Intermittent Fasting is a broad term because it can have so many meanings with regard to how someone can go about doing it. In short, intermittent fasting can be vague. By example, when you hear someone say that they do intermittent fasting, is that really enough to understand how they fast? Not really. This is because you still will not really know when they begin their fasting window, how long or how often they do it, and when they finally break their fast on average.
In this article, we will go over 5 different and most common forms of intermittent fasting. If you prefer to sit back and watch rather than read, hit the play button on the attached video.
1. ALTERNATE DAY FASTING
Alternate Day Fasting is just as it sounds. In this approach, you fast every other day or every other 24-hour period of time. Many people say that alternate day fasting can be difficult to do right away, so it is not usually recommended for beginners. Plus, there is actually a different variation of this method where you are able to eat a limited number of calories on the fasting day itself.
But science says if you eat food, you are not fasting. That said, I won’t be discussing other variations of alternate day fasting (ADF) for the sake of keeping intermittent fasting simple and non-confusing to my viewers.
2. THE 16/8 METHOD
With the 16/18, you fast every day for 16 hours and have a daily eating window of 8 hours. Of all the methods, many people agree that this is actually the most common approach for individuals that enjoy fasting regularly. This is because, within an 8 eating window, you can fit in anywhere for 3 – 4 meals depending on your diet.
An easy way of looking at it is to simply fast overnight and skip breakfast. Another way of looking at it is to simply not eat anything in the morning. By example, if you finish your last meal at 9:00 p.m. and do not eat anything until 1:00pm the next day – you will have fasted for 16 hours.
Some people adjust the 16/8 and play around with hours to either lengthen or shorten the fast itself. By example doing a 14/10 or 15/9. But I always say, do not get too caught up on your fasting window numbers. Do what feels best – plus, some people might prefer to fast 14–15 hours because they feel like they do better with slightly shorter fasts as opposed to doing 16 hours straight. These small nuances do not make a difference.
3. THE 24 HOUR FAST
A 24 Hour Fast is self-explanatory. With this approach, you are eating nothing – no food for 24 hours at a time. A simple way to think of it is fasting from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, or dinner to dinner. The general thought is to only do this once or twice per week, or in other words, up to 2 out of 7 days in any given week.
An example schedule would be to fast each Monday if you do it once per week. Or to fast each Monday and Friday if you do it twice per week. This style of Fasting is also known as the Eat-Stop-Eat method. And please note, on the days that you do eat, you should always attempt to eat in health-conscious way.
4. THE 12-HOUR FAST
I know what you are thinking, “12 hours, what?” or “is 12 hours enough?” To answer that question, YES, a 12 hour fast is enough. With a 12-hour fasting approach, you eat for half of the day and do not eat for the other half. Many health and fitness gurus state that the easiest way to do a 12 hour fast is to fast overnight, which enables your eating window last most of your day.
An example schedule would be to fast between 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., where you simply make sure you finish eating by 7:30pm and wait until 7:00 a.m. to eat your breakfast. This makes the 12 hours fast great as most people sleep at night, so you won’t be as tempted to break your fast pre-maturely.
Overall, the 12 hours fast is a great option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is small in comparison to other fasting approaches and (as noted above) majority of the fast occurs during sleep. I encourage you to give the 12 hour fast a try if you’re new to intermittent fasting.
5. ONE MEAL A DAY – OMAD
OMAD is an acronym for One Meal A Day, and it is a more intense form of intermittent fasting where you fast for 23 hours and have just a 1 hour eating window. The idea here is to eat during that exact 1-hour window each day. An example schedule would be to at 7:00 p.m. today, and not to eat again until 7:00 p.m. the next day, and 7:00 p.m. the day after that, and so on until you decide to stop doing OMAD.
Many people who do OMAD try to have their ONE meal around their most active part of the day. But everyone is different and will develop their own their preferred approach intermittent fasting based on how their own body reacts. Keep in mind that your fasting tolerance, often times, depends on how long you’ve been fasting overall – it gets easier over time. So, although OMAD might seem impossible to an intermittent fasting newbie, experienced fasters can do it without hesitation or major hunger pains along the way.
TO CLOSE – LAST WORDS
You have reached the end, and now you officially know some the most common forms of intermittent fasting. Keep in mind, it’s important to know that you can drink water, coffee, or tea during your fasting window. Just be sure not to add any coffee creamers, honey, or anything at all to it liquids. In short, keep the coffee black and keep your tea plain.
Also, I always recommend to primarily eat healthy foods during your eating window if you can. This is especially important when intermittent fasting because you’ll want to nourish your body with nutrient dense food to ensure you getting all your essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, this goes without needing to mention, but you will see more-effective results and it is better for your body in general.
By the way, have you tried any of these methods? Is there a method that you do that I did not discuss? Tell me in the comments below.
Intermittent fasting can be hard to understand and there is no absolute right or wrong way to do it. You can fast for long periods or shorter periods of time. But regardless, you should always do what is best for you. So, keep doing research and learn the various intermittent fasting approaches. I encourage you to explore and test things out to truly get a feel for the type of intermittent fasting style you prefer. You can always mix things up!
I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our email list to be keep up with future posts from YAstrength.com.
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