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Diana Nelson

Types Of Intermittent Fasting: Which One Is For You?

Find out about different practices of intermittent fasting, and how some of them might be beneficial for your own health.

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Intermittent fasting is a favourite eating style of many celebrities, including Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and Elon Musk, it has long gained popularity among ordinary people too. Thanks to intermittent fasting, you can not only shed those extra pounds but also improve your health. That’s why it’s so loved by public figures. Intermittent fasting helps them stay in shape and be healthy at all times.

Another advantage of intermittent fasting is that it offers different options and methods. That is, you always have the choice to choose the right approach that suits you.

Methods of intermittent fasting – a small introduction

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. The basic principle of intermittent fasting is that by restricting the time frame during which one consumes food, the body is encouraged to use stored fat for energy, leading to potential health benefits such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation.

Intermittent fasting can take various forms, including alternate-day fasting, time-restricted feeding, 24-hour fasting and the 5:2 method. Intermittent fasting has been the subject of ongoing research to better understand its effects on health and longevity. Intermittent fasting can be suitable for some people, while others find that this approach just isn’t for them.

In one of the studies conducted by a group of scientists, the 5:2 diet showed that insulin resistance was reduced by 27%.

If you want to try intermittent fasting, you first need to decide how you are going to incorporate this style of eating into your life, especially when it comes to things like social events and active lifestyles.

What option will work for you?

Before you start intermittent fasting, you should have a good look at each type and find the most comfortable option.

1Time-restricted eating (the 16/8 or 14/10 method)

In this option, you have set fasting and eating windows. For example, you fast for 16 hours of the day and are able to eat for only eight hours of the day.

Since most people already fast while they sleep, this method is popular. It’s convenient, as you extend the overnight fast by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch. This form of fasting is a safer bet for many people who are interested in trying intermittent fasting for the first time.

Some of the most common ways are:

  • The 16/8 method: Only eating between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  • The 14/10 method: Only eating between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

This intermittent fasting method can be repeated as often as you like, or even once or twice a week – depending on your preference.

2The twice-weekly method (5:2 method)

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This intermittent fasting approach restricts calories to 500 for two days a week. On the other five days of the week, you stick to a healthy and normal diet.

On fasting days, this approach usually includes a 200-calorie meal and a 300-calorie meal. It’s important to focus on high-fibre and high-protein foods to help fill you up and keep calories low when fasting. You can choose any two fasting days (for example, Monday and Wednesday), as long as there is a non-fasting day in between. Be sure to eat the same amount of food as on normal days without fasting.

3Fasting on different days (or alternate-day fasting)

This option involves a ‘modified’ fast every other day. For example, limit the number of calories on fasting days to 500, which is about 25% of your normal intake. On non-fasting days, return to your normal healthy diet. The benefits of this type of fasting include weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammation.

One of the studies shows that this type of diet has been shown to reduce systolic (5-11%) and diastolic (5-10%) blood pressure in participants with high blood pressure.

424-hour fasting (or the ‘eat-stop-eat’ method)

This method involves fasting for 24 hours. It is often done only once or twice a week. Most people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. With this version of intermittent fasting, the side effects can be very severe, such as fatigue, headaches, irritability, hunger and low energy levels. If you follow this method, you should return to a normal healthy diet on days without fasting.

In conclusion, by choosing a method that works best for your lifestyle and health goals, you can reap the benefits of intermittent fasting while maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.

Five common mistakes in intermittent fasting

When you want to try something new, it is crucial to know how not to make mistakes in order to get the best results – intermittent fasting is no exception.

Not drinking enough water

The first mistake people often make with intermittent fasting is not getting water. Water is essential for maintaining proper bodily functions, and dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and other health problems. When you fast, your body may lose water through sweat, urine, and other bodily processes, so it’s important to drink enough water to prevent dehydration.

Overeating on non-fasting days

It’s easy to fall into the trap of overeating on non-fasting days to compensate for the calorie deficit created during fasting periods. This can lead to weight gain and negate the benefits of fasting.

Choosing the wrong fasting method

There are several types of intermittent fasting, and it’s important to choose one that is sustainable and suits you and your lifestyle. Choosing a fasting method that is too difficult to follow can lead you to frustration and abandonment of the practice altogether.

Not balancing macronutrients

It’s crucial to eat a balanced diet during non-fasting periods, including a mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Not seeking professional advice

Do not neglect this. Before starting any new diet or lifestyle change, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to make sure it is safe and suited to your individual health needs.

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Are there any risks involved?

Even though intermittent fasting is generally beneficial to our health, there is also a flip side.

Intermittent fasting is not safe for certain people, including pregnant women, children, people at risk of hypoglycaemia or people with certain chronic illnesses.

Hypoglycaemia manifests itself through:

  • shaking or trembling

  • weakness

  • sweating and chills

  • extreme hunger

  • faster heart rate

  • dizziness or lightheadedness

  • confusion or trouble concentrating

  • anxiety or irritability

  • tingling or numbness in your lips, tongue or cheeks

It is very important to understand that if you are at risk of an eating disorder, you should not attempt any form of fasting. Intermittent fasting is also known to increase the likelihood of overeating in some people due to restrictions.

If you want to try intermittent fasting, you should also be aware of some not-so-nice side effects. It can be associated with irritability, low energy, a constant feeling of hunger, sensitivity to temperature and poor performance and activity.

Ultimately, you should talk to your doctor and discuss these options. They know your health better than anyone else and can offer the right advice on whether any of these intermittent fasting options are suitable for you.

Important note from Healthypedia

We have to mention that intermittent fasting may not be suitable for all people, especially those who have certain medical conditions, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is always best to consult a medical professional before starting any new diet or lifestyle change.

Let’s sum up

Intermittent fasting is a popular approach to dieting and weight management that involves restricting calorie intake over a period of time. There are several types of intermittent fasting, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and eating within an 8-hour window. The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days a week and restricting calorie intake to 500 for two days a week. The eat-stop-eat method involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, which can be a challenging but effective way to reduce calorie intake and improve body composition.

Fasting on different days method involves alternating between days of normal eating and days of restricted calorie intake.

Hungry for knowledge? Here is more!

Here is an informative video on intermittent fasting basics for beginners from Dr. Eric Berg, a physician specializing in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. Dr. Eric Berg breaks down complex health topics into easy-to-understand, actionable knowledge.


Healthypedia FAQ

The different types of intermittent fasting include time-restricted feeding, alternate-day fasting, 5:2 fasting, and 24-hour fasting.

5:2 fasting involves eating normally for five days of the week and restricting calories to 500 for two non-consecutive days of the week.

Intermittent fasting can be safe for most healthy individuals, but it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary approach, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medications.

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