Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular weight loss programs because of its proven ability to help people lose a significant amount of poundage in a short time. The approach to IF depends largely on the individual’s lifestyle and habits, so the results will vary. This is why there are many ways to do intermittent fasting. Here are the most popular ways to get it done so you can get the most out of your weight loss journey.

12-Hour Fast

The 12-Hour Fast is suited for beginners because the fasting period is relatively short and manageable. Much of the fasting happens while one sleeps so there’s no pressure to not eat during the day. For instance, you can choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. the next day so you don’t really “feel” that you are not eating. 

16:8 Diet

This involves an eating window of 8 hours and a fasting period of 16 hours. Also called the Leangains diet, it is recommended for those who have already tried the 12-hour IF method but did not see any significant changes to their body mass and weight. The usual approach to this is finishing meals by 8 p.m. and then not eating until 12 noon the next day.

5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet means eating healthy food for five days and then reducing your calorie consumption (500 for women and 600 for men) on the other two. Also dubbed the Fast Diet, this method has been found to reduce insulin levels, in addition to resulting in significant weight loss. 

Eat-Stop-Eat (24-Hour) Diet

This IF style involves not eating any food for 24 hours, fasting from lunch to lunch or breakfast to breakfast. You may consume calorie-free drinks like tea or water during the fasting hours, and then eat as usual on days when you don’t fast. It is challenging because not eating for a full day can lead to headaches, irritability and fatigue. It is recommended that you try the 12-hour or 16-hour methods first before advancing to the Eat-Stop-Eat intermittent fasting program.

The Warrior Diet

This is one of the more extreme intermittent fasting methods because it involves eating very little food during a 20-hour window. You are allowed to eat one big meal in the evening and this window lasts only 4 hours. Those who support The Warrior Diet find that it is best for those who are naturally nocturnal eaters, as others will likely struggle to consume a large meal near bedtime. It is also risky because, during the 4 hours, people might not eat enough nutritious and fiber-rich food. 

Healthy Salad The approach to IF depends largely on the individual’s lifestyle and habits, so the results will vary. Pictured: View of arista, tomatillo, roasted garlic, charred onion, favas, whipped lardo, smoked poblanos, Bloomsdale spinach dish Photo: Getty Images/Craig Barritt