Intermittent fasting (IF) is a kind of eating that alternates between fasting and eating intervals. It doesn’t tell you which things to consume, but rather when you should eat them. In this way, it’s more appropriately defined as an eating habit than a diet in the traditional sense. Daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours twice a week are two common intermittent fasting strategies.
Different Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are several types of intermittent fasting that can be practised in different fasting windows. Here we mention 1 types of Intermittent fasting plans in detail:
Intermittent Fasting Plans for Beginners
The 12/12 Fasting Window
This program is especially suitable for beginners. It offers a very gentle introduction to Intermittent fasting. The 12/12 interval therefore is a bit more relaxed than the more popular 16/8 method. As the name suggests you will eat during a 12 hour window and then fast for another 12 hours. 7 days a week. So if you are having breakfast eg: at 8 AM, you can eat until 8 PM in the evening. Then the 12 hour fasting phase starts during which only calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea should be consumed.
The 13/11 Fasting Window
The 13/11 interval is an easy and gentle method for getting to know intermittent fasting. Nevertheless this variant is a little stricter than the 12/12 method. You will fast for 13 hours and you will eat during a period of 11 hours-7 days a week. Remember to drink enough liquids like still water and unsweetened teas are best.
Eg: If you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day morning 9 AM according to this fasting plan.
The 14/10 Fasting Window
This fast emulates the body’s natural clock by fasting form sunset to morning. Fasting for 14 hours is a great start for beginners. This fast supports weight loss and improves well being, as well as brain function and longevity. Eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
Eg: If you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day morning 10 AM according to this fasting plan.
The 15/9 Fasting Window
The 15/9 interval is suitable for beginners who have already gained some experience in intermittent fasting. You will fast for 15 hours and can eat during the remaining 9 hours. This program is little bit easier to maintain than the 16/8 method. During the eating phase, we recommend that you eat a healthy and balanced diet. In addition we recommend to consume calorie-free drinks such as water or unsweetened teas and coffee- this is particularly important during the fasting phase.
Eg: If you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day morning 11 AM according to this fasting plan.
Advanced Intermittent Fasting Plans
The 16/8 Fasting Window
The 16/8 intermittent fasting window also known as the Leangains protocol, involves eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. It may support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function and longevity. Most people start of fast after dinner, but some prefer to skip dinner. Eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
Eg: if you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day at 12 PM according to this fasting plan.
The 17/7 Fasting Window
The 17/7 interval is suitable for advanced fasters who wants to increase the effects coming from the 16/8. You will fast for 17 hours and eat within 7 hours. This program will activate your body’s self-healing powers, support weight loss and improve brain function.
For eg: : if you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day at 1 PM according to this fasting plan.
The 18/6 Fasting Window
The 18/6 intermittent fasting is a more advanced and restrictive fast. Your body will run out of glycogen and generate more ketones than during a 16 hour fast. This program is perfect to activate autophagy and supports longevity. It is very important to eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
For eg: : if you are starting your fast at 8 PM in the night, then you can break your fast next day at 2 PM according to this fasting plan.
The 19/5 Fasting Window
The 19/5 interval is suitable for that quite advanced. Please make sure that you have already successfully fasted intermittently for a few weeks before attempting 19/5. You will fast for 19 hours and eat within 5 hours. For practical reasons the meal window is often placed at 2 to 7 PM, but don’t worry if this time slot doesn’t fit to your everyday life. You can of course decide for yourself when your 5-hour meal phase starts. During the fasting plan the glycogen stores in your body are being emptied. With this program, more ketones are formed in the body than with programs offering a shorter fasting interval.
Please note: Prevent the feeling of hunger with enough exercises and calorie-free drinks. Also, make sure you eat a healthy, balanced meal when breaking your fast.
Popular Intermittent Fasting Plans
The 5:2 Fasting Window
According to this method, you consume only 500-600 calories on two non consecutive days of the week and eat normally the other 5 days.
Eat-Stop-Eat Fasting Plan
According to this plan you should fast for 24 hours, once or twice or week, for example by not eating dinner one day until dinner the next day.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been studied extensively in both animals and humans. These studies have demonstrated that it can help with weight loss as well as overall body and brain wellness. It may even assist you in living a longer life.
The benefits of Intermittent Fasting include:
Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help you reduce weight and belly fat without having to restrict calories intentionally.
Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, respectively, which should protect against type 2 diabetes .
Inflammatory: Some studies suggest a decrease in inflammation markers, which are a significant driver of many chronic illnesses.
Heart Health: Intermittent fasting has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Cure for Cancer: Intermittent fasting has been shown in animal experiments to reduce the risk of cancer.
Brain Health: Intermittent fasting boosts the brain hormone BDNF, which may help in the formation of new nerve cells. It may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting has been shown to prolong the longevity of rats. Fasted rats lived 36–83 percent longer, according to studies.
Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting?
It’s clear that intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. If you’re underweight or have a history of eating problems, you should check with a doctor before going on a fast. It may be downright dangerous in certain situations.
Women should be careful with Intermittent fasting and should ease into the practice. They should stop immediately if they face any problems like amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). Consider delaying intermittent fasting for the time being if you have reproductive difficulties or are attempting to conceive. If you’re pregnant or nursing, this eating pattern is probably not a good choice.
Please consult your doctor before starting your intermittent fasting if you have the following conditions:
- If you are a diabetic
- If the Blood Sugar regulation is an issue for you
- If you are facing low blood pressure condition.
- If you are under any specific kind of medication
- If you are underweight
- If you have a history of eating disorders.
- If you are a woman who is trying to conceive
- If you are woman with the history of amenorrhea
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s only one of several lifestyle changes that can help you live a healthier life. The most essential aspects to focus on are still eating real food, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Some people benefit from intermittent fasting, while others do not. You can only find out which group you belong to by trying it out. Fasting may be a very strong strategy for losing weight and improving your health if you enjoy it and find it to be a sustainable way of eating.