Intermittent Fasting Schedule – Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that is carried out by fasting for several hours and then being allowed to eat freely in the following hours. The duration of fasting in intermittent fasting can vary, ranging from 12-16 hours every day. Some people fast 24 hours a day every week.
The intermittent fasting diet method has recently become a health trend because it is claimed to be effective in losing weight, improving metabolic health, and even extending life.
Not only that, but the intermittent fasting method is fairly easy to do. This method makes many people feel better and has more energy.
What is this?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that establishes periods for eating and fasting. So, what is emphasized here is not about what types of food are allowed and what are not, but about restrictions on eating hours.
There are several methods for doing intermittent fasting, according to the hours of eating or the duration of fasting that needs to be done.
1. Fasting 12 hours a day
The diet rules for this one method are simple, and it is enough to fast for 12 hours every day. After that, you can eat normally. This method is a good choice for beginners because the fasting time is relatively short and the daily calories are the same every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 10-16 hours can cause the body to turn its fat reserves into energy and release ketones into the bloodstream. This is what drives weight loss.
2. Fasting for 16 hours a day
Fasting for 16 hours a day with 8 hours of meals is called the 16:8 method. During the 16:8 diet, men fast for 16 hours each day, while women fast for 14 hours. This method of intermittent fasting may be useful for those of you who have tried 12-hour fasting but have not seen any benefit.
On this fasting diet, people usually finish eating in the evening at 8 o’clock and then skip breakfast the next day. They will only eat again at noon.
3. Fasting two days a week
This method is called 5:2. People following this diet eat a standard amount of healthy food for five days and reduce their calorie intake for the next two days. During the two days of fasting, men generally only consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Besides being able to reduce insulin levels, this method is also believed to increase insulin sensitivity.
4. Alternate fasting
Alternate fasting means that you fast every day by avoiding solid foods or consuming only a maximum of 500 calories in one day. One study says that alternative fasting is effective for weight loss and improves heart health in a higher-weight adult.
Alternative fasting is an extreme form of intermittent fasting, so it is not suitable for beginners or those with certain medical conditions. Beginners will also struggle to maintain this type of fast in the long run.
5. The last Intermittent Fasting Schedule is Fasting 24 hours a week
That is, fasting for one or two days per week, also known as the “Eat-to-Eat” diet. So, to follow this diet, you don’t eat for 24 hours but can drink water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks.
For some people, this method is quite extreme and challenging because it can cause fatigue, headaches, or a bad mood. Therefore, this method is not recommended for beginners.
Tips for Intermittent Fasting
To start intermittent fasting, know your daily calorie needs
To be able to undergo intermittent fasting smoothly, you can do the following:
1. Set goals
Before undergoing intermittent fasting, first, determine your goal for doing it. For example, to lose weight, improve overall health, or improve metabolic health.
Setting goals can help you figure out how many calories and nutrients you need to consume and choose the most suitable fasting method.
2. Choose the most appropriate method
There are various intermittent fasting methods that you can try. Choose a method that suits your preferences and if you can stick with it in the long run.
It’s best to stick with your chosen fasting method for a month or so to see how effective it is for you before thinking about switching to another method.
Not everyone can safely fast, so you should consult a doctor if you have special health conditions.
3. Know your daily calorie needs
There is no definite prohibition against consuming certain foods during the fasting diet. However, you still have to pay attention to your daily calorie intake.
To lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than your body uses. Meanwhile, to gain weight, you have to consume more calories than you use.
There are several applications that you can use to find out your daily calorie needs according to intermittent fasting goals. It would be better if you consult a nutritionist.
4. Plan a menu for meals
The next tip for intermittent fasting is to plan a menu to eat in the next few days or weeks.
Calorie intake and nutrition are the main considerations when compiling a menu. Meal planning can help you get constant calories according to your fasting diet goals.
You can also prepare recipes, ingredients, or snacks according to a prearranged meal plan, so you don’t have to shop or overeat and can stick to your diet plan.
5. Calculating Caloric Intake
Intermittent fasting is a diet method that does not limit the number of calories consumed during a meal period and prioritizes food nutrition.
Make sure the calorie intake you consume meets your needs. Also, focus on choosing foods with a high number of nutrients per calorie.
Things to pay attention to when undergoing intermittent fasting
The main side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger or starvation. Apart from that, you may also feel weak and your brain may not work as well as usual.
However, this condition usually only lasts temporarily, because it takes time for the body to adapt to the new eating schedule. In general, fasting for healthy people is a very safe and beneficial thing.
Even though intermittent fasting has many benefits, not everyone is suitable for it.
Here are some things that need to be considered or consult with your doctor first before undergoing intermittent fasting:
- If you are underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should first consult with your doctor before going on a fasting diet.
- Likewise, if you have diabetes, especially type 1, are taking insulin medications, have problems with blood sugar regulation, have low blood pressure, and are currently taking certain medications.
- Intermittent fasting may trigger side effects in women, such as worsening blood sugar control, being thin and masculine, being infertile, and stopping menstruation during fasting.
- Women who are planning a pregnancy or have fertility problems should not do intermittent fasting unless they have their doctor’s approval.
- Intermittent fasting can also be a bad idea if done when you are pregnant or breastfeeding which requires more nutritional intake for the growth and development of your baby.