The past decade has seen a significant surge in a lot of diet and health trends. Intermittent fasting has been amongst the most popularly followed health trends. And it appears that the health benefits proposed by intermittent fasting speak for themselves for the popularity of this trend.
Following intermittent fasting has been found to result in lasting weight loss, revved up metabolism, fat loss, and longevity. Intermittent fasting is especially helpful to those who are wanting to create a calorie deficit diet, but are struggling.
Surprisingly, intermittent fasting isn’t all that stringent. It’s not as rigid with time as it appears to be. Intermittent fasting is one of the most flexible diets to have ever existed. Intermittent fasting has 6 different types of variations, and you have all the freedom to adapt to whichever method suits you best.
Here are 6 different types of intermittent fasting methods that will speed up your fitness journey.
Time restricted fasting, also known as the crescendo method, is a way of intermittent fasting where you get to choose your time of eating. The only prerequisite is that you keep a fasting period of 12 to 16 hours. Women are often advised to go above the 12 hour mark from the get-go, given the hormonal changes the body goes through. This method is also helpful for people who are trying to develop a habit of having early dinners. This method is bound to put your eating schedule back in order and discipline you if your meal timings have been all over the place. You can start by practicing it three times a week, and then increase the number of days as per your preference.
The Leangains method, popularly known as the 16:8 intermittent fasting, is one of the most popular intermittent fasting methods. Most people, be it beginners or seasoned practitioners, follow this method of intermittent fasting. Leangains method is also a preferred method for people who want to gain and maintain lean muscles, hence the name. In this method of intermittent fasting, you have to fast for 16 hours and have an eating window open for about 8 hours. This method works amazingly for people who are trying to lose weight and fat, and tone up simultaneously. Maintaining an adequate muscle mass can help in fat burning even when the body is in a state of rest.
Another very popular intermittent fasting method is the 5:2 method, also known as the ‘Fast diet’ method. This method is especially preferred by people who are just starting with intermittent fasting. The rules are pretty simple for the 5:2 fasting method. You are required to fast only for two days of the week and follow your regular eating schedule for the rest of the five days. The two fasting days are supposed to be followed with a calorie deficit, as well as a shorter eating window. The reason behind the popularity of this method is because it is probably the most flexible of all intermittent fasting methods, and can help you get into the groove of it pretty easily.
This method is one level above the 5:2 fasting method. Moreover, it is the next best method for people once they get used to the 5:2 method. The alternate day fasting method, as the name suggests, is all about fasting every other day. It is advised that people do not fast for more than three days a week, but don’t do this three days in a row. The alternate day fasting method can help you up your weight loss and calorie deficit game. However, we would advise that you only start following this method once you get comfortable with the 5:2 fasting method.
If the 5:2 method still seems too rigid to you as a beginner, fret not, for you’ve got an alternative for that, too! As we said earlier, intermittent fasting is one of the most flexible diets out there, and this intermittent fasting variation upholds the statement. Meal skipping, as one would understand, is an intermittent fasting method where you skip meals and formulate your very own eating schedule. You can decide your fasting hours and eating windows as per your convenience, along with how many times you wish to follow it in a week, or even a month.
This intermittent fasting method is best recommended to the seasoned players of the game. The 24 hour protocol requires you to eat just one meal a day, and only break the fast the next day at the same time as the previous meal. This method usually follows the dinner to dinner or lunch to lunch protocol. One thing to be kept in mind is that this diet should not be followed more than twice a week.
There you go, these are the 6 variations of intermittent fasting. While intermittent fasting may be highly effective for some, everyone’s body is different. Our advice would be to listen to your body and do what works best for you nutrition-wise. Happy fasting!