May 2017 Magazine - Page 71

Five Popular Intermittent Fasting Plans If you’re sold on the idea of intermittent fasting, you’re in luck. Over the last few years, dozens of eating plans based on the concept have emerged on the scene – and that’s a good thing, according to exercise and wellness guru Nia Shanks. Because this lifestyle can definitely be challenging to adopt, particularly for beginners who have well-established eating routines, your success likely depends on picking a regimen that works for you and customizing it to fit your needs. Her advice: “Choose a method that makes your life easier.” Here’s a brief rundown of some of the top diets based on intermittent fasting (IF). • The UpDayDownDay Diet: Developed by Dr. James Johnson, based on his own research in the field, this plan starts with a two-week phase of alternating 500-calorie days with “normal” eating days (unrestricted foods, but without deliberately overeating). After the first two weeks, users have the option of switching to a slightly higher calorie-intake level for the “down” days. • The Warrior Diet: Geared toward tough-as-nails types with willpower to spare, this was one of the first widely popular intermittent fasting plans. The diet is based around fasting with just a few snacks for 20 hours a day and then eating one large evening meal. However, unlike most other IF plans, there are some restrictions on what you can eat, with the emphasis being on starting with veggies and protein, and eating carbs later if you’re still hungry. • The 5:2 Diet (also known as the FastDiet): In this U.K.- developed version of IF, you stick to 500-600 calories two non- consecutive days per week, and then consume whatever you’d like the other five days of the week (without deliberately overeating). • The Bone Broth Diet: This recent entry into the roster of IF plans involves consuming nothing but a few cups of bone broth on two, non-consecutive days a week, supplemented by five days of paleo-inspired clean eating. On the bright side, the plan geared toward weight loss only lasts 21 days. • The 8-Hour Diet: This take on IF has dieters limiting food consumption to an eight-hour window each day. Other than that, you can eat however you’d like, although sugary bever- ages are discouraged. The preliminary results of the intermittent fasting research – not to mention the glowing reviews of thousands of happy fasters online – appear to be very promising, but the jury is still out on the long-term effectiveness of this approach. And this method definitely isn’t for everyone. People with blood-sugar issues and women who could potentially be pregnant should be particularly cautious, talking with a medical professional before giving intermittent fasting a try. ◆