There are many, many IF plans out there. It is the latest craze (for good reason). However, in my opinion, there are only three main protocols. Everything else is a variant of these three plans. So what are these there plans.
- Alternate Day.
- Eat Stop Eat.
- The Warrior Diet.
First there is alternate day fasting. It is what it sounds like. You fast for 24 hours every other day. For example, on day one, you would wake up and eat normally until 5 P. M. Then you would stop eating until the next day at 5 P. M. After that, you repeat the process.
Eat Stop Eat
This method advocates two 24 hour fasts a week. Then, the participant can eat normally throughout the non-fast days. So it may look something like this: Thursday, stop eating at 5:00 P.M. Fast until Friday 5:00 P.M. Then eat normally over the weekend until Sunday at 5:00 PM. Fast until Monday at 5:00 P.M. Then eat normally from Monday until Thursday.
It’s important to note that eating normally does not mean that you eat like it is Thanksgiving . However, it does mean that you can eat more high-carb foods. So if you are going out for breakfast, you do not have to eat just the eggs and bacon. You are welcome to eat the hash-browns, and toast as well. Likewise, if you are going to have a steak for dinner. You can also eat a potato.
The Warrior Diet is a daily fast of 20 hours. Then there is a four hour eating window. During the four hour eating window you are encouraged to do a few things. One is to eat a salad and a good amount of protean. However, you can eat anything. This would include pizza and ice cream. Also, you are encouraged to overeat. That’s right. You are encouraged to overeat.
Other IF Plans
Many other plans are simply a mixing or modification of the three above. For example Bulletproof IF is like Eat Stop Eat in some ways and in some ways it is like the Warrior Diet. You may only choose to IF two days a week. In that way it is like Eat Stop Eat. But you may fast for 20 hours on those days. In that way it is like the Warrior Diet. However, it is not recommended on Bulletproof that you eat high-carb or processed food. So you cannot eat just anything. Also, you are allowed to have Bulletproof coffee which contains fats.
Another plan in Lean Gains. This is kind of like the Warrior diet. On this plan you daily fast but for only 16 hours. However, your meals should be sensible without a lot of high-carb foods.
I have to admit that I am over simplifying these diets quite a bit. I do this for two reasons. One is for the sake of time. The second reason is that I do not want to give away these authors diet plans for free. That would be unethical. So if there is something I missed please remember that I am over simplifying on purpose.
The list of IF plans is plentiful. In the final article of this series, I will talk about the plan I used to lose 20 pounds in 5 weeks, which plan you should choose, and some closing observations about IF.