If you’re wondering where the intermittent fasting methods originated from. it is based on the way our prehistoric ancestors ate.
In the distant past food was scarce. If you wanted to eat, you had to hunt. On days when you managed to forage for food or the hunt was successful, there’d be a feast.
If the pickings were slim and there was no food, you’d go hungry. This would be similar to fasting. The only difference is that there wasn’t a choice back then.
So, we can assume that to a certain degree the human body instinctively adapts to intermittent fasting.
Are Intermittent Fasting Methods Safe For You?
It depends. Nothing is perfect for everybody and this applies to intermittent fasting as well.
For most people, intermittent fasting methods will be safe. In fact, it will be highly beneficial. Studies have shown that many people who started an intermittent fasting program experienced health benefits such as increased fat burning and a higher metabolic rate.
Their blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels improved dramatically.
If you worry about intermittent fasting, you should allay your fears. Everybody goes through a fasting period when they are asleep. If you sleep for 8 hours, you will be in a fasted state.
The reason that many people do not enjoy the benefits of this fasted state is due to the fact that most people get less than 8 hours of sleep. Furthermore, people eat before bed. So, when they are sleeping, the food is being digested. The body doesn’t get a chance to be in a fasted state for too long.
The moment they wake up, they have breakfast and start eating throughout the day. There is very little time for the body to tap into its fat stores.
People with gastric problems, diabetes, etc. should consult a doctor before starting an intermittent fasting program. Your doctor will be the best person to advise you if you should fast intermittently.
The video below offers valuable insights into how to implement an intermittent fasting program. Be sure to watch the video now.
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. Usually, the differences will depend on the person creating the method. The fundamentals of an eating window and a fasting window will ALWAYS apply.
Bear in mind that it really doesn’t matter which method you choose. All the different methods will reap rewards. You should pick one that you’re comfortable with.
When the method you choose is easy for you to follow, the chances of you sticking with it will be much higher. Initially, if you’re new to intermittent fasting, you will want to take it slow and have a longer eating window and a shorter fasting window.
It will take about 2 weeks to a month for your body to adapt to your new way of eating. There is no doubt that you will likely run into resistance and cravings from your body.
This is to be expected. After all, most people are used to eating throughout their waking hours. Restricting your eating hours can be stressful in the beginning.
Rest assured that with time, your body will adapt and you will be surprised to see that your appetite has decreased. You will also feel more alert, energetic and slimmer as you progress.
Now let’s look at some of the intermittent fasting methods.
Intermittent Fasting Method 1
The first method was created by Martin Berkhan of LeanGains.com. In fact, his method of intermittent fasting is the most popular one out there. It is highly effective and relatively easy to follow.
The rules are that men will fast for 16 hours and women for 14 hours. They will have an 8 hour and 10 hour eating window respectively.
It is most important that you keep your feeding window consistent. Failure to do so will confuse your body and block your results.
Martin recommends scheduling your meals around your workouts.
For example, if your feeding window ends at 7 pm, you should work out around 5.30pm and consume and complete your meal just before 7pm.
Or you could start your eating window just after your workout. In this way, your body will have food to repair your muscles.
Intermittent Fasting Method 2
The second method is known as the Warrior Diet and was created by Ori Hofmekeler.
This is much more severe than Martin’s method. The rules state that you’ll need to fast for 20 hours a day and only eat one large meal every night. This is supposedly what our prehistoric ancestors may have done.
While it’s anyone’s guess as to whether our ancestors really ate in this manner, the fact remains that Ori’s method is highly effective. Many people who adopted his method have seen great health benefits.
Initially when you’re starting out, you might not want to use Ori’s method. It would be a better idea to start off with Marin’s method and gradually reduce your eating window over time till you are able to fast for 20 hours without discomfort.
Don’t jump into the deep end and struggle with a 20 hour fast. You should also know that Ori’s method does allow a few small meals during the fasting window. However, there are rules as to what you can eat and cannot eat.
So, you will need to watch your diet and stick to the approved food list. This is definitely one of the stricter intermittent fasting methods.
Intermittent Fasting Method 3
The third method of intermittent fasting is known as Eat Stop Eat and was created by Brad Pilon. His program is actually an online bestseller.
The rules of the fast are pretty simple. You will fast for 24 hours twice or three times a week. On days when you’re not fasting, you may eat what you want without worry.
In this manner, your overall consumption of calories for the week will be less and you will lose weight. Since you are allowed to eat whatever you want to eat during the eating window, you will not be deprived of your favorite foods.
This can be a relief to many people who fear giving up the foods they love. However, the 24 hour break from eating can be extremely difficult for many people. So, as mentioned earlier, you may want to follow Martin’s method and work your way up.
How Do You Decide?
The truth of the matter is that you should analyze your eating habits, your sleeping patterns, your job requirements, plus other activities in your schedule. You MUST tailor the fast to suit you.
If you work nights, you can’t fast through the night because you will be hungry. So, you should include your sleeping hours into your fasting window and maybe start your eating window 6 hours after waking.
Of course, this is assuming that you adopt the first type of intermittent fasting. You may also have social activities, and other commitments which may make following the intermittent fasting program difficult.
Sooner or later, your fasting will cramp your social life. Once again, you will need to work around it.
Even the actor Hugh Jackman was on an intermittent fasting program while training for his Wolverine movie and he had to ensure that he stuck to his eating window despite his hectic schedule.
Which Intermittent Fasting Methods Are Best For You?
Ultimately, you must choose a method that you think will work for you. Do not get over-ambitious or overestimate your willpower and choose to go for the 24 hour fast on the first day.
It can, and most probably will be hard to get started. You might end up giving up and eating. Later on, you may experience feelings of guilt and may feel like you failed. This is where most people throw in the towel.
They think they have failed when in reality, they just set unreasonable goals.
The key to success is to choose one of the easier intermittent fasting methods, and to make measurable progress with reasonable goals.
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