A Chinese proverb says “If fasting cannot cure it, nothing else can. There is so much power in fasting, including intermittent fasting. This is why it is used in religious groups to attain things/desires from God.
Apart from this, fasting is a powerful health tool that can turn your whole life around. Due to its immense health benefits, intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trend in the world.
Many are using it to control their weight, detoxify, simplify their lifestyle, and even improve their health. You too can benefit from all these and that why we are giving you a list of mobile apps that can help you commit to this lifestyle change.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between eating and fasting. This pattern of eating lays emphasis on when you should eat and not what you eat.
Although, it is still important you eat healthy foods and discard junks, refined and highly processed foods. if you still engage in unhealthy foods while fasting, you will not get the full benefits of what you are looking for.
Intermittent fasting is accurately described as an eating pattern and it is of many types. Fasting has been in practice since the beginning of man.
Humans can function without foods for sometimes because their ancestors who dwelt in caves sometimes had no food to eat. This made them and their children have the ability to go without food for a while.
And the truth is that fasting intermittently is more natural than eating constantly every day.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are several methods of doing intermittent fasting online but you have to be careful because not all have been backed by science. I will be listing some of the methods I have researched well on.
These methods that will be listed below involve splitting your week or days into eating or fasting periods. During your fasting periods, you eat nothing at all or little food.
This method involves a 24 hours fast. This can be done once or twice weekly. For example, you can choose not to eat from dinner today until dinner time the next day.
This is also known as the 24 hour fast.
The 5:2 diet
In this method, you are permitted to consume only 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week. But the other 5 days, you can eat normally.
The 16/8 method
This method involves skipping breakfasts and also restricts your daily period of eating to 8 hours. For instance, you eat only between 1 pm to 9 pm. This means you will fast for 16 hours.
This method is also called the leangains protocol.
The 20/4 Method
This method is similar to the 16/8 method but in this case, you fast for 20 hours while you have a 4 hour eating window. For instance, you might eat between 2pm and 6pm daily and fast for the remaining 20 hours.
This also involves eating one meal or two smaller meals within this period. This is also known as the “warrior diet”.
Alternate day fasting
This fast is similar to 5:2 diet, but in this method, it is alternated daily and not done twice a week. For instance, you consume 500 calories today and fast tomorrow.
You eat the third day and fast the fourth day. You continue this way in the alternate day fast.
This is a flexible and the freest method of intermittent fasting. It is good for beginners and it involves skipping meals occasionally. You can decide the meal you want to skip each day.
Your choice of meals to skip depends on your time restraints and hunger level. You need to eat healthy foods at each meal. This type of fasting is highly effective when you monitor and respond to the hunger signals of your body.
People on this type of fast usually eat when they are hungry and they skip meals when they are not. However, this method of fasting is a natural life for some people.
If you are in this class, then you should try other methods of intermittent fasting.
36 Hour fasts
This method involves fasting for a whole day. For instance, you eat dinner on day 1, you won’t eat throughout day 2 until breakfast on day 3. This makes it 36 hours of fasting.
First and foremost, you have to check with your doctor before even thinking on engaging in this fast. This will help you know if you are having or not having any risk of fasting complications.
You also need proper nutrition when going on fasts above 48 hours to prevent a deficiency in micronutrients. If you are healthy to embark on this kind of fast, we recommend eating once a day for 7 to 14 days.
It is not advisable to go more than these although the highest record of fasting in the world is 382 days. When you exceed 14 days, you get a high risk of developing refeeding syndrome.
This condition is characterized by a shift in the levels of fluids and minerals when you start eating again after a long fast.
12 hours fast
This method is characterized by 12 hours fast daily. It is up to you to choose your period of eating and fasting. This is a good option for beginners because the fasting period is relatively small compared to other methods.
Much of your fasting can occur during sleep and you can also consume the same number of calories each day. If you need an easier way to do this fast, you can put your fasting window in your sleep period.
For instance, you can choose to fast between 8pm to 8 am the next day. This means you have to finish your dinner before 8 pm.
All these methods will help you reduce your intake of calories. They will control weight gain if only you try not to eat more during your eating periods. This is where the importance of healthy foods comes in.
Many people choose the third method, 16/8 because it is the easiest to stick to and more sustainable than the others. It is also the most common method of intermittent fasting.
People Who Should Avoid Fasting
Even though intermittent fasting is a healthy lifestyle, it is highly discouraged for some set of people. This includes:
- Underweight people. People with BMI less than 18.5 should avoid fasting. People with an eating disorder should also avoid fasting.
- Children should not be put under fasting because they are at their growth and development stage and they need more nutrients at this stage
- Pregnant women need more nutrients for themselves and their developing baby
- Breastfeeding women also need more nutrients for themselves and their new born baby.
People Who Can Fast Under Medical Supervision
Some individuals with underlying medical conditions can gain some help/relief by fasting. However, it should be done under the supervision of medical personnel. Some of these people are:
- Patients with type I and II diabetes
- Patients with heart, kidney, and liver diseases and other serious organ problems
- People with high amount of uric acid in their bodies (gout)
- People on lifetime prescription medication
Is Exercising Safe During Intermittent Fasting?
You are exercise moderately when fasting. There won’t be any problem. You just have to be careful not to do strenuous exercises or engage in hard physical labor.
Your body will burn stored fats and convert it into energy. This will also lead to weight loss. If you must engage in long and strenuous exercises or physical activities, you have to eat before doing so.
You also have to take lots of fluids when fasting and exercising. This will prevent dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
How to Break a Fast
No matter the length of fasting, you have to break a fast gently. You have to be more gentle and careful if the fast was longer. Don’t eat a large meal immediately after breaking a fast. This will cause stomach ache.
What Are The Best Intermittent Fasting Apps?
There are lots of applications online that can help make intermittent fasting your lifestyle. They make this journey fun and interesting. These apps also help in motivating you.
We will be giving you the top 7 intermittent fasting apps in this post.
This app helps in making you accountable of the while fasting. It also helps in keeping records of your food intake. This app has a wide and open interface that gives plenty rooms for journals.
You can also view your data in an easy-to-read graph. The fasting schedule tracker makes it easy to record your food intake. You would see your progress while fasting.
This app will let you make your journal about the progress, experience, and thoughts. You can also check your fasting history through interactive graphs.
This particular app makes it possible to import previous fasts from other fasting apps through the use of .cvs files. It also has premium features like progress pictures, dark mode, and quick-tag emojis. Download on App store or Google play.
This wonderful app gives daily goal and fasting timing. It also help tracks your weight loss progress. This app is cloud-based and you can create, edit, or delete your fasts.
It has a beautiful chart that can help you review your last 7 fasts and it will also show you your target achievement. You can also set what kind of fasting program you like from any of the methods mentioned above.
You can ask questions on the social feed and get replies. This app shows a graphical representation of your past fasts and you can export your data and fasts to CVS. Download from App store and Google play.
Ate food dairy
This visual food dairy is also an intermittent fasting app. It helps you in keeping tracks of time lapsed between meals and snacks. It is also a social app because it lets you share your progress on social media.
This app will help you look back on your choices and how you felt. This app is the easiest and fastest food journal. It helps you experiment with new habits and help you know what works for you.
This app also promotes accountability as it makes you accountable through coach or friends.
This app is actually a German-based online intermittent fasting platform. It is innovative and it has different fasting plans. With this app, you can choose a coach and follow his meal planning tips and directions.
You can also upgrade and even participate in weekly challenges. This helps you stay motivated and competitive. One good thing with this app is that it has a curated FAQ’s sections that give answers to common questions about intermittent fasting for beginners.
Over 8 million people use this app. It has a fasting timer that leads through the week. You get a personal coach. You can also get your personal program and this will be based on your pre-conditions and progress.
No advertisement on this app, it has notification alerts, and statistics and weight tracker.
Life fasting tracker
This is a scheduling tracker app for intermittent fasting. This app allows you to set your own start and end time for a fast. It also helps you to set goals for the fasting period.
This wonderful fasting app has an in-app learning library with lots of researched-based articles and tips for intermittent fasters. It was launched in 2018 and has been downloaded over 5,000,000 times since then.
It has also recorded close to 7,000,000 fasts to date. It has an advanced tracker for waist circumference, ketones, and glucose. You can fix your own start and end time to your convenience.
You can log your weight, ketones, glucose, and even waist circumference. It has an in-app community that helps you fast and connects with friends by joining the fasting circles.
This will help community members motivate each other. There are videos and even short articles that are researched-based. It also has a fasting history and statistics that helps in tracking past hours.
Created in 2016, this app has over a million downloads and over 10,000,000 complete fasts to date. This app can help you sync an intermittent fast with your biological clock.
This smart app fetches your location and figures out sun sets in your area, it has an in-app timer that automatically ticks down until sunset when you are supposed to start your fast.
This is one of the best intermittent fasting apps and it is easy and simple to use. With this app, you can customize your own fasts or choose from popular fasts.
You can track your goals and fasting progress. It supports simple journal entry on the completion of each fast. You can share your fasting accomplishment and experience through the social media integration.
This app helps you have access to articles that will keep you informed and motivated. You can integrate your smart watch directly to the app to know your sleep, resting heart rate, and weight.
If you would like to change your fasting goals regularly, then this app would help you keep up with that. All you have to do is to set your desired fasting window in the app when you want to start.
This app can also be synced with apple health and apple watch. This promotes on-the-spot accountability and complete health management. You can set reminders and notifications.
You can check your fasting statistics over the last 10 days using the simple and easy to use dashboard. If you want to track more than this, you would have to upgrade to premium.