Could the answer to looking and feeling great not be about dieting, but instead about skipping meals every once in a while? Intermittent fasting, or going between 14 and 36 hours with few to no calories, can have amazing benefits and can be easier than you may think. Each and every one of us almost does it every day, we just call it sleeping!
There are a few different methods to choose from so it can be tricky to figure out which one will work best for you and your schedule. Below are a few methods to get you learning more about the process and find which one is right for you!
The 16/8 Method
This one is good for the sleepers out there! Also called the Leangains protocol, the 16/8 Method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 - 10 hours. You would then be fasting for the 14 (for women) or 16 (for men) hours in between. However, you would be asleep for at least half of it!
Pros: You can really eat whenever you want to within the eight-hour period! That said, most people find breaking it up into 3 meals is easiest since that doesn't deter from people's normal eating schedules.
Cons: Even though there is flexibility in when you eat, Leangains has tight guidelines for what to eat. Even more so if you are working out during this fast. The nutrition plan and scheduling meals around workouts can make the program tougher on those who don't love to plan ahead (aka me) Learn more about it in the links below.
This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. Therefore, eating a pretty big dinner one night would have to hold you over until dinner time the next night (24 hours later)
Pros: There are no food rules and no counting calories on this one!!! That being said, don't go nuts and binge eat all that ice cream you have had stashed away for months. Be reasonable. This is all about getting healthy after all. It’s about moderation: Have a scoop of that ice cream instead of the whole tub :)
Cons: Going 24 hours without any calories can suck. We all know how much being "hangry" can affect not only us, but those around us :) It takes TONS of self-control to stick to this diet so not for the faint of heart....
The 5:2 Diet
For five days a week, you eat normally (read: like an adult still) and don’t have to think about dieting. On the other two days, reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs AKA about 500 calories per day for women, and 600 for men. The days of the week you choose do not matter as long as there is at least 1 non-fasting day in between.
Pros: Not having to change up your eating routine too much is a nice bonus and of course not having to count any calories or weigh your food. And you are still getting to eat SOMETHING every day. But just like the "Eat-Stop-Eat" approach that does not mean you can eat whatever you want. Still be responsible about your choices otherwise this won't work
Cons: On the days you are reducing your caloric intake to 500 or 600 be careful about working out. The last thing anyone wants is you passing out on your bike!!
The Warrior Diet
The fasting phase of The Warrior Diet is really about undereating. You fast for a 20-hour period, during which you can small servings of fruit or veggies, fresh juice, and small servings of lean protein. This promotes alertness, boosts your energy naturally, and stimulates fat burning. Woohoo!!!
Pros: Fat loss and more energy would make every person reading this feel and look better! So that is a huge pro. And you can eat during the fasting period which makes it easier to stick to.
Cons: We know it’s nice to eat a few snacks here and there instead of going without any food for 20-plus hours. But the strict schedule and meal plan may also interfere with social gatherings.
We hope this helps give you a few options of ways you can try intermittent fasting. Try one, if it doesn't work, onto the next!! Find the one that works for you and your schedule and eating habits. Stay alert, stay healthy, and as always well see you in the saddle!!!
Sources: http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/ https://leangains.com/the-leangains-guide/ https://leangains.com/sure-fire-fat-loss/