You know years ago when everyone everywhere seemed to talk about the Atkins diet? Well, now seems the same thing is happening with intermittent fasting – legit most people I know have tried it. The good news? Those who stick to it lose a shite load of body fat. Ummm, yes please. The bad news? It’s damn hard and you’re probably going to get hangrrrrrry… but then the weight loss… worth it? Let’s take a look…
The basic concept behind intermittent fasting is that you’re not restricted in what you eat – just when you eat it. So you can eat that bag of chips – just as long as it’s within the time period you’re allowed to eat (although most do recommend you keep it as healthy as possible on the times you are allowed to eat). Restrictions vary between different types of intermittent fasting – some methods base their restrictions on hours and some on days.
There are different types of intermittent fasting methods, but the five you hear most often about are:
16/8 Method (otherwise known as Leangains)
This involves fasting each day for 14-16 hours and then just eating in a time period “window” of 8-10 hours. Within the 8-10 hours, you can have as many meals as you like, however, it is recommended that you don’t pig out on junk food in the eating “window”. This one is pretty simple if you’re happy to skip breakfast – just make sure you have an early dinner.
5:2 Diet (otherwise known as the Fast Diet)
The 5:2 Diet – or as I like to think of it: The Diet I Failed Miserably At (what can I say, I like my food – and lots of it!), this diet involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and then restricting calories to 500-600 for two days per week. It is recommended women have just 500 calories on their “fasting” days. A good idea with this one is to find a routine – e.g. make every Monday and Thursday your fasting days.
This diet involves a 24-hour fast either once or twice per week. Think of it as doing the 24 hour famine – but on a weekly basis. To make it work, I’d recommend having as early as dinner as possible the day before (e.g. 5.30pm dinner on the Tuesday) and then you can have dinner at 6pm on the Wednesday and you’ve done your fast. Just be wary of being a glutton on the days you can eat because you’ve made yourself so ravenous – this will undo all your good work.
The Warrior Diet
If you like a big dinner – then this one is for you. On the Warrior Diet – during the day you’re allowed to eat a small portion of raw fruit and veggies, then in the evening you can treat yourself to a big dinner. The basic concept is that you fast during the day and feast at night.
Alternate Day Fasting
This one is for the hard-core diligent eating controllers (i.e. not me!) – it requires you to fast every alternate day. Fasting can be restricting food altogether, or restricting yourself to 500 calories. This means you eat normally for one day, and then the next day you starve yourself. But if you can do it – then I applaud you completely and you deserve the reward of being complete #bodygoals.