It’s an established fact that intermittent fasting (IF) works. It has a plethora of benefits besides weight loss. It reduces the risk of cancer, lowers blood pressure levels, reduces oxidative stress, lowers bad cholesterol levels and so much more.
No matter which type of intermittent fasting protocol you decide to go with, you can expect to enjoy some of the benefits of this fantastic method of eating. As for weight loss, deciding which style you go with is a very personal one.
You need to understand the fundamentals of IF. The shorter your eating window, generally, the more fat you’ll burn. This is due to the fact that your body is in a fasted state for a longer period of time.
Secondly, you’ll still need to be at a caloric deficit to see weight loss. While intermittent fasting is more forgiving, and you’ll still lose weight even if you consume carbs, you still have to be at a caloric deficit of about 500 calories to see weight loss.
Now, let’s look at the common types of intermittent fasting.
This is the most common type of IF. The fasting window is 16 hours and the eating window is 8 hours. This is probably the most easy style to adopt and has lots of benefits.
This style of fasting will require you to cycle your carbs. In other words, you can only eat carbohydrates on days when you’re working out… and the carbs should be consumed after your workouts. Other times, you’ll be required to be on a high protein diet that has BCAA supplements.
If this seems to strict, you can still follow it and consume your usual carbs, as long as you stay at a caloric deficit and not eat during the fasting window.
This is a very powerful style of IF and extremely difficult to do. However, it has the highest fat burning benefits. The eating window is 4 hours long, and the fasting window is 20 hours long.
You’ll need to consume all your calories for the day within the 4 hours. If you thought the fast was difficult, consuming all the daily calories within such a short window can be just as difficult. Nevertheless, if you master it, your fat will melt off faster than you ever thought possible.
- Eat Stop Eat
This style of IF was popularized by Brad Pilon in his book Eat Stop Eat. The concept is simple enough but applying it can be very tough. With this method, you’ll fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. Some of you reading this may already be gasping and rolling your eyes.
No food for an entire day? Yup… So, that’s a challenge. If fasting for an entire day is manageable for you, you can do this twice a week and on the remaining days, you can eat as usual (at a caloric deficit).
These 3 methods are the most popular methods of IF out there. There are other variations which involve fasting on alternate days, etc. But if you’re trying to lose weight, the 3 mentioned above are the best.
Pick one that you can manage. That’s the most important point. Don’t pick the hardest one so that you can see quick results. You’ll probably end up frustrated and quit. So, choose a style that you can handle reasonably well, and stick to it.
In 2 to 3 weeks, your body will adapt to the IF and within a month, you’ll be amazed at how much fat you’ve lost. You have to try intermittent fasting to believe it. It’s that good.