Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers different types of fasting with the most popular being the 16/8 method. This involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours and restricting daily eating to an eight hour window. This type of diet promises to help slimmers lose weight because while they may not be counting calories, eating during a time period will automatically help eat fewer calories.

It is important not to over compensate during the feed hours for the food you missed in the fast hours otherwise this could result in weight gain.

Intermittent fasting is one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends according to Healthline and people are using it to lose weight as well as improving their overall health and simplifying their lifestyles.

The eating pattern doesn’t specify what foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

Therefore it is not generally considered to be a diet but often described as a structured eating plan that has weight loss benefits.

Another popular way to intermittent fast is known as the 5:2 diet which involves cutting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week and eating normally for the other five days.

On the day of fast, calorie-free beverages are allowed such as water, black or green tea and coffee.

Intermittent fasting can help insulin levels to lower which will help fat cells release their stored sugar to be used as energy.

Weight loss occurs when insulin levels drop.

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The diet was popularised by Michael Mosley and is now so popular because it is considered a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

Celebrities who love the 5:2 fasting diet include Philip Schofield and Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe, as both lost weight while following it.

Healthline also suggests another fasting method known as the Eat Stop Eat which was popularised by fitness expert Brad Pilon.

It involves a 24-hour fast once or twice a week.

The website says: “By fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day, this amounts to a full 24-hour fast.

“For example, if you finish dinner at 7pm Monday and don’t eat until dinner at 7pm the next day, you’ve completed a full 24-hour fast. You can also fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch — the end result is the same.”

If you’re wanting to lose weight whilst following this eating pattern it is very important that you eat normally during the eating periods.

This is known to be one of the more trickier types of fasting as it is for a lengthy period of time.

The alternate day fasting has you fasting every other day which means you can only eat a small number of calories on the fast days.

Healthline says: “With this method you may go to bed very hungry several times per week, which is not very pleasant and probably unsustainable in the long term.”

Therefore short-term fasting may be best for those starting out on a weight loss journey.

Short-term fasting increases your metabolic rate by 3.6 to 14 percent, according to a number of studies.

This means your body is burning more calories and will continue to burn more at rest too.

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