What Are The Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting?

Generally speaking, there are 4 types of fasting practiced in the fasting community. . However, not all of them are suitable for women. Please consider your situation when you pick your fasting method. You may want to adjust your fasting plan after observing how your body reacts to it :

I. Daily Time-Restricted Eating

In a daily time-restricted eating method of fasting, you fast or eat during certain hours every day. Although it is more effective to do it on a daily basis, you can skip a day or two once in a while to fit with your family or social life. Daily time-restricted eating is the most popular approach to fasting as it’s quite manageable for most people; 6 to 8 hours of sleep counts toward the fasting hours, making it easy to adopt in your existing lifestyle.

Popular daily time-restricted eating methods include:

  • 12:12 Method. 12 hours of fasting and 12 hours of eating. This is a great option for beginners as you can continue to eat 3 meals per day while you’re adjusting to the feeling of an empty stomach.  
  • 14:10 Method. 14 hours of fasting and 10 hours of eating. Many women find this option more doable because it helps with weight control without stressing their body too much, especially during periods.
  • 16:8 Method. 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. This is the most popular fasting method as you only need to skip one meal. Plus, it is a very effective weight loss method.
  • 18:6 Method. 18 hours of fasting and 6 hours of eating. Some women won’t see their weight drop while practicing some of the easier methods. 18 hours of fasting is much more effective if you’re trying to lose stubborn fat and extra weight. However, this method is not recommended during periods.
  • 20:4 Method. 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours of eating. This method of fasting is quite intense so make sure your menstrual cycle is not impacted with the help of FastingQueens’s monitoring tool. 
  • OMAD (One Meal a Day). In this type of fasting, you only consume one meal a day while fasting for the rest of the day. OMAD is considered extreme and a difficult approach for most women to practice every day. Again, please use the period monitoring tool in FastingQueens to ensure your periods are not disrupted.

II. The 5:2 Method

In this approach, you consume a normal and healthy diet five days a week. For the other two days, you restrict your calorie intake to 500 to 600 calories. We don’t recommend this method because women need about 1200 calories daily and the 5:2 method does not train your body to become fat-adapted like “daily time-restricted eating” methods.

III. Crescendo Method

To practice crescendo fasting, you only fast on 3 non-consecutive days each week. For example, you fast for 16 hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On the other 4 days, you simply don’t fast or do an easy fasting of 12 hours.

Intermittent fasting can be hard on some women, especially if you are new to it. Crescendo fasting is a fantastic form of intermittent fasting that works for women and is less demanding on their bodies. It is a great alternative to “daily time-restricted eating” methods if you find daily fasting is negatively impacting your periods.

IV. Extended Fasting (24 hrs and more)

Extended fasting typically lasts somewhere between 24 to 72 hours (1 to 3 days). During the fasting time, your body relies on zero-calorie fluids like black tea or coffee along with lots of water to avoid dehydration. Afterward, you gradually reintroduce food back to your body, starting with healthy snacks and then adding small meals back into your diet. 

Fasting for long hours triggers the benefits of autophagy, which is the body’s way of self-eating and cleaning. Some people practice extended fasting on a monthly basis to gain the health benefits it offers. If you want to practice 24hrs+ of fasting, you’ll need to plan carefully especially if it’s your first time. FastingQueens is here to help you with the preparation and help observe your body’s reaction to fasting. We have a body reaction checklist so if you feel like a particular method is too much, you can stop fasting and come back with a better plan next time. 

Further Reading

Because women should fast differently than men, there are some methods that are better for women. We’ve created A Complete Guide to Healthy Fasting Without Affecting Your Menstrual Cycle for your use. Check it out before you begin laying out your fasting plan.