Intermittent fasting has, over the years, become a common diet plan. It involves staying away from food for a period of time—this could last from only a few hours to up to two days. Unlike usual fasting, intermittent fasting allows for the intake of water, as water does not contain calories.
Intermittent fasting is believed to have the following benefits:
- Weight Loss: when you stay away from calorie-containing substances for a while, the body does not have excess calories to store up and so starts to break down its calorie stores. This may present as weight loss.
- Blood Pressure/Blood Sugar: intermittent fasting may have a part to play in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels. [1, 2]
These are 5 types of intermittent fasting for a healthy body you should try out:
1. Timed Intermittent Fasting
This type of fasting involves setting out periods when you are allowed to eat and periods when you are not. This is great to try out if you can’t cope with extended periods of staying away from food—you can set your ‘no-food’ time around when you are asleep so you don’t feel too hungry.
In the 16/8 method of timed intermittent fasting, you fast for 16 hours and eat for only eight. For example, you can have food between 10 a.m. and around 6 p.m.; from then on, stay away from eating anything containing calories.
In the 14/10 method, you eat for a window of 10 hours and stay away from food for a window of 14. Let’s say you eat by 9 a.m. You’ll be able to eat until 9 a.m., after which you should stay away from food.
2. 5: 2 Method
This method of intermittent fasting involves fasting for two days a week and then eating the usual diet for the remaining 5.
The 2 days of fasting do not necessarily have to be complete avoidance of calories. You just should not take more than 500 calories. You can split this count between two meals: for example, within your two fasting days, you can have a meal containing 300 calories and then a meal containing 200 calories.
Some foods that contain a low number of calories include high-fiber meals and lean protein.
3. One Day Fast
This is recommended if you have been fasting for a while and are used to staying away from food for long periods. It involves staying away from food for complete twenty-four hours, only having water or drinks that do not contain calories.
You might feel very fatigued when you do this. If you feel light-headedness, then it is just a signal that it is time to stop.
4. Alternate Day Fasting
This intermittent fasting for a healthy body involves fasting on one day and then eating normal meals on the other. It is simply alternating between meals.
Eat food containing less than 500 calories on your fasting days, then go on to eat regular meals.
5. Overnight Fasting
As the name implies, this method of intermittent fasting involves fasting throughout the night—this means fasting for 12 hours and having normal meals for the remaining 12.