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One of the best parts about the new popular intermittent diet is that is comes with flexibility.
You can choose from many intermittent fasting schedules to find one that works for your existing schedule and preferences.
We’re breaking down all the possible intermittent fasting schedules so you can find the perfect one to propel your weight loss and health goals into reach.
1. 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
The 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule is probably the most common.
As you may have guessed, during the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule you fast for 16 hours out of the day, and feat for 8. You can adjust the window slightly from anywhere to 14-16 hours fasting, and 8-10 hours eating, especially if you need to ease into this new diet.
Even with an 8 hour window most people are able to fit 2-3 meals.
If you aren’t a huge breakfast eater, this intermittent fasting schedule is actually pretty easy to adopt. If you have an early dinner and skip breakfast, you’re pretty much already there! If you’re a big breakfast fan, you may have to go with an alternative schedule.
Don’t worry, water, coffee, and non-caloric beverages are totally fine to drink during fasting periods. In other words, you don’t have to give up your morning coffee!
Most intermittent fasters find this schedule the easiest to adopt, because you’re already typically fasting for quite some time after dinner and during the night.
Depending on your preferences, you could adopt any of these 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule options:
- Start Eating: 7 a.m., Stop Eating: 3 p.m.
- Start Eating: 11 a.m., Stop Eating: 7 p.m.
- Start Eating: 2 p.m., Stop Eating: 10 p.m.
- Start Eating: 6 p.m., Stop Eating: 2 a.m.
2. Eat-Stop-Eat Intermittent Fasting Schedule
The Eat-Stop-Eat intermittent fasting schedule is somewhat similar to the 5:2 method, but with slight variations.
The Eat-Stop-Eat method involves one to two 24 hours fasts per week.
Unlike the 5:2 method, you cannot consume any solids at all during the fasting days. Ie. no small meals to help you curb hunger throughout the day.
With a 24 hour fast, you could choose to go from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, or dinner to dinner. It doesn’t really matter where you choose to end and stop, because it’s all the same amount of time.
A lot of people struggle with not eating for a full 24 hour period.
If you’re aiming to adopt this intermittent fasting schedule you may opt to start around 16 hours and work your way up to a full 24 hours when you’re ready.
Like the other intermittent fasting schedules, you can still have water, coffee, and non caloric beverages during your fasting days.
3. 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
The 5:2 intermittent fasting schedule takes a little bit of a different approach.
With this fasting schedule you eat normally for five days out of the week, and then “fast” for two days out of the week.
It’s important to note that during these fasting days, you are still consuming a very small number of calories. Typically around 500 are recommended for women, and around 600 for men.
5:2 schedule adopters usually aim for two very small meals per day during their two fasting days per week.
There really haven’t been any specific studies about 5:2 schedule results. People adopting this schedule are banking on the fact that fasting studies have shown benefits, and they are fasting multiple times a week.
4. Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Schedule
The Alternate-Day intermittent fasting schedule is exactly what it sounds to be.
Using this schedule you fast every other day.
Some versions of this schedule allow a few small meals totalling around 500-600 calories a day, and others allow no solid foods at all.
We’re not sure about you, but this intermittent fasting schedule doesn’t seem very sustainable long term. A complete or even semi fast every other day means you’ll be hungry for half your week.
If you’re into it, good for you, but you can count us out on this one.
5. Warrior Diet Intermittent Fasting Schedule
The Warrior Diet intermittent fasting schedule is maybe one of the most counterintuitive ones there is.
Most of the time we eat during the day, and sleep at night.
Well the Warrior Diet plan isn’t in to that. With this intermittent fasting schedule you fast during the day, and eat at night. Whaaat?
During your fasting day you can eat small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, and then at night you have one huge meal.
The meal should fall within a four hour “eating” window.
It’s important to note that this diet, popularized by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler, encourages a similar food plan to a paleo diet during the eating window as well.
6. Spontaneous Intermittent Fasting Schedule
This intermittent fasting schedule isn’t really much of a fasting schedule at all.
This version of the intermittent fasting diet means you decide when you feel like fasting. If it’s convenient, you fast, if it’s not, you don’t.
Another version of this schedule is to skip meals when you’re not hungry.
What’s nice about this “schedule” is that is you can totally make it work for your schedule.
But the negative about this schedule is that, how likely are you to actually do it? When are you actually going to “feel” like fasting? Skipping meals whenever you feel like it is kind of a recipe to never skip meals at all.
If you have some serious willpower, this schedule may work for you. For the rest of us, better choose something else.
No matter what intermittent fasting schedule you choose, there could be huge benefits. These benefits cover a range of health topics, which includes weight loss.
Find a schedule that works for you and give intermittent fasting a try!
Want the skinny on intermittent fasting? Check out the ultimate beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
Need more weight loss inspiration? Grab one of these popular weight loss books that inspire results!