Most people thought fasting is only for weight loss as a result they start fasting just to reduce their body weight. But fasting is not about reducing the intake of foods and drinks to bring the body in shape. It is more than that. It brings amazing changes in the body as well as the mind. It also shows spiritual changes in you.
All the benefits, whether health or spiritual, depending on the different fasting habits. If you want to know the importance of fasting other than weight loss, then keep reading this post.
Here we covered everything regarding fasting and also the different types of fasting. So, without wasting your time scroll down and gather this knowledge. Know what are the different types of fasting and in what manner they are beneficial. In this article, you will find 5 different types of fasting and their benefits.
Before diving into the different types of fasting, let’s see what is fasting.
1. What Is Fasting?
Fasting is another way of adopting healthy eating habits. In general, fasting is avoiding or not eating food for a certain period. All kinds of solid foods are not allowed during fasting, only water or in some cases, coffee and other beverages are also allowable during the fasting period.
1.1 Impact of Fasting on the Body and Brain
For the overall health of your body, your lifestyle, and routine play significant role. But metabolic health involves eating habits. Eating healthy and nutritious food is always good for the body but sometimes skipping breakfast or meals or even not eating solid foods is way more beneficial for the body and mind.
Fasting is not only good for maintaining weight but also good for cognitive health. Most of the research shows that people who fast and eat food in limited quantity will have good health physically as well as mentally. During fasting, the body starts burning stored fat which is effective for fat loss. In this way, it maintains blood sugar levels.
The use of conserved glucose for energy becomes high and the metabolic rate also increases. Fasting involves various healthy changes in the body including the breakdown of fats, the cleansing of toxins from the body, and the release of chemicals or hormones that are good for the body.
Fasting also benefits mental and cognitive health as well. Studies have proven that fasting helps mental clarity, learning, coordination, and maintaining stress. This all happens because of certain chemicals that not only regulate stress levels but also help to fight various diseases.
Therefore, fasting is considered a good way to keep your body and mind healthy. Despite lots of health benefits, it also helps in inner healing and spiritual well-being.
2. 5 Different Types of Fasting and Their Benefits
Fasting is not restricted to weight loss but it also does the inner cleaning of the body. It keeps your digestive system healthy and functioning properly. Well, fasting has tremendous benefits. Sometimes the benefits of fasting vary with the type of fasting.
Here, you get to know about 5 different types of fasting along with their benefits. These are the main types of fasting that most people prefer to do. In this list of 5 different types of fasting, some of the fasts are quite easy to do but some are hard.
Let’s dive into this list of 5 different types of fasting and their benefits.
2.1 Intermittent Fasting
The most common type, intermittent fasting used by lots of people especially women in their weight loss journey. This is a kind of restricted eating fast, in which you can eat only during the selected period.
This fasting involves two phases- one is the eating window and another one is the fasting period. So, it is like a cycle of eating and fasting. During the fasting period, you are not allowed to eat but you can drink water or calorie-free drinks in this period.
For weight loss, intermittent fasting is the best, as you limit your eating and reduce hunger cravings the whole day. You will eat only in the eating window, and as a result, you will maintain your calorie intake although.
2.1.1. Types Of Intermittent Fasting
In intermittent fasting, the period of eating and fasting varies with the types of intermittent fasting. On this basis, there are five main types of intermittent fasting.
• Circadian Rhythm Fasting or 12/12
This kind of intermittent fasting is directly linked with circadian rhythms. Many studies have been done to check how circadian rhythms affect nutrition. It is found that these daily cycles regulate the brain clock which ultimately maintains the sleep cycle, body hormones, digestion, and body temperature.
It is time-restricted eating in which you can eat during a certain time of the day, like between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. In this fast, your 12 hours are for fasting and the remaining 12 hours are for eating. This is why you can eat only during the eating window, just like other intermittent fasts.
• Alternate-Day Fasting
Alternate-day fasting is like eating today then fasting tomorrow, and repeating this way for as many days as you wish. This fast is quite hard to continue for a long time as it causes nutrient deficiency and sometimes results in weakness.
• Whole Day Fasting
24 hours without eating a day is the main idea of this fast. It is a ‘modified fast‘, in which two days a week are no eating days, and the remaining five days are for eating. That’s why it is also known as the ‘twice-a-week fast’ or ‘5:2 method’. On your eating days, you can take meals without restrictions.
Usually, no one suggests this fast because of the negative impacts of this fast on health. Skipping meals for a whole day will make you feel hungry, fatigued, and low.
• The Warrior Diet
The warrior diet is not that much hard as other types of intermittent fasting. In this fast, restricting calories is not important. But here also you have to eat during a four-hour eating window, which means you have to take just one meal in a day. The good thing is you don’t need to starve remaining 20 hours, as you can eat healthy and unprocessed food such as raw fruits and natural juice.
This type of IF doesn’t depend only on fasting and reducing calorie intake for weight loss purposes. It also emphasizes exercises and workouts.
• Time-Restricted Feeding
This kind of intermittent fasting revolves around time. You can eat only during a specific period and in the remaining time, you do fasting. Time-restricted fasting can also vary with the duration of fasting slots. That’s why it can be of two types; 16:8 and 14:10.
It is the most preferable type of intermittent fasting, as you can eat 2-3 meals during the eating phase. As a result, you don’t feel hungry and weak on your fasting days.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is best to deal with eating disorders, obesity, and binge eating. This fasting restricts you to fewer meals, which directly helps in reducing calorie intake. In this way, you will maintain your calorie intake and weight.
It even benefits type 2 diabetic persons. In type 2 diabetes, a low blood sugar level is very essential for insulin resistance. And intermittent fasting helps in regulating blood sugar levels.
Intermittent fasting shows amazing results in the cure of many chronic diseases and inflammatory diseases. It is also effective to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, early aging, and various brain disorders.
2.2. Calorie Restriction Fasting
This is the most common type of fast in which the main idea is to consume fewer calories for quick weight loss. This is quite similar to intermittent fasting. In this fast, you limit your calorie consumption without any malnutrition.
Studies found that calorie restriction leads to various health benefits and even longer life spans. That’s why many researchers prefer this fasting over intermittent fasting. Sometimes intermittent fasting causes a deficiency of nutrients and minerals but this is not happening in this fasting.
Benefits Of Calorie Restriction Fasting
- Improves metabolic health
- Reduces the risk of bowel diseases
- Slow down the aging effects
- Effective for overweight adults
- Promotes longevity
2.3. Macro Nutrient Restricting Fasting
Out of all the different types of fasting, this one concerns the quantity of macronutrient intake. Although macronutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body, excess consumption is not good. This macro fast is considered to be best for all bodybuilders and athletes.
This fasting emphasizes the restriction of three major food nutrients from the diet. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the main macronutrients that need to take in a limited amount during this fasting.
In this kind of fasting, you skip meals that contain a high amount of macros or macronutrients. That’s why this fast is recommended to those who consume a lot of protein and fat just like athletes or gym lovers.
Benefits of Macronutrient-Restricting Fasting
- Improves gut health
- Excellent way of fasting for athletes
- Help in building lean muscle mass
- Improves athletic performance
- Also effective to accomplish weight loss goals
2.4. Seasonal Eating
Seasonal eating is always recommended to everyone to prevent any diseases. It also promotes a healthy diet and lifestyle. It involves eating certain fruits and vegetables grown in that particular season. Seasonal fruits, vegetables, and crops are free from harmful chemicals as a result they are acceptable to consume.
Benefits of Seasonal Eating
- Enhances healthy eating habits
- Increases minerals and vitamins in the body
- Prevents various diseases
2.5. Juice Fasting
Juice fasting is the best way for cleansing the body’s organs. Besides cleaning inner organs, it also gives quick energy. Don’t get confused juicing with the store juices. It is way more different than the packed and market juices.
The raw vegetables and fruits are used for making juice through juicing machine in which the juice comes out from the pulp. Juicing is good for health and the immune system.
Benefits of Juice Fasting
- Improves immunity
- Help to fight against germs and microbial infections
- Cleanses the body’s organs
- Also enhances good gut bacteria for gut health
- Good to prevent an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa.
3. Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet during Fasting
Fasting provides lots of health benefits, but it is important to do it properly. Intermittent fasting shows amazing results and is considered to be good for healthy and long life. But when things are not done correctly, then the results will be opposite or not good. Similarly, it could be dangerous for you if you don’t do fasting correctly.
So, here are some tips for you to keep you away from all those mistakes. These tips will help you to do fasts properly. By following these tips, you will gain all the benefits of fasting as well.
3.1. Fasting Periods
This is very important to take care of whenever you do fast. Fasting periods can vary from person to person. For some people, 16-hour fasting is not difficult, but for some, fasting for 12 hours is also hard.
So choose fasting periods, especially in the case of intermittent fasting, according to your health and body. Intermittent fasting mainly revolves around eating hours and fasting hours. That’s why you should keep track of your fasting periods to identify which type of fasting is good for you.
3.2. Avoid Feasting on Fasting Days
On fasting days, you don’t eat breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner although. This increases your hunger so badly that you eat a lot of food when you are off from fasting.
That’s why it is very important to avoid too much eating or feasting on fasting days. This thing needs more attention during intermittent fasting or long-hour fasts.
3.3. Intake High Protein Diet
It is an important tip to keep yourself healthy when you are on your fasting days. Protein-rich diet provides all the nutrients and good source of energy.
The main idea of fasting is to reduce calorie intake to lose weight but this may cause side effects that can be counteracted with protein consumption.
3.4. Drink Enough Water
A dehydrated body feels tired, fatigued, and unwell which is not good for health. That’s why it becomes very important to keep yourself well and hydrated especially during fast. Drink water when you feel hungry and thirsty on your fasting days.
3.5. Never Fast When You Unwell
Last but the most important tip is don’t fast when you feel unwell. If you are on any kind of medication, it is recommended to avoid fasting. When you feel tired, sick, and uncomfortable then also stop fasting as this is a sign that your body needs food.
Hope now you understand different types of fasting and important tips for healthy fasting. Along with that you also know the benefits of these different types of fasting.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Form of Fasting Is Ideal?
A 3-day fast once per month or once per new season is perhaps the most effective way to fast. Under certain circumstances, such as if you are too thin, undernourished, younger than 18, have a chronic illness, are pregnant, or are nursing, you should use caution when fasting.
2. How Long Can You Fast Safely?
For the majority of people, 12 hours of eating followed by 12 hours of fasting is probably safe.
3. Is a Four-Day Fast Healthy?
Most healthy individuals usually won’t have any negative effects from a brief fast, as long as they don’t become dehydrated. To keep healthy, your body requires the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in food.