Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health trends, especially for losing weight. The idea is to limit the amount of time during the day — or even specific days of the week — that you allow yourself to eat. That way, you are less likely to consume extra calories from constant snacking. However, it’s important that the meals you do eat are healthy and contain the important nutrients your body needs to remain healthy, says David Reagan, Atlanta trainer.
Here are five of the most popular intermittent fasting diets that can help you lose weight.
1. Alternate-Day Fasting
The alternate-day fasting diet is just what it sounds like. You eat one day and then fast the next day.
However, since a full day of fasting is rather extreme — even for extreme weight loss — some people do allow themselves to consume 500 calories during their “fasting” days to avoid getting too hungry and weak.
2. The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is another intermittent fasting method that was made popular by health and fitness guru Ori Hofmekler.
The diet involves snacking on raw fruit and vegetables during the day — and then eating one giant meal during the evening. However, the meal has some dietary restrictions similar to the paleo diet. For example, you are supposed to eat healthier, whole, unprocessed foods — so no binging on junk food or fast food.
3. The 16/8 Method
Followers of the 16/8 method fast for 16 hours every day, restricting their eating window to just eight hours a day. By limiting your eating window, you limit your chances to consume extra calories — which makes weight loss easier.
The eight-hour eating window still makes it easy to eat two or even three meals a day. In fact, it can be as easy as not eating anything after dinner — and then waiting until lunch the following day before eating again. For example, let’s say that you finish eating dinner at 8 p.m — and you don’t eat again until noon the next day. Technically, you’ve just spent 16 hours fasting.
4. The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 diet — also known as the Fast Diet — is another popular intermittent fasting technique that many people claim has helped them reach their weight-loss goals.
You are basically allowed to eat your regular meals and snacks for five days of the week — and then restrict your calorie intake to around 500 or 600 calories for two days of the week. For example, it’s recommended that women consume 500 calories and men 600 calories on fasting days.
5. Spontaneous Meal Skipping
Finally, if you aren’t a fan of following a structured intermittent fasting method, you might like spontaneous meal skipping better. Essentially, you just skip the occasional meal — like when you don’t have enough time to cook and eat — or when you don’t feel hungry.
For example, if you wake up one day not feeling hungry, skip breakfast — and then eat a healthy, nutritious lunch and dinner.
In short, intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss technique that works well for some people but isn’t for everyone. However, if you are interested in trying it, several methods and variations are available. For example, alternate-day fasting, the 16/8 method, and the 5:2 diet limit your eating windows to limit your calorie intake throughout the day. The Warrior Diet allows you to snack on raw fruits and vegetables during the day — and then eat one large meal of mostly whole, unprocessed foods in the evening. However, if you are looking for a less-structured intermittent fasting method, try spontaneous meal skipping instead.
About David Reagan
David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer from Atlanta, GA, who specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.