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Top 5 Intermittent Fasting Methods Explained

Intermittent fasting is when you stop yourself from eating for most of the day, but then allow yourself to eat after a certain amount of time.

During the fasting period, you’re still allowed to drink water and coffee but foods or calorie-heavy drinks are not permitted.

The idea is to help you manage your appetite and force your body into using its reserved fat throughout the day. Both of these aspects promote weight loss.

Generally speaking, there are 5 different types of fasting methods.

Time-Restricted Eating

This method is the most common and you can use apps, such as Do Fasting, to help you stay on target. The idea is to fast (avoid eating) for 12 hours of the day. In the remaining 12 hours, you are allowed to eat.

The 12 hours is just a guideline, as the most popular time frame for this method is 16 hours of fasting coupled with 8 hours of allowed eating time.

In the apps, an alarm will go off to remind you that you are allowed to eat and they often give you recipes to help offer healthy meal options. We suggest reading Do Fasting supplements reviews, as the app offers a variety of options to help you begin your journey.

The 5:2 Diet

The Fast Diet or the 5:2 Diet is another popular intermittent fasting method. In this variation, you can eat normally for 5 days of the week, but the other 2 days have a restricted calorie control menu.

You can eat between 500 and 600 calories on these days – no more and no less. This isn’t a lot for you to work with as a plain bagel with cream cheese would fill up your entire day’s allowance.

But you can spread the calories out, so they aren’t used up in one meal. You can do this by eating chicken salads for lunch, fruit for breakfast, and high-protein-low-carb meals for dinner.

For many people, they save the 2 days for the weekend, when they have more time to prepare meals. For others, they sandwich it in the middle of the week, so they don’t have to restrict themselves on their days off.

Eat Stop Eat

Eat Stop Eat is very similar to 5:2, as it works on a “5 days off, 2 days on” cycle. The difference is what you eat on the 2 days on. In this method, you eat nothing.

Some people prefer to eat for 6 days as normal, and have the 7th day food-free, while others withstand eating for 2 days (either consecutively or breaking up the week). Either way, you shouldn’t be fasting for longer than 2 days.

Remember that through the fasting period, you can still drink low-calorie beverages such as coffee, water and tea.

Alternate-Day Fasting

As you might expect, alternate fasting is when you refrain from eating on one day, and then eat as normal on another.

Some people prefer to have a low-calorie day instead of completely fasting, and those who follow this modified version will restrict their calories to 500.

This method is very difficult to accomplish, as it requires more days of fasting than the alternatives. However, as it’s a “one day on, one day off” situation, it can be easier to fall into a rhythm with this method.

If you are new to fasting and want to try this method, we recommend restricting the fasting day to 500 calories instead of completely withholding from eating.

The Warrior Diet

This diet is meant to replicate how armies used to eat before food became abundant. For 20 hours a day, a person would eat nothing or would eat a reduced diet.

Then in the last 4 hours of the day, dieters could eat whatever they wanted.

During the fasting period, you can have hard-boiled eggs, vegetables, fruits and non-calorie beverages such as water. The idea is to snack on these low-calorie foods to help you get through the day, but not to overindulge.

Then, in the last 4 hours, you can eat a large meal to help you through the next day.

This type of fasting is not designed to last for a long period of time. Instead, you might follow this diet for up to a year.


Each of these diets is hard to stick to, which is why using an app or finding a community of like-minded people is important. Lean on each other for support, especially at the beginning of your dietary change.


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