Intermittent fasting is a dietary method that limits eating time instead of counting calories. It has been shown to boost metabolism and fat burning while maintaining lean body mass, all of which can help to reduce weight.
There are many versions of intermittent fasting in the world. Let’s take a look at the best intermittent fasting diet plans for weight loss.
What Is The Best Way To Do Intermittent Fasting
1. The 5:2 method
The 5:2 method involves eating normally five days a week and cutting back to 20 percent of your normal daily calorie intake for the other two.
I tried this method when I was new to intermittent fasting and it didn’t feel good.
When I ate casually for five days, my blood sugar level was not controlled very well.
As a result, during the two days of calorie restriction, it was hard to control my hunger, leading to me overeating on normal eating days.
The conclusion is that the 5:2 fasting method is not easy to stick to and the weight loss effect is not obvious.
2. Eat-stop-eat diet method
As the name implies, this method involves fasting every other day. In other words, eat normally one day and fast for one day, in a cycle.
There is another version of this plan, which allows about 500 calories on the fasting days.
I tried this method a few times after getting used to intermittent fasting.
In my opinion, this method is more suitable for Carb Cycling, which is commonly used to lose fat, maintain physical performance while dieting and exercise, or overcome a weight loss plateau.
It is best to eat low-carb meals on eating days. This helps to increase the feeling of fullness. Additionally, your blood sugar and insulin levels will not fluctuate significantly. In this way, you can have a better chance of sticking to the plan.
3. The 16/8 method
To follow the 16/8 method, you need to limit your daily eating window to eight hours while fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
After experimenting with all intermittent fasting methods, I determined this is the easiest method to follow for me. I believe many people also feel the same way.
With this method, you can eat two meals or a few smaller meals within an 8-hour window. It is best to focus on a low-carb diet, to make it easier during the fasting hours.
After finding out all you can do about each method, the main question now is whether or not you can persist every day?
The answer is this. If you can change your unhealthy eating habits, by avoiding high-calorie and low-nutrient foods, the 16/8 fasting method can be followed and maintained.
4. The 20/4 method
This is an extension of the previous method, that is, you reduce the eating window from 8 to 4 hours.
There is not much to say, other than your weight loss effect should be better than the 16/8 fasting method.
In addition, after 20 hours of fasting, autophagy has begun to reach its peak.
In other words, during this time, your body will repair itself. If you want to reduce inflammation, improve brain and heart health, or want to stay young and reverse the aging process, it is best to extend the fasting time appropriately.
As to whether it’s easy to stick to, well that depends entirely on your own physical condition and diet plan and dedication.
5. One meal a day (OMAD)
Simply put, OMAD means eating one meal in a day. It doesn’t specify what you eat, or even what time you eat, but most people have this one meal at dinner time.
This is an upgraded version of the 20/4 fasting method. It certainly can have a better result in losing weight and improving health.
However, for those who are just getting started with intermittent fasting, this method is difficult to implement, and it is not easy to stick to it. Remember, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning with any new eating plan.
It is recommended to try OMAD after your body adapts to intermittent fasting diets.
A Few Tips On Following An Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan
The above is a comparison of the more popular intermittent fasting methods. Finally, here are a few suggestions:
- If you have never tried intermittent fasting, you should take your time and let your body adapt gradually.
- From the first day, you should reduce snacks and change your diet, by adding protein and healthy fats to your meals. Additionally, eat more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, while eating a less high-sugar and high-carb diet.
- Try to extend the interval between meals as much as possible. Do not eat anything unless you are really hungry.
- Slowly transition to eating two meals a day, and after adapting, try to continue to extend the fasting time.
- Ensure balanced and comprehensive nutrition by eating more nutrient-dense foods.
- Listen to your body. If you cannot bear the hunger, don’t force it.
- Fasting for short periods of time can increase your metabolism, but very long periods (3+days) without food can cause a drop in metabolism.[*]
There are many ways to fast. Some methods are easy to stick to and have better results in losing weight and improving overall health.
Combining many other people’s experiences along with my own, it seems the 16/8 fasting method may be the easiest to adhere to.
After your body adapts to intermittent fasting, you can combine several methods and use them flexibly.
In order to achieve the best weight loss effect, a low-carb diet or a ketogenic diet should be used as a supplement. This will not only help your body into a state of ketosis, which accelerates fat burning, it can also help reduce hunger, making it easier during the fast.
Moreover, please remember to consult your medical professional before making any changes to your eating habits.