Do you consider yourself a serial dieter? Or to be more precise, a frustrated serial dieter? If so, then it’s about time you consider fasting for weight loss. No, we’re not talking about absolute fasting, but intermittent fasting. “Intermittent” is the operative word here, which means that you will still eat solid food except that these will be spaced a couple of hours apart, depending on the diet.
Fasting to lose weight is not only cost-effective but reduces your risk of developing medical conditions. Here are some of the intermittent fasting programs we recommend:
1. 5:2 Diet
Whether or not the popularity of this diet can be attributed to BBC journalist/medical doctor Michael Mosley, the fact remains that lower calories will always mean less fat in your body. Unless you’re a professional athlete, you can’t burn all the calories that you ingest everyday which translates into fat storage.
The 5:2 Diet can lower your calorie intake while providing you with nutrients on fasting days. Calorie intake on fasting days for women is at 500 and 600 for men. Because the average calorie intake is 2,000, you have to scale back yours to ¼ that amount on fasting days.
How it works: For two days on a weekly basis, you can eat only low calorie but nutritious foods and on the rest of the five days you can have your regular diet. On fasting days, you can start off with breakfast at 150 calories, 100 for lunch, dinner at 200, and between 50 and 100 calories for snacks. (Buy the book at Amazon )
2. Eat Stop Eat
One or two days of fasting weekly will automatically cut the number of calories you consume. Yes, your body will be deprived of nutrients during this time but this also means you will have “nutrient partitioning” when you resume eating since more of those calories will be converted into energy for muscle building and less of them will be stored as fat.
How it works: For a 24-hour fast, it starts in the evening and ends the following evening. You may consume anything that has no calories such as sugar-free gum, water, black coffee, or tea. After the fast, you may eat a slightly larger meal to up the ante of the TEF or thermic effect of food. The larger a meal, the higher the TEF which will in turn result to more calorie burn. To gain the benefits of intermittent fasting, go on the Eat Stop Eat diet for those days when your schedule doesn’t require you to spend so much energy. (Buy the e-Book )
3. Warrior Diet
Maximizing the number of daily calories which you can burn everyday can be achieved with the Warrior Diet. The creator of this intermittent fasting weight loss diet, Ori Hofmekler, designed an eating plan that has two phases: under-eating and overeating.
The overeating phase will help your body’s digestion to become more effective without too many calorie restrictions. With something this to look forward to, you wouldn’t mind eating less during the under-eating phase since this is also the time when you can maximize the use of body energy and convert stored fat into more energy.
How it works: First, consume less foods during the day and eat only light snacks. The under-eating period is 20 hours and it begins four hours immediately after you have consumed your evening meal. Consume foods and beverages that are low in calories and fat during the under-eating phase such as fruits, soup, coffee, poached eggs, vegetables, and yogurt. Avoid meat, rice, breads, dairy products, and sweets. Then at night, prepare for a feast. Keep in mind that you are required to exercise three to four times weekly while you’re on the Warrior Diet. (Buy the book at Amazon )
4. Lean Gains Diet
The Lean Gains Diet is primarily geared for individuals who work out regularly. This diet was made popular by bodybuilder and weightlifter Martin Berkhan. If you want to build muscles, then the Lean Gains Diet could be beneficial for you since it’s been designed to enable muscle growth quickly.
How it works: This diet works on four principles: 1. Eat more on lifting days and less on rest days. 2. Fast 16 hours everyday and then eat eight hours after training (Yeah, it sounds insane, BUT because you sleep eight hours, you’ll actually fast only for four hours before bedtime and then just another four hours when you wake up!) 3. With the Lean Gains diet, you focus on training your upper body for two days and then another two days for training your lower body every week. 4. Finally, you have to ensure you stick to a high protein diet. Eat around 2.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight because insufficient protein will not allow your muscles to grow or even repair.