Which type of intermittent fasting is right for me?

Which intermittent fasting is right for me

Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Kayla

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is the practice of cycling between periods of eating and not eating. The benefits of intermittent fasting are not just physical. They extend to mental clarity and emotional well-being too.

Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for several different types of fasting including time-restricted feeding {TRF}, alternate day fasting, and the 5:2 method.

This article will discuss the various intermittent fasting protocols – those lasting 24 hours or less. Extended fasts which exceed 24 hours will not be covered here.

Time-restricted feeding

Time-restricted feeding {TRF}, also called time-restricted eating {TRE}, is a form of intermittent fasting where you eat within a certain time period each day. The idea is to limit your meals to an “eating window” ranging from 1-12 hours. The ratio for time-restricted feeding can vary and is expressed as “fasting hours: eating hours”.

Examples include:

  • 12:12
  • 14:10
  • 16:8
  • 18:6
  • 19:5
  • 20:4

One of the most popular forms of TRF is the 16:8 method. This involves fasting for 16 hours straight and consuming all meals and snacks within an 8-hour eating window. Water, coffee, and tea are allowed anytime throughout the day.

For most people, 16:8 can be as simple as skipping breakfast. Others prefer to eat earlier in the day and stop in the late afternoon or early evening. Popular starting times for eating windows are 10am, 11am or 12pm ending between 6pm, 7pm or 8pm respectively.

Alternate day fasting

Alternate day fasting is a form of intermittent fasting where eating one day is paired with abstaining from food for a 24-hour period the next. This can be done as frequently as every other day. It is advised to eat normally {i.e. not restrict calories} on non-fasting days.

5:2 diet or 5:2 fasting

In the 5:2 diet, you eat normally for five days of the week. For two, non-consecutive days, daily calorie intake shouldn’t exceed 500-600 calories. Some people do this diet every week, while others only do it a few times a month.

When following this regimen, it is important to separate calorie-restricted days by 1-2 days. For example, a woman would aim to have 500 calories on Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days of the week.

Which type of intermittent fasting is best for you?

All types of intermittent fasting are viable methods to lose weight. The regimens function similarly, yet have small but distinct differences that may make one method better for one person over another.

What’s important is that you tailor a protocol that works best for you and your lifestyle. It takes trial and error to learn what works and what doesn’t. Be patient, experiment, and switch things up when you get stuck.

Consistency is what will get you results. Fasting should be flexible, not miserable.

The best intermittent fasting protocol is the one that you will stick to!

To learn more about the benefits and mechanisms of intermittent fasting, see why I recommended this weight management tool as a Registered Dietitian. My bookshelf is brimming with books on intermittent fasting, and I have no doubt that research will continue to reveal the physical and mental benefits of fasting.

If you are a woman and interested in a step-by-step program designed to teach you about intermittent fasting and finding the regimen that works best for you, check out my LIFe program launching in January 2022.

Subscribe below for the latest updates and hold your spot for this exclusive program. Registration is limited to ensure a quality experience.

Thanks for reading! If you have suggestions for fasting newbies or would like to share what protocol works best for you, please leave a comment below.

Yours truly,

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