If you are curious about fasting, you are not alone. Over 17 million US adults have taken up a fasting plan in the past year, keen to reap the rewards that many are talking about.
That being said, fasting is not straightforward – not if you want to keep it healthy. It is also worth considering that many of us will react in different ways to different plans. This is why plenty of different fasting programs have been created, so there is one to suit almost everybody and its lifestyle too.
This piece will take you through a few fasting programs for you to try, so you can find the one that works best for you!
There are many different reasons that people fast. This could be anything from religious beliefs to managing health issues. The benefits have been researched and confirmed by many scientific healthcare professionals, and there is now an abundance of literature that is accessible to the public.
Those who fast could expect to see improvement in their glucose levels and a reduction in insulin resistance, develop more proficiency in switching between burning glucose and fat for fuel, improved cognitive function, and fat loss, just to name a few.
1. Time-Restricted Eating Fasting Plan
This plan is perhaps one of the most popular as you have an eating window of your choice every single day, which is always something to look forward to. It can also make fasting more manageable when a lot of the fast can be done when you are fast asleep. An example of this could be the 18:6 plan, where you fast for 18 hours but eat for a generous 6-hour window. However, it is important to note that if you are using a fasting plan to help encourage fat loss, then you must still maintain a calorie deficit in your 6-hour window!
2. 24 Hour Fast Plan
This plan is probably best for those already familiar with fasting and have worked their way up with limited eating time. Going 24 hours without food can feel like an extremely long time if you are not used to it, but it does mean you get to eat food the next day at whatever time you would like. This is usually done around 2 times a week but can have unpleasant side effects such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea. You will, however, enter a state of autophagy much more easily on longer fasts, which is when your body goes into self-repair mode. Find out about the 5 Stages of Intermittent Fasting and how it can benefit you.
3. One Meal A Day (OMAD) Plan
The one meal a day plan is pretty self-explanatory, and you can choose whatever time you would like for your meal. However, it is important to eat enough calories in your meal depending on what you want to achieve and be sure to incorporate all food groups for a healthy balance.
Just so you know, fasting is not suitable for everyone. For example, it is not recommended for those who have had or have eating disorders and certain health conditions. Please consult your doctor before starting a fasting plan.