This One Habit Can Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Intermittent fasting is a broad term that covers a number of fasting schedules. Generally, fasting involves cutting calories in whole, or partially, either a few days per week or every other day, sometimes even daily. Most people practice a routine that allows them to eat normally for 5 days per week, then cut your caloric intake to about 500 calories per day two days per week. Using this method, Dr. Mosely claims he lost 19 pounds in two months. Read more about how to do intermittent fasting right.

Another method is the alternate day fast. It works exactly how the name implies, with one day eating normally, the other day fasting for about 32 to 36 hours (including the time your sleep). The only problem with this method is that it requires you to go to bed on an empty stomach every other day, which is not something many people enjoy. However, once accustomed to it, this schedule does have the highest compliance rate than other fasting schedules.

When all is said and done, it really doesn’t matter which schedule you decide to try, the perfect fasting routine is the one you will stick to.

Alternate day fasting is where you eat anything you like one day, then eat no more than 500 calories on the next day. This program also works well for weight loss, the same as other programs. An interesting note from one study, where subjects participated in an alternate day fasting; those who ate just one meal, all 500 calories, in one meal, were more successful in sticking to the diet than those who ate tiny amounts of food throughout the day. For some reason, those who ate those tiny meals several times per day, say that they only wanted more food as the day went on and the cheat rate dramatically increased in those subjects.

Another fasting method is to simply restrict your eating to a specific timeframe, such as 8 hours. In other words, you can eat anything you like, eat as you always do, no caloric restrictions, but you can only eat between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM, for example. This program is quite successful as there is rarely a need to cheat because you don’t have to restrict calories and you can eat in the evenings with your family and not have to go to bed hungry.

Sticking to a fasting program is always the key stumbling block and many people find it difficult to go on such as calorie restricted diet, even for just two days per week. There is always that co-worker who brings in their leftover cookies from their kids bake sale to kick you right off the fasting wagon. This is why the set timeframe fasting plan works so well for many people. Eat one of those cookies if you must, as long as it’s between the hours you have set for eating. For most people, this simply means eating a bit later in the morning than usual and forgoing your evening snack, something most people can become accustomed to rather quickly.

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