29 April 2021
Imagine sitting alone while watching the hands of the clock slowly move. You hear the clock ticking and tocking as the hands move closer to the designated time and your window is starting to open and you are finally able to eat for the first time of the day.
I don’t know any better feeling than when you are able to eat for the first time after a whole day of fasting. Over the span of six months I was able to do alternate day fasting, which improved my mental health as well as helping me to lose weight.
Fasting is a means to abstain from all or some kind of food or drink, which could be performed in plenty of different ways, one including intermittent fasting. This is a great option to do is moderation post-quarantine in order to lose some extra pounds.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle through eating periods and fasting periods. This method of fasting has grown to be very popular over the years and especially during quarantine because of many peoples sudden weight gain. There are many different ways to do it, providing a plethora of benefits, such as weight loss, reduction in insulin resistance, and reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Depending on which way you decide to do intermittent fasting, it can impact the result of benefits such as how much weight you can lose.
Some of the most popular varieties of intermittent fasting include the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour window in which to eat. There is also the 5:2 method, where you eat for 5 days out the week and on the other two limit your caloric intake to around 500-600, calories depending on your sex. And alternate day fasting, where you eat one day and don’t eat the next day. The most effective out of these three methods is the 5:2 method, followed by the alternate day fasting method, then by the 16/8 method.
The 16/8 method is just a template for this next method. The schedule for this method of fasting could be switched around to a 12/12 or a 18/6, where the hours that you abstain from food changes around your schedule while the end results remain the same. I have tried this method but quickly came to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me, because after the eating period, it left me hungry and craving food for the rest of the day. Many people, however, do actually choose this method because it is reasonable and results in increased weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and enhanced longevity. Many professionals believe that if this is done wrong and you overeat during your eating period, it can backfire and lead to weight gain.
According to Adda Bjarnadottir and other professionals at, healthline.com, the 5:2 method is one of, if not the, most popular method as of right now, and has shown to have produced some of the best weight loss results. This intermittent fasting regime is not sustainable for everybody. If you have an eating disorder, experience drops in blood sugar levels, or are underweight or malnourished, then this method is not for you. According to Jillian Kubala and many other professionals, the many benefits that come with choosing this method are reduced body weight, reduced fat mass with no change in muscle mass, and reduced blood levels of triglycerides by 20%. If done right, then this method proves to be very beneficial.
The alternate day fasting method is pretty straightforward: you eat for one day and don’t the next. The hardest part about this is not eating for an entire day, which could leave you hungry all day and even into your sleep. Despite the biggest problem with this method being hunger throughout the day, it is actually a decent method that encourages a noticeable amount of weight loss. Studies run by those at healthline show that engaging in alternate day fasting may help you lose 3%-8% percent of your body weight in 2-12 weeks. This benefit is not the only one that comes with this method, but it also leads to decreased fasting insulin and a decrease in fat mass without extra loss in muscle mass.
I did the alternate day fasting method and I have found that it is extremely difficult in the beginning but becomes more bearable as you continue to do it. Over the span of six months I have found that over time you aren’t hungry on your fasting days, and have a steady flow of weight loss. I have lost more than twenty pounds and I have also experienced some mood swings, but overall have been feeling better mentally. Some other things I have noticed through my own personal experience is that my reaction times are slower and it took more time for me to process things than usual. This is not guaranteed to happen to everyone but just something I found throughout my own experience.
Each of these methods are just some of the possible varieties of intermittent fasting, and it is not for everyone. With each variety comes a lot of different benefits, some of which align with each other and some that don’t. Depending on what benefits you are looking for and what aligns with your lifestyle, it is possible to determine which is the best possible variety of intermittent fasting on a person-to-person basis.