Intermittent fasting is one of the best weight loss methods with studies showing it can improve brain function, speed up metabolism and help you live longer. However, just like dieting, there’s no specific method of intermittent fasting that will work for all body types. To get it right, you have to have an intermittent fasting plan for your body type.
Different intermittent fasting methods work best for different body types. People with ectomorph bodies should use the 14:10 or 12:12 method, while mesomorphs will benefit from the 16:8 method. Endomorphs should try the 5:2 or warrior diet for better results.
If you’ve never heard of these body types or fasting methods, there’s no need to worry. In this article, I’ll discuss intermittent fasting and different body types in detail. I’ll also help you choose the best type of intermittent fasting for your body type.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves not eating for a specified amount of time. This can be anywhere from 8 hours of not consuming food to fasting for 24 hours consecutively. Intermittent fasting is focused more on limiting food intake for a specified time but doesn’t cover what you should or shouldn’t eat.
While intermittent fasting has been a part of human society for thousands of years, it’s become popular as an effective method of weight loss recently. Unlike many types of dieting, intermittent fasting is simple and effective, and the associated health benefits have been proven through extensive research.
However, unlike dieting, intermittent fasting is more focused on when you should and shouldn’t eat rather than what you should eat. While you’ll get some benefits from intermittent fasting regardless of your diet, it’s better to follow a healthy diet for better results.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been directly linked with an increase in human growth hormone levels and increased insulin sensitivity. It’s an effective way to lose weight and can help you deal with diabetes. This type of fasting has also been linked with better metabolism and can help boost mental health.
An increase in growth hormone levels will have a direct impact on fat loss and muscle gain. Following an intermittent fasting routine is, therefore, an effective weight loss method practiced by many fitness enthusiasts. If you’re obese, it can be more effective than dieting and lead to faster weight loss if done properly.
Apart from the physical benefits, intermittent fasting has been proven to boost brain health and may help reduce the risk of developing cancer. It can also reduce insulin resistance, and you’ll be less likely to get diabetes if you follow an intermittent fasting routine.
However, the biggest benefit of intermittent fasting is that it’s much easier to follow than dieting. The fast-paced lifestyle of most people makes it almost impossible to always eat healthily, and many people fall into a negative spiral after a few weeks of dieting. However, intermittent fasting can develop into a routine, and once this becomes a habit, it’s very difficult not to follow through.
Besides, which diet allows you to eat junk food here and there without losing any of your progress?
Types of Intermittent Fasting
While there are countless ways to fast intermittently, common techniques include the:
- 16/8 method
- 12/12 method
- 14/10 method
- Eat-stop-eat method
- 5:2 diet
- Warrior diet
All are effective if practiced regularly, but different methods will work for different body types.
Let’s look at the types of intermittent fasting in greater detail:
The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 method is one of the most commonly used methods of intermittent fasting. It involves fasting for 16 straight hours and eating within an 8-hour window. This 8-hour window should start after breakfast — you’ll have to skip breakfast with this method. If you sleep for 8 hours at night, you’re essentially allowed to eat for half the day and fast for half.
The reason why the 16/8 method works is because it involves skipping breakfast. However, you can’t compensate for breakfast with an unhealthy snack for at least 8 hours. Following this method will help you lose fat very quickly and could keep you alert for most of the day.
While it does involve skipping breakfast, a habit considered unhealthy by many, you don’t need to worry about any side effects if you follow a healthy diet. Just make sure your first meal after fasting isn’t a cheeseburger and soda!
The 12/12 and 14/10 Method
Both the 12/12 and 14/10 methods are the easiest types of intermittent fasting routines to follow. They involve fasting for 12 or 14 hours and having a 12 or 10-hour window for meals. If you want to experience the health benefits of intermittent fasting but don’t need to lose fat, the 12/12 method is best. And if you want to lose some fat but don’t have the capacity to fast for 16 hours straight, you can try the 14/10 method.
Both methods are effective at boosting your metabolism and don’t involve skipping breakfast. However, it’s best to fast for at least 6-8 daylight hours, and you should skip at least one of your 3-4 daily meals.
This type of intermittent fasting is effective because it reduces the amount of snacks you eat. Studies have shown that even people who eat healthy meals are prone to consuming unhealthy snacks. It’s also one of the primary reasons why healthy diets don’t work. By restricting your calorie intake to certain times of the day, you’ll benefit from lower blood sugar levels and better metabolism.
The Eat-Stop-Eat Method
The eat-stop-eat method is one of the most followed methods of intermittent fasting and is suitable for most people. This method involves not eating for 24 consecutive hours once or twice a week. While it does take a lot of willpower to pull off, many people prefer this type of intermittent fasting because of its simplicity.
The eat-stop-eat method is also effective for weight loss as you’ll likely burn fat when you don’t eat for 24 hours. While this type of intermittent fasting is effective regardless of what you eat, you’ll benefit more if you eat whole, healthy foods.
While effective at weight loss, you’ll have to be careful about what you eat and drink if you follow this method and not eat for 2 days every week. Firstly, you shouldn’t restrict your food consumption for 2 consecutive days — this diet involves fasting on non-consecutive days. Also, you’ll have to ensure you drink enough water and take supplements if necessary during your fasts.
If you do it the wrong way, the eat-stop-eat diet can be harmful, and you may suffer from insufficient nutrient intake or low blood sugar levels. However, if you do it properly, it can be very effective for weight loss.
The 5:2 Diet
The 5:2 diet is very similar to the eat-stop-eat method but involves consuming 500-600 calories on the days you fast. Think of it as a more manageable form of the eat-stop-eat method. While it’s slightly easier than not eating at all for 24 hours straight, consuming 500-600 calories in 24 hours isn’t easy either.
To put this into perspective, that’s equivalent to eating a single Big Mac in a 24-hour period! However, if you eat healthily, you can actually get a full meal with a fruit juice that covers 500-600 calories. The logic behind this diet is that the calorie deficiency helps with weight loss.
When following the 5:2 method, take care not to overeat when your fast is over. In fact, you’ll notice fewer food cravings after following this type of intermittent fasting for a few weeks. When you do eat, try eating healthier foods to fill the nutrient deficiency that intermittent fasting may cause.
The Warrior Diet
The warrior diet is a type of intermittent fasting that involves fasting for 20 hours and eating during a 4-hour window. Unlike with the 5:2 diet or eat-stop-eat method, you’ll have to follow this diet continuously instead of 1-2 days per week. It’s one of the most challenging types of intermittent fasting to follow but also one of the most effective.
The term “warrior diet” is based on the practice of warriors who wouldn’t eat for the whole day and feast in the evening. It can help improve your metabolism and is one of the best weight loss methods. However, it’s not a beginner-friendly diet and requires a lot of willpower to follow.
When trying out the warrior diet, start with an easier type of intermittent fasting, like the 16/8 method. You can then transition to the 5:2 diet or proceed to the warrior diet if you feel ready. Remember, just like with other diets, the important thing is to create a habitual routine around it for this type of intermittent fasting to work.
What Type of Intermittent Fasting Is Suitable for Your Body Type?
The biggest mistake many people make when starting a new diet or trying intermittent fasting is to expect results without checking whether the diet is suitable for their body type or not. Just because a diet works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you too.
Before you can choose an intermittent fasting program, you’ll need to know your body type. Here are the 3 common body types and the type of intermittent fasting that works best for them:
1. Ectomorphs (Small and Lanky)
Ectomorphs have a small, thin and lanky body. If you have this body type, it will be difficult for you to gain weight, even if you don’t work out regularly. We all know someone who can eat as much as they want without gaining an ounce of weight!
The best type of intermittent fasting program for an ectomorph is the 14/10 method. If you are already thin and don’t have much abdominal fat but still want to get the benefits of intermittent fasting, try the 12/12 method.
This type of intermittent fasting allows you to gain muscle mass while maintaining your body shape. You’ll have enough energy for your workouts, and you can add to the benefits of this fasting program by eating foods high in protein.
2. Mesomorphs (Muscular With a Medium Frame)
Mesomorphs are more balanced than ectomorphs and have more muscle and fat. While they have a more balanced body type, they are also more likely to get fat with unhealthy eating and can benefit most from intermittent fasting. If you have a mesomorph body type and are starting to gain weight, try intermittent fasting to keep your weight in check.
Mesomorphs should try the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting. Not eating for 16 hours will keep your fat levels and body weight in check, and the 8-hour window in which you can eat will help you maintain a solid, muscular frame.
If you do a balanced workout consisting of HIIT exercises and lifting weights, you’ll develop a well-rounded body with intermittent fasting.
3. Endomorphs (Chubby and Curvy)
Endomorphs are those that have a curvy body type and hold more fat around their belly and hip areas. You don’t have to be fat to be an endomorph, but you’ll likely need to be more cautious about your diet than people with other body types. However, endomorphs have more stamina and power and excel in power sports.
If you’re an endomorph and need to lose weight, you should try out the eat-stop-eat or 5:2 method. If you’re obese and need to lose weight fast, you can try out the warrior diet, but start with a more manageable form of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is great for all people, but you’ll have to follow a program that suits your body type to get results. If you’re already thin and don’t gain weight easily, you can benefit from fasting for between 12-14 hours. However, if you’re chubby and have a lot of abdominal fat, you’ll have to try a more grueling fasting program like the 5:2 method or even the warrior diet.