Intermittent fasting every day is easier than you think. Just imagine this:-
- Less food to think about preparing
- Saving money by not buying take away food
- Being conscious of the environment by being less wasteful
- Making weight loss effortless
- Actually, changing your body shape without too much effort on your part
The great news is, you don’t have to fast every day, if you don’t want to. There are many alternatives you can try, and that will fit into your lifestyle nicely. Let’s look at a few different ways you can approach fasting:
5 easy ways you can fast – according to your lifestyle
- Most popular: 16/8
This is a method whereby you fast every day for 14–16 hours and allow yourself to eat for a window of 8–10 hours. Usually you will fit 2–3 meals, depending on when you start your fast. I like to limit my meals to 2 (breakfast and lunch) with a small snack or two in between. The great thing about this method is, if you are not a breakfast kind of person, it will be easy to skip that meal – whereas if you prefer to skip dinner because you aren’t hungry later in the day, that can be your chosen way.
- Stop eat stop.
This only involves a 24 hour fast twice a week, broken up in between eating normally. The method is, eating breakfast (or lunch) and then not eating until the next day, either breakfast or lunch. It will depend on the 24-hour period you pick. A lot of people do find 24 hour fasts very difficult to sustain, but if you have been fasting for a while, these won’t even scratch the surface at all. Remember to start fasting regularly for 14–16 hours in the beginning, then transition to these longer fasts when you are ready.
- The 5:2 Diet.
This is a little bit easier to handle. You eat normally for 5 days, and for 2 of these days, you limit your calorie intake to 500 or 600 calories. Again, this is a great way to start your fasting journey and develop a routine of eating less. The more you practice this, the easier it will become to sustain the practice.
- Alternate day fasting.
This method is one in which you fast every other day (3 times per week for 24 hours) Some alternatives allow you to consume some calories, but I would recommend you don’t consume any food at all, and just drink fluids with zero calories (or very few – like coffee for instance) This is a great method for those that have been fasting a while, and would like to change up their routine somewhat. Fasting for 24 hours will be challenging for beginners in the fame, and perhaps a more realistic time frame as a beginner, would probably be a lot better for you. Remember, you can always aim to challenge yourself more as you become and advanced devotee to IF.
- Alternate hour daily fast.
This isn’t really any kind of well-known method, but one that I follow in which I really enjoy. I choose different fasting times for each day and save the longer duration fasts (20–24 hours) on days in which I know I won’t be training, Then I allow one day to extend my eating, so that it becomes a ‘re-feed’ strategy. This makes up for any lot nutrients that I may not have been able to have during the longer fasting periods. It also allows me to indulge in the foods I love once per week (which is usually vegan ice cream and hot cross buns). In my body building days, we always had a cheat mea. Now I like to have an extended feeding day, where I’m still eating nutritious meals, but allowing a couple of them to be something on the sweet side. Please note, this is not backed by science – I just like the way it’s worked for me. Here is a strategy for you to think about –
Monday 17 hour fast, Tuesday 18 hour fast, Wednesday 20 hour fast, Thursday 18 hour fast, Friday 20 hour fast, Saturday 12 hour fast, Sunday 20 hour fast. You can always pick and choose the hours you like; this is what I find to be the most manageable and can be done quite easily.
There is no right or wrong with fasting – and it is an individual choice in how you execute this method. I will tell you that the best kind of fasting, is one that works for your lifestyle, and gives you results. That can be something of this list, or anything completely different. Try one of these methods and see how you go – the choice to change the strategy is always open for you.