Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Lori Geurin
By now you’ve probably either heard about intermittent fasting in the news or know someone who has tried it. Maybe you’re doing it now? If you’ve read my earlier posts on Intermittent Fasting (IF) you already know how beneficial it is for your health. Not only can it help you lose weight and belly fat (1), but it also helps with:
- cellular repair through a process called autophagy
- hormone regulation (2)
- lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (3)
- preventing Alzheimer’s (4)
- preventing cancer (5)
- reducing cholesterol (6)
- reducing oxidative stress and inflammation (7)
- increased longevity (8)
For a speedy review of IF you can refer to The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting.
Get our FREE Intermittent Fasting eBook
There are several different ways to do IF. And this is great because everyone is unique so we don’t need a “one size fits all approach.” If you’re like me, you want a plan that fits your personality, style and life. So below you’ll find the five most preferred methods of intermittent fasting.
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The Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods
1. The 5:2 Diet
This one was developed by a British journalist and doctor, Michael Mosley. It involves eating normally 5 days of the week and limiting caloric intake the other 2 days.
During the fasting days, it’s recommended that women restrict their calories to 500 per day, and men to 600 per day.
So, for example, you might choose Tuesday and Thursday as your fasting days. You could enjoy 2 small meals of 250 to 300 calories each of those days. Or you eat all your calories all in one meal. Then the other 5 days you would eat normally.
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2. 24-Hour Fast (Eat-Stop-Eat)
Fitness expert Brad Pilon made this method popular. It’s recommended to do it only once or twice a week since you’re completely fasting for 24 hours straight.
It’s fine to have calorie-free beverages, such as black coffee, green and herbal teas, and plenty of water. If you’re not sure you can go a full 24 hours, that’s fine. Start with 14 or 18, then work your way up.
Many people start their fast after dinner one night, then break the fast the following night at the same time.
RELATED: My Favorite Thing About Intermittent Fasting, From 10 Fasting Experts
3. 16/8 Fast (LeanGains)
This is my favorite way to IF because (for me) it’s easy and fits my schedule. And, most importantly, it keeps me motivated. Plus, I don’t feel like eating when I wake up, so the 16/8 allows me to grab my coffee and go.
RELATED: 11 Steps To Lose Weight Easily: Staying Motivated And Maintaining Your Diet
With this method, you fast each day for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window. This is also known as the LeanGains method, which was started by fitness guru, Martin Berkhan.
The easiest way to do 16/8 is not to eat after dinner, then skip breakfast. For example, if you finish dinner at 7 pm, and don’t eat your next meal until 1 pm the following day, you’ve fasted for 16 hours.
Some health experts recommend women only fast 14 to 15 hours at a time, but each person is different so listen to your body and see how it responds. If you are able to go the full 16 and still be healthy and feel good then go for it!
4. 20-Hour Fast (The Warrior Diet)
The Warrior Diet was developed by Ori Hofmekler. The plan here is to fast for 20 hours, then eat one large meal in the evening.
Something that makes this plan unique is that during the 20-hour fast, you’re allowed to eat small snacks of Paleo-friendly foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, juice, and protein.
Related: Paleo Diet Quick Guide: What To Eat & Avoid
Some fasting purists say that because of this The Warrior Diet isn’t a fast at all. Either way, many people have had great success with it.
5. Meal Skipping
This is a less structured way to fast that some people enjoy. If you don’t feel hungry for breakfast one morning, simply skip breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).
And don’t worry about what you may have heard about meal skipping. You will not lose muscle or go into starvation mode.
This is all a myth. Our bodies are actually quite adept at going without food for long periods of time, so skipping a meal or two here and there is fine.
So if you’re not hungry, or you’re too busy to stop and eat, skip a meal and eat later.
Special Considerations About Intermittent Fasting
If you have an eating disorder IF is not recommended. Also, if you’re pregnant, nursing, or have a chronic illness you should talk to your doctor before trying IF.
And please keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. Some people love it, but others don’t, and that’s okay too.
Summary – Intermittent Fasting Methods
IF has some excellent health benefits including weight loss, increased longevity, and decreased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. It can also simplify your life because you spend less time prepping meals and shopping for groceries.
We’ve covered five of the most popular Intermittent Fasting methods here today. There is no right or wrong way to do IF. You might want to try a couple of different methods before you find the one you like the best.
I wrote an eBook all about my experience with intermittent fasting. This method allowed me to burn fat, lose weight (the effortless way) and be healthy….without feeling hungry. It even cured my hypoglycemia. If you’d like to learn how I accomplished these great results, you’ll want to check out my book HERE!
You may want to learn about clean fasting to improve your fasting results.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about IF you may want to check out:
- The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting
- 9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
- Intermittent Fasting: The Effortless Way To Lose Weight
- 9 Essential Questions About Intermittent Fasting Answered
- Quick Tips For Intermittent Fasting Like A Rockstar
Have you tried any of these intermittent fasting methods? Do you like one better than another?
4 thoughts on “5 Favorite Intermittent Fasting Methods Explained”
I have been fasting for one month. It’s incredible, I feel great. This comes from a person who has been sick for the past two years. Some days not even able to stand on my own two feet. Before this I led and active lifestyle. Going to the gym 5/6 days a week with a 2 hour workout each day. I spent 2 years going from doctor to doctor to find a cure. Then I was given a book called “The Diabetic Code” by Dr Jason Fung. It changed my life in 1 month. Fasting was the answer to all of my health issues. I am no longer diabetic, have lost 12 lbs of belly fat and back at the gym. I highly recommend fasting.
Wow!!! Wow! and Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your incredible results, Bonnie! I’m happy you discovered the amazing healing power of intermittent fasting! This book has been on my reading list for a while now (along with about 200+ other books, lol). I’m gonna have to read it soon.
It’s hard to comprehend the huge difference IF can make in such a short time until you experience it for yourself. I love the extraordinary success stories like yours. I’m so thankful to have found intermittent fasting myself and can’t imagine ever going back. It has improved my health and life in so many ways and I’m thankful you can say the same. X, Lori
Just started doing IF last week. I do a 24hr fast from 7pm Sun – 7pm Mon. Then do 16-8 Tues – Sun. So far, no real changes to my body, but I do feel more energetic and seem to be sleeping better as well. Im pretty fit, so it’s harder for me to lose weight. Starting a new weight lifting program this week as well. We’ll see how things go after 6 weeks or so.
That sounds like a great IM plan. Thanks for reporting your increased energy and better sleep. Aren’t the results encouraging?!
Please check back and let me know how you’re doing after incorporating the weight training. Thanks again for your comments and hope to see you back soon!