It's claimed to cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and perhaps even extend lifespan.
1. The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 Hours Each Day<p>The 16/8 Method involves fasting every day for 14 to16 hours and restricting your daily "eating window" to 8-10 hours.</p><p>Within the eating window, you can fit in 2, 3, or more meals.</p><p>This method is also known as the Leangains protocol and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan.</p><p>Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast.</p><p>For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 p.m. and don't eat until noon the next day, you're technically fasting for 16 hours.</p><p>It's generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours, because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts.</p><p>For people who get hungry in the morning and like to eat breakfast, this method may be hard to get used to at first. However, many breakfast skippers actually instinctively eat this way.</p><p>You can drink <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day" target="_blank">water</a>, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee" target="_blank">coffee</a>, and other noncaloric beverages during the fast, which can help reduce feelings of hunger.</p><p>It's very important to primarily eat healthy foods during your eating window. This method won't work if you eat lots of junk food or an excessive number of calories.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The 16/8 method involves daily fasts of 16 hours for men and 14-15 hours for women. Each day you'll restrict your eating to an 8- to 10-hour "eating window" where you can fit in 2, 3, or more meals.</p>
2. The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 Days Per Week<p>The <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/the-5-2-diet-guide" target="_blank">5:2 diet</a> involves eating normally 5 days of the week while restricting <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day" target="_blank">calories</a> to 500-600 for two days out of the week.</p><p>This diet is also called The Fast Diet and was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley.</p><p>On the fasting days, it's recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600 calories.</p><p>For example, you might eat normally every day of the week except Mondays and Thursdays. For those two days, you eat two small meals (250 calories per meal for women and 300 calories for men).</p><p>As critics correctly point out, there are no studies testing the 5:2 diet itself, but there are plenty of studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The 5:2 diet, or the Fast diet, involves eating 500-600 calories for two days out of the week and eating normally the other 5 days.</p>
3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do a 24-Hour Fast, Once or Twice a Week<p>Eat-Stop-Eat involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice per week.</p><p>This method was popularized by fitness expert Brad Pilon and has been quite popular for a few years.</p><p>By fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day, this amounts to a full 24-hour fast.</p><p>For example, if you finish dinner at 7 p.m. Monday and don't eat until dinner at 7 p.m. the next day, you've just done a full 24-hour fast.</p><p>You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. The end result is the same.</p><p>Water, coffee, and other noncaloric beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted.</p><p>If you're doing this to lose weight, it's very important that you eat normally during the eating periods. As in, eat the same amount of food as if you hadn't been fasting at all.</p><p>The potential downside of this method is that a full 24-hour fast may be fairly difficult for many people.</p><p>However, you don't need to go all-in right away. Starting with 14-16 hours and then moving upward from there is fine.</p><p>I've personally done this a few times. I found the first part of the fast very easy, but in the last few hours, I became ravenously hungry.</p><p>I needed to apply some serious self-discipline to finish the full 24 hours, and I often found myself giving up and eating dinner a bit earlier.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Eat-Stop-Eat is an intermittent fasting program with one or two 24-hour fasts per week.</p>
4. Alternate-Day Fasting: Fast Every Other Day<p>Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day.</p><p>There are several different versions of this method. Some of them allow about 500 calories during the fasting days.</p><p>Many of the lab studies showing health benefits of intermittent fasting used some version of this method.</p><p>A full fast every other day can seem rather extreme, so it's not recommended for beginners.</p><p>With this method, you will be going to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long term.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.</p>
5. The Warrior Diet: Fast During the Day, Eat a Huge Meal at Night<p>The Warrior Diet was popularized by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler.</p><p>It involves eating small amounts of raw <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-fruit-good-or-bad-for-your-health" target="_blank">fruits</a> and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-healthiest-vegetables-on-earth" target="_blank">vegetables</a> during the day and eating one huge meal at night.</p><p>Basically, you "fast" all day and "feast" at night within a 4-hour eating window.</p><p>The Warrior Diet was one of the first popular "diets" to include a form of intermittent fasting.</p><p>This diet also emphasizes food choices that are quite similar to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu" target="_blank">a paleo diet</a> — whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The Warrior Diet is about eating only small amounts of vegetables and fruits during the day and eating one huge meal at night.</p>
6. Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Skip Meals When Convenient<p>You don't actually need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to reap some of the benefits.</p><p>Another option is to simply skip meals from time to time, such as when you don't feel hungry or are too busy to cook and eat.</p><p>It's a myth that people need to eat every few hours or they'll hit "<a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/starvation-mode" target="_blank">starvation mode</a>" or lose muscle.</p><p>The human body is well equipped to handle long periods of famine, let alone missing one or two meals from time to time.</p><p>So, if you're really not hungry one day, skip breakfast and just eat a healthy lunch and dinner. Or, if you're traveling somewhere and can't find anything you want to eat, do a short fast.</p><p>Skipping one or two meals when you feel inclined to do so is basically a spontaneous intermittent fast.</p><p>Just make sure to eat <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/50-super-healthy-foods" target="_blank">healthy foods</a> during the other meals.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Another more "natural" way to do intermittent fasting is to simply skip one or two meals when you don't feel hungry or don't have time to eat.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>There are a lot of people getting great results with some of these methods.</p><p>Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It's not something that anyone <em>needs</em> to do. It's just another tool in the toolbox that can be useful for some people.</p><p>Some also believe that it may not be as beneficial for women as men. It may also not be a recommended choice for people who have or are prone to eating disorders.</p><p>If you decide to try intermittent fasting, keep in mind that you need to eat healthy as well.</p><p>It's not possible to binge on junk foods during the eating periods and expect <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible" target="_blank">to lose weight</a> and improve health.</p><p>Calories still count, and food quality is still absolutely crucial.</p><p>For more details on intermittent fasting, read: <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide" target="_blank">Intermittent Fasting 101 — The Ultimate Beginner's Guide</a>.</p>
- Intermittent Fasting Could Be Part of a Healthy Lifestyle, Studies Show ›
- Does Intermittent Fasting Boost Your Metabolism? - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Are you looking to change your eating habits in the New Year?
A new review of the evidence published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday suggests that intermittent fasting — the practice of limiting how much you eat during the day or week — can actually be a healthy way to eat.
- Limited Eating Times Could Be a New Way to Fight Obesity and ... ›
- From Sirtfood to Keto Ultra, What Experts Think of 2019's Top ... ›
- Health Benefits of Fasting: Splitting Fact From Fiction | Diet vs Disease ›
A time-restricted eating plan provides a new way to fight obesity and metabolic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By Satchin Panda and Pam Taub
People with obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are often advised to eat less and move more, but our new research suggests there is now another simple tool to fight off these diseases: restricting your eating time to a daily 10-hour window.
Aren't we all looking for an easy way when it comes to losing weight? Why wait months for great results if you can have them sooner? Well, now you can!
You've probably heard about the keto diet and wondered how you can also get the incredible weight loss results you've seen plastered all over social media.
1. Be Prepared: Create the Perfect Keto Environment<p>As with anything in life, preparation is key to succeeding with your goals. So setting yourself up and creating the perfect environment for reaching your keto goals is essential for motivating you to sustain a long-term success plan. </p><p>The battle between your emotional brain versus your rational brain is a tough one to fight when it comes to making the right food choices. What we see, smell, feel or think can trigger a strong response that can make dieting incredibly challenging as the initial euphoria and willpower of the new diet fades into oblivion.</p><p>It is hard to remain motivated, strong-willed, or disciplined in those moments when the uncontrollable cravings become too much and we cave in. This is the main reason why sustainable weight loss is so difficult and one of the fundamental mechanisms behind weight regain. We stick to the diet for a few months, but those potent food triggers and desires win out in the long run. Our rational mind may win some battles at first, but our emotional mind will usually win the war.</p><p>So, making it as easy as you can within the environment you operate within is paramount to successful food choices. </p><p>One of the best ways to address this common issue is to change your food environment so that it influences you to make better choices instead of unhealthy ones. This weight loss hack will remove the triggers that cause many of the internal conflicts between your emotional mind and rational mind.</p><p>Let's take a look at what you can do at home and on the go to ensure weight loss that is easier to achieve and sustain.</p><h4>Changing Your Home Food Environment </h4><ul> <li>Take away carb heavy or unhealthy foods. If there are other family members to consider, store in a place that is difficult to reach, reducing temptation and reducing craving triggers.</li><li>Alternatively, make all keto-friendly foods easy to access in convenient places to increase your chances to maintain diet success.</li><li>Reduce portion sizes by eating off smaller plates. <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article/39/2/215/1795747" target="_blank">Studies</a> have shown up to 22% reduction in calories by simply reducing the size of the plate we eat from! The belief is that the portion size looks much bigger giving the optical illusion that you are eating more than you actually are, helping you to feel full quicker and for longer.</li><li>Plan for sweet cravings! They are something that you need to be well ready for because they are definitely going to happen - it is unavoidable. Stock up on keto-friendly sweeteners and prepare keto desserts ahead of time. There are so many delicious recipes out there to combat your sweet tooth just check out Pinterest and <a href="https://www.instagram.com" target="_blank">Instagram</a>! But, be aware that you can still gain weight from eating keto-friendly desserts, they are not calorie free!</li></ul><h4>Changing Your Food Environment When on the Go</h4><p>Being out of the safe prepared environment of a keto-friendly home can be a real challenge but with a little forethought, being out on the go doesn't need to be as daunting as it may seem. By making a few simple changes, you can prevent weight gain while traveling:</p><ul><li>Carry snacks that are keto-friendly with you. Having food that is easily on hand will lower the chances of just grabbing whatever you can get your hands on and keep your cravings at bay and prevent overeating.</li><li>Do your research before you leave the house. If you know where you are going, check menus and which stores there are in the area to find specific keto-friendly options available.</li><li>Don't beat yourself up with a slight deviation. If you are away for a few days, it won't do harm to reach out for some local food within moderation. You don't have to stay on keto to lose weight and prevent weight gain while traveling. As long as you are sensible with your choices and remain active, a short deviation is not going to throw you off track.</li></ul><div></div><div></div><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTE1OTcwNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTIxNjA0NH0.227v6mwygziQcoQWNl0qgUbduIfVpxsyFbo1ooVH_KY/img.jpg?width=980" id="eccd8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="51bc589c61a1632a66ad6c73914c61e6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
2. Introduce MCT Oil<p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5858534/" target="_blank">Research shows</a> that the benefits of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), also known as the 'friendly fat', is great for supporting the body to ensure great results for keto dieters.</p><p>MCT's are digested very differently to other fats as they go straight to the liver where they are converted into ketones. Increased ketones help your body reach ketosis faster and many have reported improved cognitive energy and feeling less hungry. Other positive benefits include improved gut health as well as thermogenic effects to help burn fat faster.</p>Experts suggest that MCT oil is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938417302111" target="_blank">more effective</a> than coconut oil as it contains a lower number of carbons in the fat chain which are more rapidly absorbed into the body.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTE1OTU2MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzgzNjg3Nn0.-mJUTLWlPVxTsBCnyMmuEAxwlEDdAsJAHmOWyaP9tsE/img.jpg?width=980" id="ecf60" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c1515539567802b1c56e437b9d35daa6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
3. Take Exogenous Ketone Salts<p>Adding exogenous ketone salts in the way of nutritional health supplements is an effective way to help increase the level of ketones in the blood more than what is typically achievable with diet alone. Top quality exogenous ketones <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670148/" target="_blank">help support the body</a> during the keto diet in a number of ways including:</p><ul><li>Speeding up ketosis<br></li><li>Maintaining ketosis<br></li><li>Staving off keto flu<br></li><li>Restoring lost electrolytes<br></li><li>Suppressing appetite<br></li><li>Increasing energy</li></ul><p>A top quality exogenous ketone supplement should contain at least 3-4 types of BHB derived ketone salts including sodium, calcium, magnesium and the much ignored, but essential, potassium. If you are able to find a supplement that also contains MCT oil, you are onto a winner! An effective daily serving should be around 2000mg on average. </p>
4. Be Active and Exercise<p>The first few weeks on keto is not a good time to try a new workout so bear this in mind when first starting. Once the initial keto flu symptoms have subsided (which can occur in the first few weeks), this is the time to add exercise and activity to the mix.</p> <p>General advice includes continuing with your usual routines but not introducing anything new until your body has established ketosis and the grogginess of keto flu has passed. </p><h4>Fuel Your Body</h4><p>Keto dieters have a tendency to undereat given that they exclude an entire food group - carbs - as well as the fact the keto Diet suppresses appetite so the body may not receive enough energy to workout effectively. A reduction in calories along with your exercise routine will very likely make you feel unwell and affect your performance. Keep a check on what you eat especially before working out and make sure you are consuming enough calories from fat. </p><h4>Choose Type of Exercise Wisely</h4><p>It may well be that you have to rethink your workout routine and what once worked for you may not be suitable anymore whilst doing keto. Even though diets high in a specific macronutrient such as fat generate an increased ability to utilize that macronutrient as fuel, during high intensity workouts (such as HIIT and CrossFit) the body uses glycogen as fuel regardless of the macronutrient ratio intake. Stores of glycogen are carb fueled, meaning that if you're not eating them in high amounts, high-intensity workout results can be negatively affected. Alternatively, exercises that are moderate in intensity are more suitable for boosting the fat burning potential of the body. </p>
5. Consider Intermittent Fasting<p>Keto and intermittent fasting are becoming synonyms for being the ultimate combo for shedding weight and optimizing health. </p><p>Intermittent fasting provides a window of a set number of hours in the day when you can eat. It can be done several ways but the end result is the same, it helps regulate insulin production and control calories. The chosen approach will be determined on what your personal goals and lifestyle are. </p><p>The most common IF methods include:</p><ul><li><strong>Time-restricted eating </strong><em>-</em> (e.g. 16/8 or 14/10) where you can eat for either 8 or 10 hours per day and fast for the rest of the time.<br> </li><li><strong>Bi-weekly 5:2 method </strong>- twice weekly, you are limited to 500 calories.<br> </li><li><strong>Alternate day fasting </strong>- similar to the 5:2 approach of limiting calories, but doing this every other day.<br> </li><li><strong>24-hour fasting </strong>- involves completely fasting for a full day. Usually undertaken once or twice a week. </li></ul><p>The benefits that have been noted include improved gut health, as you give your digestive system a welcome break from the usual pattern of eating/snacking the majority of the day. </p><p>Intermittent fasting has been closely linked to:</p><ul><li>Increased <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540982" target="_blank">weight loss<br></a></li><li>Boosted <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913738/" target="_blank">energy & cognitive function<br></a></li><li><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S193152441400200X" target="_blank">Reduced insulin resistance</a> & aids diabetes prevention<br> </li><li><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471315/" target="_blank">Lowered</a> LDL (bad cholesterol)</li><li><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047637400001093" target="_blank">Increased longevity</a></li></ul><p>Naturally, a lot of keto dieters find that this limited window of consumption becomes almost second nature once the the 'appetite and hunger management' effects that happen with keto start to take place. </p><p>Keto dieters are experiencing great results and a keto lifestyle is becoming commonplace. Why not try these top tips and see where it can take you!</p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTE1OTU5Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjUxODg4Nn0.pr4zfPHtQouWKPePnU5iXi-tQTlaPrjJNUuuW6XxA3c/img.jpg?width=980" id="a4301" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f30e4c1e2b24c5e9a1d57c2f474e58f3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />