I’d like to take time to review daily vs. weekly intermittent fasting weight loss approaches.  A refresher on intermittent fasting: you go for short amounts of time without eating, allowing you to cut calories without sacrificing your favorite foods.  Intermittent fasting has personally allowed me to lose a significant amount of fat while still enjoying foods like pizza, hamburgers, and ice cream.  A side effect is that it’s helped reduce my dependency on food and has actually helped me focus on eating healthier overall.  I still like to have a cheat day once a week which is fine because intermittent fasting ensures that I eat at a weekly caloric deficit.

Daily Fasting vs. Weekly Fasting

If you’re willing to ramp up your fat loss by using intermittent fasting, you can either have a daily window of eating or for 1-2 days per week, go a full day without eating.  The daily approach is advocated by the Warrior Diet and Fast-5 amongst others.  Essentially you intake all your calories within a 4-6 hour window.  The other 18-20 hours are free of calories.  Weekly fasting involves avoiding calories for a 24 hour period of time without overcompensating by eating more before or after the fast.

Thoughts on Daily Fasting

The biggest advantage to daily fasting is stubborn fat loss.  Not eating for as little as 15-18 hours ramps up your body’s fat burning potential.  Doing this on a daily basis can really help you lose belly fat or other stubborn areas.  Another advantage to daily fasting is that you still get to eat a full day’s worth of calories every day.  A disadvantage is that you may be tempted to overeat during your window of eating meaning you might not eat at the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight.

Thoughts on Weekly Fasting

Weekly fasting only needs to be done 1-2 times per week so it’s a little more flexible than daily fasting.  You go a full 24 hours without eating by skipping two meals (breakfast and lunch for me).  I eat dinner one night and don’t eat again until the next night.  Doing so not only increases fat burning potential, but also leads to significant fat loss.  In fact, fat calories are burned the fastest between hours 18-24 of a fast.

Just like daily fasting, you have to ensure you don’t overeat before or after fasting.  However, it’s easier to have that discipline 1-2 times per week than it is every day.  By doing so, you will create a significant caloric deficit for the week allowing you to lose weight without significantly restricting calories the rest of the week.

The Best Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Approach

I find both approaches useful for weight loss.  Weekly fasting as advocating by Eat Stop Eat was a great starting point for me to lose excess fat.  It’s flexible and really helps create an overall weekly caloric deficit.  Once I got really lean, I started to add in 18 hour daily fasts here and there to get more fat burning benefits.  I only do daily fasting for 3-4 weeks at a time though because of the temptation to overeat during the eating window.  At the end of the day, I’d recommend choosing whatever approach seems best suited for your lifestyle.  I think either will offer you significant fat burning benefits you won’t see from other diets.  So why not give one of these intermittent fasting weight loss approaches a try?

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