10 different ways to follow intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting became fashionable for weight loss. It is an effective method. We explain why and how to apply it.

Last update: 21 January, 2022

Weight loss can be challenging, as restrictive diets are emotionally draining and hard to stick with. Fortunately, today intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways to lose weight. Even many of its followers also recommend it for better health and longevity.

Fasting has been practiced for religious purposes throughout history. But in this case, intermittent fasting (IF) is a type of food restriction that is applied to lose weight quickly and in regular cycles.

Intermittent fasting includes a variety of eating patterns or types. The restriction occurs for specific periods of time on a repetitive basis.

According to the magazine obesity, There are 4 patterns of intermittent fasting. Some of them are subdivided into several types.

For each pattern, a redistribution of the hours in which we are going to eat our meals during the day is made. It is also necessary to consider daily activities such as work, studies and exercises, among others.

This will allow us to feel comfortable and satiated to avoid any binge.. During the fast, no food or drink is eaten that represents a caloric intake. However, non-caloric moisturizing and stimulating liquids, such as water, tea, coffee or infusions, are allowed.



Based on time-restricted eating pattern

This pattern includes those methods where fasting can range from 8 to 16 hours a day. Let’s see in detail.

1. Fast 12/Feed 12

In these forms of intermittent fasting, fasting and feeding periods are 12 hours each. It is also known as 12/12.

Some studies conclude that fasting from 12 to 18 hours allows the use of fats as an energy source. Ketones are released into the blood which stimulate weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure.

This type of diet becomes a good option for beginners. Fasting time is short when compared to others and hours of sleep are included.

An example is that if the fasting window is between 7 pm and 7 am, dinner must be finished before 7 pm After this time the fast begins. Most of the time, the person will be sleeping.

2. Fast 16/Feed 8

This fast is known as the lean gains protocol, 16:8 diet or 8/16. It is a popular method and, like 12/12, most of the fasting window is included in the sleeping hours. So you just have to skip breakfast to get your 16 hours.

Your next meal would be lunch. You can eat between 11 am and 7 pm, or between 12 am and 8 pm to cover your caloric requirements. The most popular feed windows are as follows:

  • 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Even if you skip breakfast, you can eat a balanced lunch and dinner, accompanied with some snacks during the day. If you want to have breakfast, you can have it at 9 am, followed by a standard lunch at noon and an early dinner.

The foods that will be part of your 16/8 method should be healthy. If you eat processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients, your diet won’t work.

You must adapt the fasting schedules to your routine, so that it does not become so difficult to comply with it.

3. Fast 14/Feed 10

This type of fast is just as popular as 8/16, only it takes into account a 14-hour fasting period. The feeding window should be distributed between 2 or 3 meals for a period of time of 10 hours.

The first meal can be at 10 am as a breakfast, at 4 pm for lunch, and then at 8 pm for dinner or a snack. The fasting window is from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Do not forget that the schedule is only a suggestion.

According to the alternate day pattern

Another variant of intermittent fasting is the one that considers full days of restriction. Here are 2 options.

4. Alternate fasting (AA)

This type of intermittent fasting involves fasting every 2 days, that is, no solid food on those days. In the food windows, freedom is given to eat what you want (ad libitum).

On the effectiveness of this type of AI, a 2018 review concluded that alternate fasting is more effective for weight loss than a restrictive diet in overweight and obese adults.

However, a clinical trial reported that alternate-day fasting did not produce any difference in weight loss or maintenance. It also did not achieve a cardioprotective function, when compared with restrictive diets.

It is considered a very extreme way for beginners to apply intermittent fasting. In addition, it is somewhat unpleasant to maintain it in the long term.

5. 24-hour alternate fasting

According to Yavelow’s team at the University of Florida, in this type of AI, the person fasts for 24 hours and then has a full day of unrestricted eating. Thus, alternate between eating one day and not eating the next.

During feeding days you should eat regularly and during fasts infusions, coffee or mineral water are included. It is advised to start with time-restricted fasts such as 10/14, before proceeding to the 24-hour fast.



6. Modified fasting pattern with alternate days

Magazine obesity it does not subdivide this feeding pattern. It is similar to AA in terms of time, but with certain modifications. The difference is that 25% of caloric requirement is allowed on the fast day. This equates to 500-600 calories.

7. Periodic intermittent fasting pattern

Yavelow’s team explains that the fasting window is given for 1 or 2 days a week in this case, allowing 25% of caloric needs. The rest of the week applies food without restrictions.

It is important to maintain a regular diet on feeding days, especially if weight control is the goal. Still, fasting for a full 24 hours can cause irritability, headaches, and fatigue.

Other variants of intermittent fasting

Beyond the 4 patterns recognized by science, there are some alternatives that we are now discussing.

8. Skipping a meal during the day

This is a type of flexible and spontaneous intermittent fasting, great for beginners. It doesn’t have to be daily.

A good point to decide when to fast could be according to time restrictions, work or depending on the level of hunger. Maintaining a healthy diet is mandatory.

The occasional skipping of a meal can be a good starting point for beginners who want to get started with AI.

9. The 5:2 Diet

On the 5:2 diet you can eat what is part of your regular diet for 5 days a week. The remaining 2 days you will have a caloric intake of 500 calories for women and 600 for men.

Women will be able to eat 2 small portion meals at 250 calories each. While men would eat 2 servings of 300 calories at each meal. In the magazine The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlight the benefits of the 5:2 diet to promote significant weight loss in adults of both sexes between 35 and 65 years of age.

10. The warrior diet

the warrior diet is considered one of the most extreme forms of intermittent fasting. Small portions of raw fruits and vegetables are eaten throughout the day in a 20-hour fast. The feeding window is usually loaded with a heavy meal, only for about 4 hours at night.

Experience with other forms of intermittent fasting is recommended to get started. Her followers defend her considering that humans would be nocturnal eaters, so they would be in harmony with their circadian rhythms.

In the 4 hours to eat, balance, balance, sufficiency and quality of meals must be ensured. Not forgetting carbohydrates and healthy fats.

The foods are similar to those used in the paleo diet, especially when include unprocessed whole grains. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to eat so much when it’s so close to bedtime.

A responsible fast to take care of health

Intermittent fasting is not a magic diet in any form. You cannot solve the problems of being overweight or obese all at once. Some people can’t do it. For example, those who have eating disorders.

It is also crucial that during the feeding window the menu is made up of healthy and balanced meals. The whole time you do intermittent fasting, you should be accompanied by a health professional who advises you.

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