Other than controlling what you eat and how much you eat, it’s also pretty important to control when you eat. So what is the best “diet clock” for you? Nutritionists weigh in.
Your Diet Clock
Your diet clock is pretty important, as it connects what you eat with the larger picture of your other bodily processes. As someone trying to lose some weight, which one should you pick for yourself?
Needless to say, if you have any health condition that would make fasting particularly difficult for you, including diabetes, heart problems, or you simply just do not want to- you shouldn’t start a fasting diet. You’ll just get frustrated and hungry. Come back when your mind and body both truly want it.
Does The Research Support It?
First of all, it’s important to note that despite the hype around intermittent fasting, the research on it is still quite preliminary. There have been some pretty supportive results, but none that specifically test certain fasting methods and most have been done on rats and not on humans. Therefore, you should approach this at your own risk.
What the research has shown is that fasting causes weight loss primarily as a result of consuming fewer calories, but also because it causes an eventual increase of hormones, and reduces insulin in the blood. This helps promote the burning of body fat and may also be increasing your metabolism rate. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, although more research is needed in order to fully understand its mechanisms.
So let’s assume you’re going to go for it, which “body clock” diet should you choose?
The 6:1, 5:2 or the 16:8?
Rob Hobson, the head of the nutrition department at Healthspan, gives his input regarding which fasting diet you should follow. He explains that it’s not a “one size fits all” issue at all.
Hobson suggests that your fasting method should be centered around your day to day activities. But other than that, recent research has found that your personality plays a role in what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat it. By understanding your personal triggers, you can more easily figure out which fasting diet is better for you.
The three diets we’re focusing on divide certain days for non-fasting, and others for fasting. For the 5:2 diet, you eat normally for 5 days and restrict your diet for two, the 6:1 diet, you eat normally for 6 days and completely fast for one, and the 16:8 diet, you eat from noon till 8pm and then fast for 16 hours.
So which personality traits should go for which diet plan?
If you’re what research has categorized as “The Socializer,” what triggers you to eat is when you’re out with friends, and you feel an urge to eat or drink to enjoy your social event more. In that case, you should go for the 6:1 diet. You can fast a whole day on a quiet night when you’re not out, and eat as you like for the other 6 days of the week.
If you’re a homebody, and you like to stay home often, you may have the time to prepare some nourishing low-caloric meals, which would make you perfect for the 5:2 diet.
If you have a particularly active day- you’re a parent or have an extremely demanding job- go for the 16:8. Your busy mornings can help you easily skip breakfast, and you can eat throughout the day to keep yourself nourished and full of energy. At night when you’re relaxed, you can fast until the next day again.