I've been IF'ing myself now for just over 4 weeks and in that time I've read a lot about various approaches to intermittent fasting and I thought I'd share for those who are thinking about starting or are maybe a little confused about all the different ways that people refer to their plans in the diary section.
I don't profess to be an expert in any way!
Make sure you read up yourself about IF and the plan you are considering following, but the commonalities of all the approaches are basically:
IF provides a way to restrict calories and yield weight loss, by not consuming calories in your fasting window your body will, after 14-16 hours switch over to burning it's own fat reserves for fuel, which makes it more efficient as a weight loss tool than simply counting over all calories. There are lots of other claims made about IF, I'm not a doctor so I won't go into that side of things.
JUDDD - Covered in detail by Jilly on this board (You can read Jilly's excellent post here http://www.minimins.com/johnson-upda...w-succeed.html), so no more needs to be said except that JUDDD was really designed for full up and down days, theres no mixing it up, it's either up or down. Some people have developed their own approach, that works for them, and they have discovered through a process of trial and error.
Eat Stop Eat - This book was written by Brad Pilon some years ago, his approach is 1-2, 24 hour fast per week on which no calories at all are consumed within the 24 hour period, only calorie free/very low calorie drinks are allowed and absolutely nothing else, so do say 5pm one day until 5pm the next, no calories in between and eat what you want after 5pm until your next fast begins. It's very simple, there's no calorie counting, because you're eating or you're not eating and as Brad says your body has 2 states, fasted or fed, there really isn't anything in between, the book can be downloaded in PDF format from the internet. Some people do the ESE regime on an alternate day basis.
Fast 5 - Developed by Dr Bert Herring Fast 5 allows you to eat every day within a 5 hour eating window, so basically you fast for 19 hours , no calories at all, eat what you like for 5 consecutive hours, the eating window of 5pm - 10pm is popular. There is an excellent free ebook again download from the internet. Fast 5 isn't complicated either, there's no calorie counting, because you're eating or you're not eating.
Leangains - Same as Fast 5 except it's 16/8, this regime is primarily used by people involved in strength training (body building) and involves a rigorous regime of weight lifting, clearly not for everyone then!
5:2 - I am sure little needs to be said about this one after all the publicity, but it involves eating no more than 500 cals a day (for women) and 600 cals a day (for men), 2 days per week, non consecutive days are recommended, the other 5 days you can eat what you want, although focus is put on eating a healthy balanced diet ( as is the case with all the other approaches it has to be said)
Whatever regime you chose or if weight loss has stalled here are some questions to ask yourself:
Will/does the approach fit my lifestyle? ( how can you tweak the plan to suit you and make sure you stay on it?)
Does my approach include a period of 16 hours where I'm not eating any calories ( to maximise fat burning benefits)
Am I consciously over eating when non fasting? ( all of the plans say eat anything you want in non fast periods, they do not say eat everything!)
Are you keeping a food journal? ( log your calories, it's very useful to spot where you might be going wrong)
Notes About IF
IF is probably different from all the other diets you've tried, it can take a while to get into the swing of it and the average seems to be about 4 weeks, in the adjustment phase you can expect to :
Gain weight temporarily as the body adjusts.
Over eat during non fast times, this will subside as your appetite adjusts.
Disturbed sleep, some IF'ers find sleeping on an empty tum a little difficult, this subsides over time.
Increased energy, after about 2 weeks you should feel an increase in energy and mental alertness.
Feel guilty about eating, unfortunately thats what diets do to you!
Worry about eating all the UP/non fast calories, don't you will manage to eat what you want/need.
Worry it's not working, it does just trust the plan.
See scale bounces, this is normal, weighing once a week after a fast period is recommended, especially if you are put off by temporary gains
Hopefully some of you will find this useful for your If journey, good luck!