As you may know, I greatly admire Dr. Valter Longo. My version of his Fasting Mimicking Diet was a critical point in changing my eating habits. However, I have known for a couple of years that he is cautious in regard to intermittent fasting. In fact, he doesn’t recommend it. Just recently, I listened to a podcast where he talks about how skipping breakfast could be shortening your lifespan. I agree with what he says to some extent. That’s why picking the right intermittent fasting for weight loss schedule is essential. In this post, I am going to start by explaining how picking your intermittent fasting schedule can be a make-or-break decision and then, I am going to present my best schedule options for you to get started.
How Your Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Schedule Is a Make-Or-Break Decision
During the podcast, Dr. Valter Longo was explaining that fasting, like eating, doesn’t mean anything in itself. It can be done in a way that is harmful or done in a way that heals your body. He also mentions that intermittent fasting (well, I think he referred to it as skipping breakfast) could reduce your lifespan. The reason behind this is that the fast isn’t long enough for your body to switch to ketones for energy and represents a continued source of stress on your body. I can see how this could be true (even though many studies point to the benefits of even just skipping breakfast). Here you will learn to pick an intermittent fasting schedule that will ensure you avoid these pitfalls.
Picking an Intermittent Fasting Schedule to Switch to Ketones
Dr. Valter Longo is right, skipping breakfast isn’t enough for most people to get into ketosis (which is how you benefit from fasting). However, you can pick an intermittent fasting schedule that will promote ketosis. To do that. a ketone monitor is helpful, but not essential. If you start with a 5-day modified fast, you will know what being in ketosis feels like and you will learn how long you need to fast to feel the “switch.”
How to Know That You Are In Ketosis
If you do measure your ketones, you are officially in ketosis when your ketones are at 0.5 mmol/L. However, this is not the optimal level for weight loss and there is a pretty good chance you won’t notice much of a difference in the way you feel at that level. I recommend women aim for at least 1.0-1.5 mmol/L. Ultimately, you will combine your knowledge of the numbers on the ketone monitor with your observation of how you feel to determine what constitutes your optimal weight loss ketosis. Here’s how you should be feeling:
- More energy
- Better focus
- Less appetite
- Feeling hungry but happy
- Fewer food cravings
Fasting Without Putting Your Body Under Excessive Stress
The key to fasting without putting your body under excessive stress is to avoid fasting every day. Make sure you have refeeding days when you don’t fast any longer than you want and when you eat without restricting carbs or calories. Up next, some intermittent fasting for weight loss schedules that will enable you to do just that.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Schedules
What I love about intermittent fasting is one, the food freedom, and two, the variety of methods you can try to suit your needs and your lifestyle. Here are some of my favorite intermittent fasting for weight loss schedules.
The Warrior Diet
The warrior diet is my personal favorite and the one that allowed me to lose 30 lbs after the age of 40 without feeling deprived. The warrior diet is a 20-hour fasting window with a 4-hour eating window. When I did the warrior diet, I was fasting 4-5 days a week from 8 pm to 3-4 pm. If you pick the warrior diet, don’t fast more than 5 days a week.
Check out my Warrior Diet meal plan here.
The 5:2 Method
I liked experimenting with the 5:2 method after doing my first modified fast because the approach is similar: you rely mostly on severe calorie restriction. The 5:3 method requires two nonconsecutive days where you eat only 500 calories.
Read The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Method for Women to learn more and to get my meal plan with recipes.
The Eat Stop Eat Method
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method requires you to fast for 24 hours one or two days a week. It was another method that I used a lot when I was just starting with intermittent fasting and wasn’t consistent with the warrior diet. It is also my favorite maintenance mode method because the longer but less frequent fast works really well the gain healing benefits from fasting without losing weight (to avoid losing weight, one 24-hour fast every week or two works perfectly).
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Schedule Video
So how do you design your own intermittent fasting for weight loss schedule? Pick one intermittent fasting method that you think you are most likely to stick with long-term. Measure your ketones to ensure you get into optimal weight loss ketosis and make sure you allow for some refeeding days. You are good to go!