are no limitations or calories restrictions on what you are allowed to eat during your eight-hour eating window.
- Eat Stop Eat: This method features a full 24- hour fast either one or two days per week, with normal eating the remaining days of the week.
- The 5:2 Diet: This method features a modified fast two days of the week (only 500 to 600 calories), with normal eating the remaining five days of the week.
- The Warrior Diet: This method permits a four-hour eating window in the evening, and “fasting” the remaining 20 hours of the day by only eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables.
- Alternate-day Fasting: Using this method, you would fast every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.
Assuming any sort of intermittent fasting is something you would like to try, it makes sense to give each of these methods a try and see which one works best for you. I personally use a five-hour eating window (generally between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm), and fast for the remainder of the day. I adjust my eating window on a weekly basis depending upon what my schedule holds for the upcoming week.
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