Diet 5: 2, leangains method, fasting on alternate days … What is the best type of intermittent fasting to lose weight?

He intermittent fasting keeps on giving. Since this system of organizing our food intake became fashionable a couple of years ago new versions have not stopped coming out (The 5: 2 diet, fasting every other day …) and with so much variety we no longer know which one to take. Are they all equally effective? Does fasting mean we can't eat anything at all? And what interests us most… Do all of its aspects have the same ability to make us lose weight?We have looked at what science says about the most common intermittent fasting options and this is our verdict …

The 5: 2 diet: it helps you lose weight, but …

It is the type of fasting that is best known and that you will find the most books in bookstores. It consists of fasting two days a week (in which only 500 calories are ingested if you are a woman and 600 if you are a man) and eating normally the other five days (And by normal we understand healthy, nothing to fall into nutritional vices and various excesses).

What does science say about this type of fast? Well helps stabilize cholesterol and blood sugar levels better than other diets. And yes, if we are constant in its application it serves to lose weight, but once its results have been analyzed and compared to any other low-calorie diet in use … the same weight loss is achieved in the same time. A study that followed 107 women who were overweight found that drastically restricting calories two days a week achieved very similar results to spreading that calorie restriction throughout the week.


Video:Types of intermittent fasting for weight loss

And another study (this very small, with only 23 participants) found that yes, that if they followed this system for 28 days they lost weight … but that they recovered it shortly after returning to their usual diet. In conclusion: If it is very difficult for you to give up eating more than 500 calories a daya, go to a nutritionist to design a diet for you to help you change your habits, because it will work exactly the same, but without starving and maintaining weight loss over time.

The ADF method (fasting on alternate days): to lose weight quickly

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what this fasting system consists of, basically you alternate a normal food day with a calorie-restricted day (500 to be exact). Well, this type of diet showed in a study of the University of Illinois that can get us to lose weight fast: within eight weeks. The problem? That there is no way to maintain this diet for much longer. Little by little the people who choose end up adding more calories to the fasting days and the system stops working.

The 16-hour diet (16/8 or Leangains method): lose weight and burn fat

Followers of this diet divide the day into time windows where they can eat and time windows where they cannotCome on, they fast daily. Specifically those who follow the 16 hour diet: they fast for 16 hours and eat in the remaining eight-hour window. How do they do it? Well, the easiest method is to skip breakfast and start eating at 12 noon and stop at eight in the afternoon.


Video:Intermittent fasting: benefits for your body

The goal of meeting this intake schedule is supposed to cause the body's glycogen stores to drop and so the body begins to burn fat. If in addition to reducing the intake of meals a day to three, we complement the fast with exercise (as proposed by the method created by Martin Berkhan and known as Leangains), because that fat loss is supposed to be even greater.

The medical journal The British Medical Journal reviewed 13 studies on how breakfast affected our weight or not, and concluded that people who delayed their intake schedule until noon weighed a little less than those who did eat breakfast … but the difference between them was not enough to throw rockets. The explanation for this weight loss seems to be that people eat, on average, about 250 more calories a day than people who don't eat breakfast.

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