Weight Loss Tips: 6 Popular And Effective Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting

There are a number of intermittent fasting plans and variations of them but the following 6 are the most popular and most commonly practiced.

Updated: January 15, 2022 11:35 AM IST

By India.com Lifestyle Staff | Edited by Anjali Thakur

Weight Loss Tips
Weight Loss Tips

Planning to kick-start your weight loss journey? Then give intermittent fasting a try. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

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There are a number of intermittent fasting plans and variations of them but the following 6 are the most popular and most commonly practised. Mukul Nagpaul, Founder of Pmftraining and Fit India Movement Ambassador shares the most popular and effective ways to do intermittent fasting.

  • 16:8 Method

With this plan, you fast for a full 16 hours with an eating window of 8 hours every day. Veteran fasters recommend that you start your fast after dinner, around 8 0r 9 pm, and break your fast the next day around noon or 1 pm. You can see why this makes the best sense. You will be less likely to get hungry after a good diner, while 7 or 8 hours will be taken up by sleep. Breaking your fast by noon or 1 pm the next day will feel like you are having a late breakfast or brunch. You also have room for a light meal or snack in the late afternoon, end your fasting window with a nutritious dinner and repeat the process.

Fluids like water, unsweetened coffee, tea or herbal tea are allowed during fasting hours and in fact, are highly
recommended to keep your body hydrated. If you’re a beginner, this plan may seem overwhelming. If you do choose it, however, you can start with a shorter fasting window of 10 or 12 hours and slowly build up to the full 16 hours.

  • 20:4 Fasting

20:4 fasting is sometimes called the Warrior Diet. It was one of the earliest diets to involve intermittent fasting. Made popular by Ori Hofmekler, a fitness expert, this diet involves eating one large meal in the evening. This large meal takes place in a four hour eating window.

During the other 20 hours of the day, only small amounts of raw vegetables and fruits can be eaten. The food choices for this diet should be healthy – similar to those on the Paleo diet. They should be unprocessed wholefoods that contain no artificial ingredients.

  • 36-Hour Fasting

The 36-hour fast plan means you’ll be fasting for a full day. Unlike the Eat-Stop-Eat method, you won’t be eating something every calendar day. If, for example, you finish dinner at 7 p.m. on day one, you skip all your meals on day two. You won’t eat your next meal until day 3 at 7 a.m. This equals a 36-hour fast. There is some evidence to suggest this kind of fasting period can produce a quicker result. It may also be beneficial for diabetics.

It may also be more problematic though since you’ll be going for extended periods without food.

  • 5:2 plan

This plan is the closest to a traditional diet but very different at the same time. The method requires you to eat normally for five days of the week then limit your calorie intake to 600 – 800 calories on the remaining two days.
You are not technically fasting on those two days but dividing 600 – 800 calories over three meals will mean you are drastically limiting your food intake.

Again, no super-restrictive calorie counting is required. Anyone can stay within the required range by using a simple calorie counting app, as well as focusing on low-calorie veggies and fruits on the two “fasting” days.

The real challenge with this plan is dividing the low-calorie  intake over your meals. It would mean consuming an average of 200 per meal, which is quite low. Some fasters cut out proteins and carbs on these days and fill up on vegetables and fruits. However, with a little creativity, you can add more variety and eat pretty well on these two days.

  • The Eat-Stop-Eat Plan

The rules of this plan are simple. It involves fasting for a full 24 hours once or two days a week. This means that if you start fasting at 7 pm on Saturday, you consume nothing except liquids until 7 pm on Sunday. You eat normally on the other days of the week. This is an excellent natural detox therapy for the body and gives the digestive system a much-needed rest. However, it’s extremely challenging for even veteran fasters, let alone beginners. For this reason, you should not consider jumping in feet first with this plan. It’s much better to build up gradually until you feel you’re ready for such a challenge.

  • Alternate Day Fasting

This way of fasting means that you fast for a full 24 hours every alternate day. Some versions of this IF diet allow you to eat up to 500 calories on a fast day. Others only allow you to have calorie free beverages. This isn’t the best option for any newcomers to intermittent fasting. You go to bed feeling hungry several nights each week.
This is hard to maintain in the long-term.

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Published Date: January 15, 2022 11:34 AM IST

Updated Date: January 15, 2022 11:35 AM IST