Choosing the right intermittent fasting plan requires evaluating your goals, eating habits, and routine. You want to find a plan that fits your schedule and allows you to easily maintain your fasting window. Read on to learn about the different types of intermittent fasting plans and how to choose the right one.
The Different Types of Intermittent Fasting Plans
Intermittent fasting is a type of diet that has you alternating between eating and fasting on a regular schedule. Intermitting fasting can be an incredible fat loss technique that naturally puts you in a calorie deficit in a way that is easier to maintain and manage daily. Before choosing an intermittent fasting plan, you’ll want to know the available plans that people find the most successful with.
Here are seven intermittent fasting plans that many people use to reach their health goals:
5:2 – The 5:2 Plan allows you to eat normally five of the seven days of the week, with two of the days you restrict your calories to eating only 500 to 600 calories. The types of calories consumed matter as much as the number of calories for this plan.
12:12 – This is your standard overnight plan and is another time-restricted window but a little less restriction. With this one, you only eat during a 12-hour window and fast for the other 12 hours. This plan is a little bit easier for beginners.
16:8 – The 16:8 plan is a time-restricted fasting plan that allows you to eat during a certain window every day. In this general plan, you would fast for 16 hours and only eat during the other 8 hours of the day.
Eat-Stop-Eat– The eat-stop-eat intermittent fasting plan has you fasting for one or two 24-hour times during the week. Once your fast is over, you continue to eat responsibly without binging and eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
4:3 – The alternate day intermittent fasting plan requires you to fast every other day while eating normally during the non-fasting days.
The Warrior Diet – This fasting plan has you fasting or eating less than you normally would over a 20-hour window and eating one large meal within a 4-hour window. Eating less during fasting means eating raw fruits and vegetables or zero-calorie beneficial fluids like green tea.
2 Meal Day – The 2 Meal Day plan requires you to eat only two meals a day, focusing more on eating nutrient-dense meals rather than fasting windows. My 2 Meal Day Intermittent Short Course will teach you everything you need to know to get started with this plan. For me, the 2 Meal Day is the most sustainable and effective intermittent fasting plan.
Choose the Right Intermittent Fasting Plan for You
Choosing the right fasting plan is choosing which option works best for you. You should consider a few factors before choosing an intermittent fasting plan. Choosing the right one ensures you have a better chance of sticking to it without binging or struggling to stick to the fasting windows.
Ease of the Plan – Intermittent fasting shouldn’t leave you struggling, and you should feel relatively comfortable once you adjust. Hunger will be a part of the process, and it is inevitable, but if the discomfort moves beyond hunger, you may want to reconsider your plan. Some sighns that your intermittent fasting plan may be too rigid include:
- Irregular sleep patterns or generally not sleeping well at all
- You are irritable and angry during your fasting periods
- Physical activity is more of a struggle
- You feel more stressed, tired, or weak
- You are cutting out the foods you love
It’s essential to choose a fasting plan that considers your comfort and health. If you notice any of these signs, you’re not going to achieve the optimal health results that intermittent fasting can provide.
Schedule – You’ll want to consider your schedule when deciding on intermittent fasting. You might have a work schedule that varies or a dinner ritual with your family that takes precedence. You’ll want to decide on the intermittent fasting plan that works cohesively with your scheduling needs.
Health Goals – The last thing to consider when choosing your intermittent fasting plan is to think about your health goals. Are you trying to energize your systems, lose weight, or heal your body? Remember your goals to make sure you’re choosing the best plan to help you reach them efficiently.
The number one thing to remember before you start is to check with your health provider. If you have any pre-existing conditions or take any medications, you want to ensure intermittent fasting won’t mess with your health.
No matter which intermittent fasting plan you choose, remember these impacting factors that could impact your success in reaching your goals.
- Focus on eating nutrient-rich foods
- Start off with small changes to ensure you can sustain your intermittent fasting window consistently for the best results.
- Eat within your calorie budget. Your body still needs nutrients and calories for fuel. Stick with your determined calorie budget to maintain a healthy weight or lose fat, depending on your goals
- Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Stay in tune with your energy levels, mental perception, and sleep quality.
An intermittent fasting plan can help you lose weight sustainably and lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Ease into your chosen plan, listen to your body, and adjust if needed. The goal is not to lose as much weight as you can as fast as possible. You want to choose a sustainable plan that fits your lifestyle and health needs. Once you get your intermittent fasting plan down, you get to reap the many benefits intermittent fasting can provide.