Fasting Diet Types: How To Choose The Right One For You

Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé

are celebrities who have popularized intermittent fasting by openly admitting to the practice of abstaining from food for eight to 16 hours. Fasting for hours at a stretch is appealing since it is the easiest way to lose weight because it operates on the primary principle of restricting calories. It increases metabolic rate at the same time, targeting two functions needed to shed kilos. 

Fasting is also adopted by several people today since it helps meet short term goals, clears the mind and increases energy. It gives the body sufficient time to induce cellular repair processes, burn fat, gain muscle and drop insulin levels. Different fasting regimens based on individual needs and weight loss goals can be adopted accordingly. Here are the factors you need to consider before choosing the right fasting regimen for yourself. 

16-Hour Long Fast             

This diet involves keeping a window of eight hours to eat. Ideally, the last meal should be consumed at 8 p.m., breakfast must be skipped and the first meal of the day should be eaten at 12 noon. This leaves 16 hours for the body to fast. Women can stick to 14 hours because that could work better for them, experts said.  

Stay hydrated at all times even while restraining from eating food. Non-caloric beverages such as water and coffee are allowed.  The diet followed need not to be very restrictive and could consist of low-carb foods, which should be generally eaten at night.  

Fast for Two Days a Week

Eat normally for five days a week and then fast for two days, either consecutively or by spacing out the days. It is referred to as the 5:2 diet according to the frequency. During the fasting days, women can restrict calories to 500 a day and men can restrict calories to 600. Women can divide 250 calories per meal and men can divide 300 calories accordingly. People on this diet should watch what they eat on non-fasting days and stick to nutrition-dense foods without overeating. 

24 Hour Fast Twice a Week

Eat normally five times a week and then do not eat for 24 hour straight twice a day. For instance, from 8 am. on Saturday to 8 pm on Sunday. You can also fast from dinner to dinner. Solid foods are complete no-nos during the days of fasting and the people following the fast should stick to non-caloric beverages. You can initially start off by fasting for 14 to 16 hours and then go all-out eventually. Eat healthy fats during the non-fasting days and cut out carbs to avoid blood sugar crashes. 

Fast Every Alternate Day (4:3 Fasting)

Restrict yourself to eating only about 500 calories on alternate days chosen to fast. For example, you can fast for three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and eating low-carb yet nutritious foods on the non-fasting days. For beginners it could seem a bit extreme since hungers pangs could get the better of you and it might not be feasible in the long-term. 

Intermittent Fasting Doctor Carlos Pineiro weighs a woman at the town's health center in Naron, on September 13, 2018. Intermittent fasting can be adopted in different regimens and contribute to weight loss. Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

Warrior Diet

Eat only raw fruits and vegetables the whole day such as berries, leafy greens and zero-calorie beverages. During a four hour window, you can indulge in a feast for dinner of whole, organic, unprocessed and high-nutrient foods. This is one of the first forms of intermittent dieting that was popularized.   

Ori Hofmekler is the founder of the warrior diet concept that he learnt through his experiences in the Israeli Armed Forces. Since it allows for more frequent meals, there could be more calories to lose at the end of the day. However, not eating an entire meal for 20 hours a day could be a challenge to some people so it would be better to ease into the diet. 

One Meal a Day

This is similar to the warrior diet, except you do not eat for 23 hours at all. You get a window of one hour to eat one meal a day. Experts said that it should be ideally consumed during 4 to 7 p.m. every day. 

Spontaneous Dieting

This diet is all about following your intuition and not eating when you’re not hungry. You can skip entire meals if you do not want to eat at the particular time. Otherwise, you can follow your normal diet, albeit with low carbohydrates and healthy fats. This diet works best for people who want total control and flexibility.