If you are looking to shred some weight then, you are in the right place. Intermittent Fasting(IF) is one of the most remarkable weight loss techniques that has recently become popular. However, with new studies coming up, there are so many iterations of 'IF' that it’s easy to get confused. Let’s see which one’s best for you.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting refers to the diet plan in which you intentionally alter a period of time for eating and swap it with fasting. This method is usually used for the purpose of losing weight or in order to keep calorie intake in check. 'IF' is also popular because it is said to help with better metabolic health, protection against disease, etc.
Branches to the same tree
There are several variations of intermittent fasting. The most widely used idea in 'IF' is time-restricted eating, which refers to restricting the amount of time you eat each day to a certain number of hours. Typically this consists of 12-hour fasting, 16:8 fasting, 18:6 fasting, and 20:4 fasting.
12-hour fasting is said to be good for beginners. It may be like, you eat breakfast at 7 am in the morning and then finish up dinner by 7 pm. This is a good beginner routine as it contains 12 hours of eating schedule and 12-hour fasting.
This refers to the 16-hour fasting period and 8-hour eating window. Depending on your daily schedule, you might want to start eating at midday and finish by 8 o'clock, or you might want to eat breakfast at 7 am and finish by lunchtime at 3 pm. These are merely suggestions, you can customise the timetable to fit your day. Just remember to limit your eating to eight hours every day.
This is a more intense version of 16:8 fasting, and if you have hit the breaking point in 16:8 fasting, then this is the next step for you. Confine your eating to 6 hours and fast for the rest 18 hours. This is a less-studied type of 'IF', however, it is speculated to help you burn carbs and fats at a faster pace because of the increased fasting window.
However, fasting for longer periods of time may cause fatigue, and irritability along with other digestive and sleep issues.
Here comes the advanced level of 'IF'. This is a daily 20-hour fasting and 4-hour eating schedule. This is speculated to lose more weight and fats as compared to 16:8 and 18:6 fasting. However, this is not recommended for beginners as it is already tough to keep yourself away from food for a few hours, so avoiding this method as a beginner is generally a good idea.
The Magnificent 5:2 Plan
This protocol includes following your normal diet for 5 days and restricting your calorie intake to up to 600 calories on the other 2 days of the week. You can choose any 2 days of the week depending on your work or studies or any other factors.
- During the 5 days, you may keep the calorie intake to normal levels, i.e., 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men.
- During the 2 days, take the calorie intake down to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. Also, keep in mind to keep these calories high in protein and you could even add fruits for nutritional calories for your body rather than empty calories and fats.
Snacking on Superfoods
When you break your fast it is essential that you don’t go and snack on some unhealthy junk food to let all your hard work go to waste. Rather choose nutritious foods like cooked vegetables, fruits, vegetable juices, poultry, fish, eggs, meats, whey protein or other protein and other nutrition rich snacks.
Whey protein powders could be a great choice if you’re looking to cut weight as they are known for quick digestive properties and easily mixable with both water and milk. It provides higher amounts of protein in a single serving. The key is to choose the right product and a trustable brand to help you through your journey.
Knockout series from the house of Absolute Nutrition. Popularly known as ‘India ka Imported brand’ has been backed by a legacy of 10 years.
‘Noble’ Whey Protein by Knockout by Absolute Nutrition has 24g protein per serving and comes with quick digestion and easy mixability. The premium blend of noble whey is made from internationally sourced raw materials to promote muscle growth and help you with weight loss.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Other than weight loss, intermittent fasting is also said to be beneficial for improved heart health, keeping blood sugar in check, improved gut health, brain health, and other benefits. Although these benefits aren’t backed by many studies, the fact that remains about 'IF' is that it can prove to be beneficial for you if done right.
Which is the right choice for you?
When it comes to 'IF', there is no one-for-all plan. However, some plans are more reliable than others in the long term. As a recommendation, the 5:2 plan is a better choice when we look at long-term prospects as it is not as strict in terms of fasting rules and you can have your normal consumption for 5 out of 7 days. It is also easier to maintain than the others.