Intermittent fasting, or time restricted feeding, means you are deciding to keep your eating window to a certain number of allotted hours. In this post, I will help you determine which intermittent fasting method is best for you.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
The benefits of intermittent fasting are so encompassing, it’s hard to know where to start:
- HGH (human growth hormone) secretion: HCH is produced by the pituitary gland and decreases as we age. It is used by the body to help repair your tissues. More HGH is secreted following exercise, fasting, and sleep.
- Ketone production: As your body runs out of glycogen during fasting, it will turn to fat cells to produce ketones. Most people start to produce a small amount of ketones after a 12 hour fast. To be considered in ketosis, your ketone level needs to be at least 0.5 mmol/L. This requires a longer fast, usually until lunchtime. Using ketones for energy helps on a regular basis helps you become metabolically flexible. You will notice your appetite decreases, you have more energy and feel more focused.
- Improved insulin sensitivity: Improving insulin sensitivity means your body is using glucose more effectively, which reduces your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes in the long run. In the short term, it causes fatigue, poor immune function, and food cravings.
- Increased cognitive function
- Increased energy
- Sustainable lifestyle: Intermittent fasting is a sustainable lifestyle because it doesn’t require you to deprive yourself all the time.
For me, the best part of intermittent fasting is having food freedom. My health improved without me having to follow a more restrictive diet like the autoimmune paleo protocol, for example. I still have to avoid gluten and dairy, but if I focus on whole foods and vegetables most of the time, I get to indulge too.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
Here are the most common method of intermittent fasting:
- Daily fasts: Many intermittent fasting methods require you to fast daily. You pick your fasting window (usually between 16 and 23 hours) and you practice every day. You don’t have to always choose the same fasting length, it’s good to play around and see what works for you. My favorite is the Warrior Diet, which is a 20-hour fast (read Why You Should Consider the Warrior Diet for Weight Loss).
- 24-hour fasts: Pick two days and fast for 24 hours. It’s called the Eat-Stop-Eat Method.
- 36-hour fasts: Pick two days and fast for 36 hours (one night, the next day, and the next night). It’s called Alternate Day Fasting. Alternatively, you can eat 500 calories during the 12-hour window during the day. It’s called the 5:2 method.
Whatever method you choose, remember, you most likely benefit from diversity. It’s a good idea to navigate from method to method once in a while.
Which Intermittent Fasting Is Best For You
Picking which intermittent fasting is best will depend on your health goals and what experience you have with intermittent fasting. if your main goal is weight loss, keep reading, we will talk about some specific tips that will help you achieve weight loss. Otherwise, if you are struggling with some health issues, some prolonged fasting may be something to consider. I recommend you learn about the 10-Day Transformation or Modified Fasting.
Take my quiz to determine which fasting method is best.
Best Intermittent Fasting Method for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, there are some factors you should consider when deciding which intermittent fasting method is best:
- Can you maintain the chosen method long term?
- Is it going to allow enough of a calorie deficit to see results?
- Is your chosen method allowing you to fast long enough to at least get in ketosis occasionally?
- Can you find a way to shake things up?
- Do you have more than one way to track your progress?
Most likely, you will have to try different methods before you find one that works for you.
The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Method for Weight Loss
If you are a beginner, the 5:2 method is one of my favorites. It will create enough of a calorie deficit (at least 2,000 calories) each week to see the scale moving down each week. As a reminder, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound a week, so you may not lose one pound each week, but at least half a pound.
What I like most about the 5:2 method is that it allows you to eat (albeit less) while fasting. Moreover, it is done only twice a week, so it’s perfect for beginners.
The Warrior Diet for Weight Loss
Another option that has been extremely effective for me is the Warrior Diet. The Warrior Diet requires to fast for 20 hours each day. It makes it easy enough to create a calorie deficit without feeling too deprived. You learn to enjoy and savor your food during the 4-hour eating window. You will also notice your appetite decreases substantially after a few weeks. Read Why You Should Consider The Warrior Diet for Weight Loss.
When You Are Not Losing Weight With Intermittent Fasting
Some people will lose weight effortlessly on the 16:8 method, while others will struggle on OMAD (one meal a day) or the 23:1 method. Each of us is very unique. If you are new to intermittent fasting, start slow and see how your body reacts. If you are experienced, but you are struggling to lose weight, here’s what I recommend:
- Try a different method: Keep experimenting with the length of your fasting window or try a modified fast.
- Eat whole foods: Make sure you are not binge eating junk food during your eating window.
- Give it time: Don’t stress about it, that’s not going to help. Sometimes the scale doesn’t tell the whole story.
- Enjoy the journey: The goal is not a crash diet. You are learning to enjoy a new lifestyle.
Furthermore, you may enjoy my post Top 5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight With Intermittent Fasting.
Which Type of Intermittent Fasting Is For You Video
Which Intermittent Fasting Method Is Best for Me Quiz
Don’t for get the quiz to discover which intermittent fasting is best for you.
Choosing which intermittent fasting method is best for you is not an exact science. The best intermittent fasting method will not only vary from person to person, but it will change over time for you. Keep in mind that the best way to keep benefiting from intermittent fasting, particularly if you are a woman, is to stay flexible. Learn to listen to your body and enjoy the journey.