Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting: Does it help you lose weight? – Here’s the truth

Zintle Nkohla - 10.06.2021

Intermittent fasting has become a very popular method to lose weight. Here is the truth about it.

Intermittent fasting involves scheduling your meals. You can partially or entirely abstain from eating for a set amount of time before returning to your normal eating habits. It is said that this an effective way to reduce calories and lose weight.

Intermittent fasting was one of the biggest health trends in 2019 and continues to be one of the most popular dieting methods in 2021. A lot of health experts were involved in making intermittent fasting popular including Michael Mosley, a former medical doctor, and a health writer who came up with the 5:2 diet. In 2013, he wrote a book called The Fast Diet, which is all about the benefits of intermittent fasting.

There are several ways to do intermittent fasting. Read on to find out which one is suitable for you, and if any of them can actually help you lose weight.

Six ways to do intermittent fasting

1. The 16/8 method

  • You have to fast for about 14 to 16 hours a day
  • During the 16-hour window, you can only drink unsweetened beverages (coffee, water, and tea)
  • Restricted to eating during an 8-hour window each day
  • No foods are off-limits during the 8-hour window
  • Studies show that there is almost no difference between people who practice this method to people who simply cut back their calorie intake when it comes to weight loss.

2. The 5:2 diet

  • You can eat normally for 5 days.
  • You have to restrict your calorie intake to 500 to 600 for 2 days.
  • If you overeat eat during the five-day period to compensate for your fasting days you might not lose weight, in fact, you might even gain weight.
  • Make sure that you eat low-calorie foods.

3. Eat-Stop-Eat

  • This method was developed by Brad Pilon.
  • You can fast up to two non-consecutive days per week.
  • You can eat anything for the remaining 5 to 6 days.
  • Staying hydrated is strongly encouraged (you can drink water and other calorie-free beverages).
  • According to HealthLine, there are no studies that evaluate this method for weight loss, however, mounting evidence does show weight loss in some people.

4. Alternate-day fasting

  • You can fast about every other day.
  • You can go to bed really hungry.
  • This method can be extreme for beginners and therefore not recommended.
  • Restricted to 500 calories during fasting days
  • According to HealthLine, alternate-day fasting may help promote weight loss and may help lower risk factors related to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

5. The Warrior Diet

  • This method was developed by Ori Hofmekler in 2001 based on his beliefs and has little to do with science.
  • This is a stricter method of intermittent fasting.
  • You eat very little for 20 hours and eat large amounts of food for the remaining 4 hours.
  • There’s no specific target for calorie intake.
  • A study showed that the warrior diet may aid in weight loss.

6. Spontaneous meal skipping

  • You simply skip meals when you are not hungry or too busy to eat.
  • It doesn’t follow any schedule
  • However, you have to make sure you eat a healthy meal once you decide to eat.