Which Intermittent Fasting Plan Is Right For You

Intermittent Fasting is the number one google search term when it comes to weight loss and weight management. More and more of us are incorporating this intuitive way of eating into our lifestyles, but there are a lot of different intermittent fasting schedules and methods, which can be confusing and overwhelming. If you want to give IF a try it is important to try and find a method of fasting which suits you and your lifestyle. Our bodies are all very different, and what suits one person may not suit another.

At GP we have a multiple intermittent fasting kits: GP16:8 and GP4:3. One based on alternate-day fasting (GP4:3) and on based on daily Fasting and Eating Windows (GP16:8) Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions our Nutrition Team get when helping people understand the plans and decide which suits their lifestyle and goals:

Question GP4:3 GP16:8

Are 16:8 and 4:3 both time restricted plans?

The GP4:3 plan is not a time restricted plan. You can start eating and finish eating when you want to. This will depend on your lifestyle and what your body is used to. However, finishing your last meal around 2-3 hours before bed time has many benefits, including letting digestion properly occur which can help prevent heartburn and sleep issues.

Yes. GP16:8 is based around the idea that you have an ‘eating window.’ You have an 8 hour eating window each day, and can choose to have this between a time that suits you. For example, it may be 12pm - 8pm, which is a popular eating window to choose. On this plan you can only eat between these hours.

Do I consume the same amount of calories every day?

No. On the GP4:3 plan, you have three alternated fasting days per week. Women have a 500 calorie allowance, and men have a 600 calorie allowance. This plan’s results comes through the varied calories that are consumed each day, which acts to speed up the metabolism.

On GP16:8 you should naturally have a similar amount of calories everyday within your eating window. However if you have exercised on certain days of the plan, you will need to increase calories which should happen easily due to feeling more hungry. This plan is not a calorie based plan, it is more based around having a time restricted eating window.

I have a very busy lifestyle, which plan is better for me?

GP4:3 is a more intense weight management plan which revolves around the reduction in calories (500 cals) for three days per week. They are alternated with mindful days in which the calorie intake is based on your age, weight, height and exercise level.
Due to the fast days, this plan could be ideal for those who don't eat a lot through the day and instead tend to eat a larger meal at night. If you can control the size of your evening meal, GP4:3 can work especially well. However you can also eat two small meals split up on fasting days or whatever other pattern suits you!

For very busy, active individuals, this plan may be a better choice. GP16:8 is an IF option for those who don't have the time, energy or focus to manage their food intake on low-calorie days as required by GP4:3. It is generally an easier program to follow long term, across any day of the week.
This plan may also be ideal for those who prefer not having breakfast, or who start to eat later in the day, especially those who choose the 12pm - 8pm eating window.

Which plan is better for the long-term?

The GP4:3 plan can be used for longer periods of time than just the initial 2 weeks - we have some dedicated 4:3-ers who do GP4:3 for months at a time. We always recommend checking in with a Nutritionist to ensure you are getting enough calories and nutrients whilst intermittent fasting, especially if you’re looking to do it for longer periods of time.

Some prefer to reduce the fast days to 1 or 2, to make the plan more manageable over a longer period of time.

GP16:8 is more of a life-style change, rather than a traditional diet. It is easy to incorporate into your lifestyle in both the short and long term. Like all intermittent fasting schedules and plans it's great for weight management, it could promote fat loss (without muscle loss), improve sleep and energy levels and slow cell-ageing.

Which plan is better for weight maintenance?

GP4:3 is more of an intense weight loss plan. It helps you kickstart weight loss in a sustainable way whilst reaping the other health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Because you should be in a calorie deficit on GP4:3, once you've reached your goal weight you will want to either reduce the number of fasting days per week, or switch to an alternative intermittent fasting schedule for weight maintenance.

GP16:8 can be used as maintenance after the GP4:3 plan once you've reached your goal weight. GP16:8 is also a great way to introduce intermittent fasting into your lifestyle to ease you into your weight loss journey.

However, if GP4:3 and full Fasting Days don't suit your lifestyle, GP16:8 can be used as a standalone weight loss plan as it includes our Slim Me drinks to aid portion control.

I dislike counting calories, which plan is better for me?

GP4:3 is a calorie counting plan. We recommend using my Fitness pal to make sure you are reaching your calorie targets. On this plan you do get a day off, a ‘Magic day’ which is one very two weeks, where you essentially can have a day off from calorie counting!

GP16:8 is not a calorie counting plan. However, it is important to make sure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your body and make sure you are meeting your energy needs each day, especially if you are exercising frequently. This plan focuses on portion control and eating mindfully.

Can I exercise on GP4:3 and GP16:8? Is fasted exercise permitted?

Exercise is definitely permitted- exercise is key to a healthy body and mind.

On Fasting days it is important to do lower intensity exercise like walking or yoga. On Mindful/Magic days, you can do more higher intensity exercise like running or gym classes, as you will have consumed more calories on these days, and your body will be able to recover better from the exercise.

In regards to fasted exercise, we would recommend listening to your body, and only go ahead with it only if it is something your body has been used to previously. We discourage any high intensity exercise on fast days.

You are welcome to continue your exercise regime as normal on this plan. Listen to your body and see how you feel whilst on the plan, as everybody is different when it comes to exercise and intermittent fasting.

In regards to fasted exercise, we would recommend listening to your body, and only go ahead with it only if it is something your body has been used to previously.

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