Intermittent Fasting is a weight management strategy, with many variations, that follow the basic premise of restricting energy intake during certain periods of the day (1). Intermittent Fasting can be more effective than calorie restriction alone, as it reduces the adaptive responses and physiological effects that occur with long-term calorie restriction (2). There is a large body of evidence to suggest that Intermittent Fasting is beneficial for more than just weight management, as it can also improve other aspects of metabolic health such as cardiovascular health, glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity and improvements in gut microbiome (3,4).
There are several different methods of fasting which can be highly effective when aligned with the preferences and lifestyle of the individual. Some of these include:
Intermittent Fasting Diet – This follows a dietary pattern of consuming your ‘regular’ healthy diet for 5 days per week and ‘fasting’ for 2 days. On the fasting days, calorie intake should be limited to 25% of your regular calorie intake (or approximately 500-600 calories). This can be adjusted to suit individual preferences, such as eating 3 small meals, or 2 small meals and a snack.
Time Restricted Fasting – This method involves limiting food consumption to an 8–12-hour window each day and fasting for the remaining hours. This method is less focused on calorie restriction; however, mindful eating should also be implemented to achieve optimal results.
24-hour Fast – This method involves fasting for a 24-hour period, 1 day per week. This could look like fasting from breakfast to breakfast or dinner to dinner, depending on personal preferences. This fasting method is for more advanced individuals who have had previous experience with other fasting methods such as the ones mentioned above.
Fasting is an effective approach that can be used for several reasons including weight maintenance after completing any of our programs; if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or if you struggle committing to a weekly program. The Be Fit Food Intermittent Fasting program provides you with 2 days' worth of meals for 4 weeks’ that are low carb, high protein and nutritionally balanced. Even if the Intermittent Fasting approach isn’t for you, you can still use our meals to help limit your calorie intake on time-restricted fasting days, or even on non-fasting days to create consistency and balance in your diet.
If you want to know whether fasting is the right choice to suit your lifestyle and goals, book in a free 15-minute consult with one of our Dietitians, in-store or over the phone.
- Rynders, C., Thomas, E., Zaman, A., Pan, Z., Catenacci, V., & Melanson, E. (2019). Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Feeding Compared to Continuous Energy Restriction for Weight Loss. Nutrients, 11(10), 2442. doi: 10.3390/nu11102442
- Seimon, R., Roekenes, J., Zibellini, J., Zhu, B., Gibson, A., & Hills, A. et al. (2015). Do intermittent diets provide physiological benefits over continuous diets for weight loss? A systematic review of clinical trials. Molecular And Cellular Endocrinology, 418, 153-172. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2015.09.014
- Stockman, M., Thomas, D., Burke, J., & Apovian, C. (2018). Intermittent Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight?. Current Obesity Reports, 7(2), 172-185. doi: 10.1007/s13679-018-0308-9
- Hoddy, K., Marlatt, K., Çetinkaya, H., & Ravussin, E. (2020). Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health: From Religious Fast to Time‐Restricted Feeding. Obesity, 28(S1). doi: 10.1002/oby.22829