Are you tired of trying to find a diet that fits your schedule?
That’s understandable: you need something that you can keep up with. If your diet isn’t simple to follow, chances are you’ll abandon it.
Which is why you’re interested in intermittent fasting, right? You heard it can solve all of your problems. You want to learn more.
Well, you’ve come to the right place, so let’s get started.
So What is Intermittent Fasting?
Let’s start by talking about what intermittent fasting isn’t:
- A diet
So what is intermittent fasting if it’s not a diet?
Well, to put it simply, it’s a pattern of eating; you’re scheduling when you eat instead of changing what you eat. Instead of eating three to five meals throughout the day, you eat one or two meals within a small time frame.
It really is that simple.
If you wish, you can of course combine intermittent fasting, or time restricted eating as it is also called, with a diet, e.g. low carb or ketogenic to get even better results.
Why Should You Consider It?
Humans have been fasting throughout our entire evolution, so the idea of intermittent fasting is something that our bodies are biologically accustomed to, even if we’ve never tried it before.
Without getting too technical, intermittent fasting makes it easier for you to consume a calorie deficit, lose body fat, and still eat the foods you love. It has also been known to possibly reduce the risk of cancer. Doesn’t that seem simpler than having to write down everything you eat in a food journal or weigh your meals?
Another benefit that intermittent fasting gives you is that it can actually help you live longer. That’s right, there was a study done in 2006 that shows alternating days of eating normally and intermittent fasting can lead to longer lifespans.
What Type of Intermittent Fasting is Right for You?
If you’ve done your homework, you know there are a variety of intermittent fasting schedules out there on the internet. You’re going to want to find the one that works best for you.
Think about these three factors when trying to decide on a schedule:
- Your daily schedule: this includes work, your social obligations, and more.
- Caloric needs: do you hit the treadmill for a half hour, or do you lift weights for 90 minutes?
- Lifestyle: do you have a taxing job that requires a lot of travel or do you work from home?
These factors will help you determine what schedule makes the most sense for you. If you work out a lot and travel for work, you’re going to want a schedule that lets you consume most of your calories in a small amount of time. Alternatively, if you work from home, you can try alternating intermittent fasting days with another diet. It’s all up to you, so let’s take a look at the different types of fasting.
This is the most popular schedule, you fast for 16 hours a day, which leaves you with an 8 hour eating window.
Fast for 18 hours, 6 hour eating window.
Fast for 20 hours, 4 hour eating window.
- 23-24/1 – OMAD
Fast for 23-24 hours, eat 1 meal. OMAD stands for “One Meal a Day” and is gaining traction as a good type of intermittent fasting schedule.
For example, if you choose to try the 16/8 schedule, you’ll spend 16 hours fasting and have a eight-hour period in which you consume all of your necessary calories for the day. This is the most common schedule for those who follow time restricted eating, as it gives them a large enough window to eat.
Also, remember that you get to choose when you eat; the schedule only correlates to the hours of the day you spend either fasting or eating. They don’t correlate to any set time of the day, so feel free to experiment with what works best for you.
For some, eating early in the day works best, e.g 8am – 4pm when doing 16/8, others prefer 12pm – 8pm.
Eat-Stop-Eat is quickly growing in popularity, especially among elite athletes. This is a schedule that alternates the time you spend fasting a few days of the week.
The way ESE works is that you spend one to two days a week intermittent fasting and you eat normally the other days. For example, if you follow 20/4 on Monday, and Thursday, the rest of the days of the week you eat normally with no timetable.
This is a great way to get used to intermittent fasting and is highly recommended for beginners.
The 5:2 diet is also popular but differs in that it restricts your calories on fasting days. This is the perfect choice for people who work office jobs or are generally sedentary in their jobs.
The way it works is quite simple: five days of the week, you eat as you normally would, without any restrictions on calories or time. Two days of the week, you restrict your calories to under 600 calories, which amounts to one large meal for the entire day.
Let’s Wrap it Up
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone; you have to be disciplined in the beginning, but after a while it becomes easier, especially if you combine it with a low carb or ketogenic diet. It’s all worth it in the end, however, so if you think this is for you, try it. Stick with it until you see results; you can do this.