Ever feel like your gut needs a rest? That’s because it does. Research suggests that 12-18 hours of fasting gives your gut beneficial rest that could help with inflammation, acid reflux, and weight loss.  We know that there are benefits to restricting our eating to certain hours, but there are a lot of questions as to what hours, how many hours, etc.  Subject matter expert, Satchin Panda and others have demonstrated that the exact hours in which you fast is less important than the fact that you’re fasting for 12-18 hours. The more important success factors  then, depends on your specific schedule, and what you’re eating when it’s time to eat.

A Google search will fetch you many ways of intermittent fasting (I.F.). But information overload can only get you overwhelmed. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here we list some of the most popular ones:

1. The 12-hour fast: If you are new to I.F. this could be a great place to start. This plan, as the name suggests, involves a 12-hour fasting window. For example, you eat breakfast at 7am and wrap up your eating for the day by 7pm. It’s convenient because you’ll be sleeping for a large portion of the fasting period. It sounds almost too simple, but research shows that most people are eating in 15+ hour windows, which is easy, especially if you like to snack after dinner. So shaving 3 hours off your eating schedule could definitely yield results.

2. The 16/8 Method: This type of I.F. calls for 16 hours of fast each day. The food intake is restricted to 8 to 10 hours in a day. In other words, the plan involves not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. For instance, if your last meal was at 8 p.m last night you cannot eat anything until the noon the next day. Yet, you can drink water, coffee and other low-caloric beverages during the fasting window. This method works for those who tend to skip breakfast and have lunch as the first meal of the day. Research confirms that an eight-hour eating window proves to be an efficient way to fast.

3. The 24-hour fast: Also otherwise called “Eat-Stop-Eat.” It is a complete 24-hour fast. It means if your last meal was dinner on a Monday night, you don’t get to eat until dinner time on Tuesday. The 24-hour fast can be a breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch, depending on your convenience. This type of fasting is not meant for all and can be challenging to keep up. You can fast once a week or two times in a week.

4. The Warrior Diet: In this plan, you eat light during the day, but finish with a big meal. The premise of this type of fasting is about under eating during the day. During the day you can eat few raw fruits, veggies, a scoop of Veggie Mama Garden Power or Garden Protein. It promotes alertness and stimulates fat burning too. The plan emphasizes on choosing wholesome foods and healthy fats.

5. Spontaneous Meal skipping: This plan works for those who listen to the body’s natural instincts. You eat when hungry and skip meals when you are not. This plan will work for the disciplined ones. Scheduling meals that allow you to skip the next meal without being starving is critical, e.g., foods high in protein, good fats, and fiber. Just like the other methods, a scoop of Garden Power in between meals can be a great way to keep up your energy and maintain nutrients.

Many folks will eat according to an I.F. schedule as a permanent way of eating, and others will cycle on and off. A combination of methods is also possible. For example, for 5 days you might follow the 12 hour fast which is relatively easy compared to some of the other methods, and then follow the 16/8 or Warrior Diet for the remaining 2 days. Keep in mind, no matter what type of I.F. plan you adopt, he sure to consult a healthcare professional.

References

  1. Time-Restricted Feeding Is a Preventative and Therapeutic Intervention against Diverse Nutritional Challenges. Cell Metabolism. Volume 20, Issue 6, p991–1005, 2 December 2014 http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(14)00498-7
  2. Time restricted feeding without reducing caloric intake prevents metabolic diseases in mice fed a high fat diet. Cell Metab. 2012 Jun 6; 15(6): 848–860. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491655/
  3. Gill S, Panda S. A Smartphone App Reveals Erratic Diurnal Eating Patterns in Humans that Can Be Modulated for Health Benefits. Cell metabolism 2015 [PMC free article] [PubMed]