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If you are a first-timer or do not stay hungry for long, the whole idea of fasting can seem acute at first.
Fret not ! Intermittent fasting comes to your rescue.
This means you can eat for a certain period of time and fast for the rest of the time. While you restrict your diet during the fasting period, you can stick to healthy and nutritious calorie intake to stay fresh and healthy while fasting.
The benefits of Intermittent Fasting are endless !
Benefits of Intermittent fasting range from detoxification and clearing the immune system to weight loss and fitness. Prior to stepping into the intermittent fasting zone, research on the meal plans and its effects lets you pick a plan that is best suited for your body. The mix of healthy and tasty food can make the journey easy and exciting with desired results.
Fasting Diet Plans
1. 12 hours fasting plan
As the name suggests, the window for fasting is 12 hours a day.
It is recommended to fast for 12-16 hours so that the stored fat converts into energy and ultimately you reach your target of weight loss. As the fasting period is tiny, it is not difficult for beginners and they can eat during the other part of the day when they are not fasting. Keeping in mind the restricted calorie consumption, of course.
If the beginners find it tough to keep going with a 12-hour window during the day, the best bet would be to fast during the sleeping hours. Stay hydrated and practice little activity to stay fit and reach your goal faster.
2. 16 hours fasting plan
Alternatively known as the Leangains diet plan, this plan offers 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating time period, which is why it is also popularly called a 16:8 fasting plan. If you tried 12 hours fasting plan for weight loss and did not see much result, then you may level up by increasing the fasting period to 16 hours.
On this fast, you eat your last meal at 8 pm of the day and skip breakfast the following day to eat only in the noon. To stick to the plan, some people include fluids in their fasting window such as tea, coffee or juice. Hunger is natural and should be avoided in a healthy way, not a forceful way. Select filling food that keeps your energy levels up and running.
3. 2 days fasting plan
Also called the 5:2 plan, meaning eat 5 days a week and fast 2 days a week. On this fast, people follow a standard diet routine during the eating period of five days while they cut down calorie consumption during the 2 days fasting time.
Generally, people stick to particular days of fasting during the week, which should not be consecutive. It is recommended that fasting day’s consumption of calories is approximately 500, and the activity level should be minimal.
Avoid getting stressed during the course of the day as hunger can lead to headaches or irritation. But do not over indulge on normal eating days otherwise the final goal of weight loss or detoxification is lost in due course of time. Even after fasting, lay hands on flavorful food that is filling but not fattening.
4. Alternate day fasting plan
When on this fast, you choose to eat either fewer calories or no calories at all on the fasting day. Fasting every other day with no fixed days of the week, this kind of fasting helps to lose weight faster.
However, this may seem difficult for first-timers or those who cannot stay hungry for too long. In the long run, such fasting is not sustainable specifically for those who have certain health issues. Since this an extreme form of fasting, listen to your body, if you feel sick during the fast period, stop immediately.
5. Eat-Stop-Eat fasting plan
Under this fasting plan, you fast for a day in a week or two weeks. Opting to refrain yourself from eating from one meal to the same meal the next day amounts to 24 hours fasting window.
Since it is difficult to stay hungry at a stretch for such long hours, liquids such as juice, coffee, milk are allowed in the fasting window.
However, it is a big no to the solid food items. Sometimes, the trick is merely in self-control. If you need to divert your mind when feeling awfully hungry, especially during the final hours of the fast, try meditation or reading a book.
This not only keeps the hunger at bay but also helps to escape the side effects of intermittent fasting such as headache, fatigue and mood swings. It will be beneficial if you first go for 12 hours, then 16 hours and then 24 hours fasting time period to let your body get adjusted to fasting.
6. Skip a meal fasting plan
Relatively easier than other fasting plans, is the meal skipping fasting plan. It is more flexible and thus good for beginners. You can choose to skip a meal of your choice in accordance with your hunger levels. There is no time restriction and specific meal order that needs to be skipped.
Nevertheless, it is important to eat healthily and choose meals that are nutritious. Skip a meal plan is beneficial as you can work on skipping a meal as per your body needs. To get habituated to a longer fasting duration, you can begin with this plan to stay hungry when you can and eat when you want to.
7. The warrior fasting plan
Quite an extreme form of fasting where you are allowed to eat limited servings of fruits and vegetables within 20 hours fasting period and finish with a lavish meal at night. In order to keep your body in good shape, it is essential to eat in the right way during the 4-hour eating window. Drink a lot of fluids during the fasting period to avoid dehydration.
Intake of proteins, vegetables, and healthy fibers and fats is also a good idea to compensate for the fasting time. It is the most difficult plan as people are not comfortable eating heavy food during the night before sleeping. There are stringent rules on what to eat during the 20 hours fasting period and thus challenging to follow the plan for the long term.
The key lies in choosing carefully !
Increase the advantages of intermittent fasting by choosing the meal plan carefully. No one understands your body as much as you do.
Listen to your body signals and stay healthy.
Fasting as a form of weight loss is only useful if it is planned and regulated. After commencement, it must be maintained diligently, with adequate compensation when it is time to eat. Above all, if the body rejects the plan, it is important to cut it off immediately.