The Perfect Intermittent Fasting Plan
So if you are reading this page I’m assuming that you already know what intermittent fasting is and you probably are well aware by now that it gives you great results when you follow one of the intermittent fasting plans.
So I won’t go into great detail in this article about the numerous benefits, I’ve already done that for you on this website.
I’m assuming your interested in checking out the various styles of intermittent fasting in order to find the best plan to follow for your busy life. So let’s get right to it.
Different Types of Intermittent Fasting Plans In Detail
If you are thinking of giving intermittent fasting a try, there are different options for working it into your busy lifestyle.
Leangains Daily Intermittent Fasting Plan
Although I have tried other ways very briefly, this is the only program I have consistently followed. The LeanGains model of fasting intermittently is a routine of keeping at least a 16-hour fasting period and an 8-hour feeding window (for example I’ll eat from 12-8 pm or 1 pm to 9 pm). This model of day-to-day intermittent fasting was made famous by Martin Berkhan, a brilliant fitness expert and science buff.
It does not matter when you start your 8-hour eating period. You can start eating at 3 pm and end at 11 pm, or start eating at 9 am and stop eating at 5 pm. It doesn’t matter and I would often change on a day to day basis as long as I was always getting at least 16 hour fasted per day period. Do whatever works for you. I’ve found that starting my eating window around 12 pm works well because this allows me to eat dinner and lunch with family.
It becomes quite easy to get into the habit of eating on this program because day-to-day intermittent fasting is done. Right now, you are likely eating around exactly the same time every single day without thinking about it. Well, with day-to-day intermittent fasting it is the same thing, you merely learn to not eat at particular times, which is remarkably easy.
One potential disadvantage of this program is that because you typically cut out a meal or two from the day, it becomes less easy to get the same amount of calories in during the week. If you’re not a big guy like me, it may be tough to train yourself to eat larger meals on a consistent basis. The result is that a lot of people who attempt this fashion of intermittent fasting wind up losing a lot of weight. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your goals.
This is probably a great time to mention that while I have practiced intermittent fasting consistently for years now, I’m not fanatical about IFing. I work on practicing healthy routines that direct my actions 90% of the time, so that I can do whatever I wanna do during the other 10% without guilt. If I go out with my wife to a friends house and they are serving nachos, guess whose gonna be eating those nachos…. ME, that’s who! I love living life, intermittent fasting allows for that.
Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting Plan
This style of intermittent fasting combines longer fasting periods on alternating days through the week.
In the image beneath you stop eating on Monday night and don’t resume eating until Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, however, you then start the 24-hour fasting cycle again after dinner on Wednesday evening and would eat all day before that point. This enables you to get fast intervals on a consistent basis while also eating at least one meal every day of the week.
This fashion of intermittent fasting seems to be used frequently in research studies, but from what I have seen it hasn’t been quite popular in real-life situations. I’ve never attempted alternate day fasting myself and I don’t plan to do it either.
The benefit of alternative day intermittent fasting is the fact that it gives you longer time in the fasted state than the Leangains fashion of fasting. This would increase the benefits you receive from fasting, but I do great staying in the 16-20 fasted state.
For me this style of fasting would be have me concerned with eating enough. Teaching yourself to eat more is among the more challenging parts of intermittent fasting. You might be able to feast for a meal, but learning to do so every day of the week takes a bit of planning, a lot of cooking, and consistent eating.
This may not be a concern if your main goal is fat loss. But if you’re fasting on multiple days each week for 24 hours each day, then it is going to be very hard to eat enough of your feast days to make up for that.
Because of this, I believe it’s a better idea to stick with daily intermittent fasting or a single 24 hour fast once weekly or once per month.
Weekly Intermittent Fasting Plan
This is a good starter program. One of the very best means to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once each week or per month. The intermittent fast has been shown to lead to many of the advantages we have already talked about, so even if you do not use it to cut down on calories consistently there are many other health benefits.
The image below shows one example of the way in which a weekly intermittent fast plan might play out.
In this example, lunch on Monday is your last meal of the day. You then fast until lunch on Tuesday. This program has the advantage of allowing you to eat everyday of the week while still reaping the benefits of fasting for 24 hours. It’s also less likely because you are just cutting out two meals per week you will slim down. Thus, if you are looking to bulk up or keep weight on, then this is a terrific option.
I have done 24-hour fasts in the past and there are a wide range of options and variations for getting it to work into your program. For example, the day after a big eating holiday or a long day of travel are often great times to throw in a 24-hour fast.
Possibly the biggest benefit of doing a 24 hour fast is getting over the mental hurdle of fasting. If you’ve never fasted before completing your first one helps you comprehend that you will not die if you don’t eat for a day.
Dr. Mercola’s View On Intermittent Fasting
I don’t agree with everything Dr. Mercola says but overall I think he understands many of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting and what I really like is that he actually does it and isn’t some snake oil salesman like Dr.Oz. Check out his views in the video below.
FAQs About Intermittent Fasting
I am a female, should I follow the same protocol as men?
I wrote about this in another article, women are sometimes helped by using a longer eating period to be more favorable when doing day-to-day intermittent fasting. While men will commonly stay in a fasted state for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, ladies may find better results by fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10 hours. The best guidance I can give anyone, not merely women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will provide you with signals. Follow what your body reacts positively to.
Isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? How can you skip it?
Breakfast is whatever meal breaks your fast, I do not skip breakfast but depending on what eating window I set it may not come in the morning when I wake.
Also, you’ll be shocked at the energy level you have early in the morning after you’ve had a big meal the night before. Most of the concerns that folks have about intermittent fasting are because they’ve had the mantra pounded into their brains by the cereal companies that they MUST eat breakfast in the morning or kittens everywhere will die. The science doesn’t show that you need to eat in the morning and I’ve done without out it and thrived.
Aren’t I supposed to eat every couple of hours to come my metabolism running high?
You might have heard folks say that you MUST eat every 3 hours or something like that or should have six meals every day in order to burn more calories.
Here’s why this was a popular notion for a brief period of time:
Your body burns off calories whenever it’s processing food. Thus, some think that eating more meals should enable you to shed weight because you are burning more energy processing food.
Here’s where they are dead wrong.
Digesting six smaller meals that add up to 2000 calories and processing two big meals of 1000 calories each burns the same amount of energy and their is no after-burn effect of processing food. The calories burned processing these meals are equal. Period.
It does not matter if you get your calories in 1 meal or in 10 meals, you will end up in the same place.
Seriously. If I don’t eat for almost a whole day, I will die! Won’t I?
Honestly, this is the major mental barrier that keeps folks from fasting. Irrational fears.
Here are some reasons why intermittent fasting isn’t as crazy as you think it is.
First, various cultures for centuries have practiced fasting, it’s not exactly a new theory or anything. Medical practitioners have also noted the health benefits of fasting for hundreds and hundreds of years. Fasting in other words, isn’t marketing ploy that is ridiculous or some new fad. It’s been around for a long time and it really works.
Secondly, you have probably fasted many times although you weren’t even aware of it. Perhaps you have slept in late on the weekends and had a late brunch? Some people do this every weekend. In scenarios like these, we then don’t eat until 11 am or noon or even later after only having eaten dinner the night before. There’s your 16- hour fast and you didn’t even think about it. Guess what, you aint dead. Take a month and give a solid try, you may fall in love with it like I did when I got great results!
Find great Intermittent Fasting Books Here for more information.