Can Intermittent Fasting Lead To Successful Weight Loss? Is 20/4 Intermittent Fasting A Successful Fasting Method?

    Intermittent Fasting 20/4

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    What Exactly is the Method of 20/4 Intermittent Fasting?

    Keeping track of calories consumed is the foundation of effective weight management. To lose weight, you should reduce your caloric intake; to gain muscle, you should eat a calorie surplus; and if you want to maintain weight, you should continue following your regular diet. Generally speaking, in order to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories and create a caloric deficit; to gain muscle, you should eat a calorie surplus; and if you want to maintain weight, you should continue following your regular diet. You must reduce your caloric intake and create a caloric deficit to lose weight. But what if you don't enjoy keeping track of your calorie intake? Is there a diet that will assist you in reaching your weight goals without requiring you to keep tabs on the number of calories in the food you consume? Thankfully, the answer is yes! 20/4 intermittent fasting is the name of the so-called "diet" discussed here.

    Intermittent Fasting

     

    Fasting at regular intervals is a pattern of eating that has gained popularity among many individuals attempting to reduce their body fat. One of the more stringent versions of it is called the intermittent fasting 20/4 method. There are many different ways to do it. What are some benefits associated with the intermittent fasting 20/4 method? Is a fasting schedule of 20 hours on and 4 hours off daily healthy and doable over the long term? Continue reading to learn this and much more about it.

    The intermittent fasting 20/4 method was developed in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces who has since transitioned into a career as a health and fitness author. This diet is also known as "The Warrior Diet." It is essential to remember that the warrior diet is not founded on scientific evidence but rather the result of Ori's observations and inferences from his time spent serving in the military.

    In addition, proponents of this eating pattern assert that humans are naturally nocturnal eaters and enable the body to acquire the nutrients it needs in a manner that syncs with the circadian rhythms that regulate it.

    What Other Intermittent Fasting Methods Exist?

    fasting explained

     

    As was mentioned earlier, the intermittent fasting 20/4 eating pattern is merely one of the many eating strategies that fall under the larger category of intermittent fasting. Other approaches include the following.

    The Fast for Twelve Hours

    The Fast for Twelve Hours

     

    This gives you a 12-hour window during which you can consume food. Because you can spend most of the time during this type of fasting sleeping, it is one of the types of intermittent fasting that is one of the easiest to follow. Take, for example, the scenario where you go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and wake up at 7:00 a.m. After that, you have only three hours left to continue your fast. Therefore, you can eat breakfast at 8:00 in the morning and dinner at 8:00 in the evening. As can be seen, the 12-hour eating window is relatively large and adaptable, which means that you are free to modify your meal schedule following your individual preferences.

    The Fast for 16 Hours

    The Fast for 16 Hours

     

    This style of fasting is by far the most common, and it is prevalent among those just starting. With the 16/8 method, you have an eating window of eight hours.

    The Method of 5:2

    The method of 5:2

     

    The 5:2 diet is another popular variation on the theme, and it is not dependent on hours to determine when eating windows are available. In this study version, participants usually eat for five days out of the week and significantly reduce the number of calories consumed in the remaining two days. On the two days of the fast, men and women typically consume 500 and 600 calories, respectively, while men consume 600. It is not recommended to fast on these two days for obvious reasons related to one's health; for example, you may choose to fast on Tuesday and Thursday, but not on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Fasting on Alternate Days

    The Alternate-Day Fast

     

    This eating plan is comparable to the 5:2 diet, except that it calls for abstaining from food every other day rather than just twice per week. On fasting days, some people limit themselves to a liquid diet, while others allow up to 500 calories. There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding how people should behave during these times.

    The Fast of 24 Hours

    The Fast of 24 Hours

     

    It is also known as the "Eat-Stop-Eat Diet," In one variation, individuals go for an entire day without consuming any food. Followers of this Method drink unsweetened coffee or tea, water, and other beverages that are low in calories weekly or biweekly. This method can be performed either once or twice.

    Meal Skipping

    Meal Skipping

     

    The name comes from the word "method." You are not bound by any hours or the number of calories you consume. Choosing this variant is as simple as deciding which meal you will skip.

    The Omad Diet

    The OMAD Diet

     

    This method of fasting, which is a more stringent version of the intermittent fasting 20/4 method and is also known as the "One Meal a Day Diet," People who practice OMAD abstain from food for 23 hours each day, after which they are allowed to consume food for one hour. You will not be required to keep track of your calorie intake while following the OMAD eating plan, nor will you be prohibited from consuming any specific foods. However, eating foods that are healthy and rich in nutrients is encouraged for several reasons, including weight loss and general good health.

    How Should One Carry Out the 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Protocol?

     20/4 Intermittent Fasting Protocol?

     

    Many people who choose to follow the intermittent fasting 20/4 method have the misconception that all it entails is reducing the amount of time you can eat each day to just four hours. Even though this is the essence of what is meant by a 20-hour fast, many people are unaware that Ori Hofmekler, who developed the diet, set an initial three-week plan that consisted of three phases over three weeks.

    According to Ori, this plan and its phases are essential because they provide your body with the opportunity to become accustomed to the Warrior Diet, which in turn improves your body's capacity to draw energy from fat stores. The strategy is as detailed below :

    Week One: The Initial Stage

    The detox period is also known as this period. During this stage, Ori will tell you that you should focus on the following:

    1. The Undereating window: Are twenty hours in which you are encouraged to consume the exact modest quantities of foods, vegetable juices, milk, and clear broth that you did during the first week of the fast.

    2. The Overeating window: Hofmekler recommends that you break your fast by consuming a salad with oil and vinegar dressing during these four hours. After you finish your fast, we should eat the salad as soon as possible. After that, you can eat one large meal or several small meals, as long as they can be consumed within the next few hours.
     

    Whole grains, plant-based proteins like beans, and an increased amount of vegetables should make up most of your meals.

    Week Two: The Second Phase

    Week Two: The Second Phase

     

    This week is commonly referred to as "high-fat week." The following guidelines will apply during this stage:

    1. The Undereating window is twenty hours in which you are encouraged to consume the exact modest quantities of foods, vegetable juices, milk, and clear broth during the fast's first week.

    2. The Overeating window is four hours, during which you are not permitted to consume whole grains, other starchy foods, or carbohydrates like you did during the first week of the diet. You should instead break your fast by eating a salad topped with a dressing made of oil and vinegar. After that, your next meal (or several smaller meals) should consist of cooked vegetables, nuts, and animal protein.

    The Third Week: The Third Phase

    This is the final week of the "high-carb, high-protein cycle" and is also known as the "concluding fat loss week." During this week, your food consumption should look like this :

    • 1 to 2 days with a high carbohydrate intake
    • 1 to 2 days of consuming a high protein and very few carbohydrates
    • one to two days of eating a lot of carbohydrates
    • 1 to 2 days of consuming a lot of protein and very few carbohydrates

    High-Carb Days

    High-Carb Days

     

    1. Consume the same kinds of food as you had been for the previous week while you are in the undereating window.

    2. An opportunity to overeat presents itself when you break your fast with the same salad you've been eating throughout the day. The next main meal or series of smaller meals should be composed of cooked vegetables, some source of animal protein, and one primary source of carbohydrates such as corn, rice, potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, barley, or oats. These foods should be consumed while maintaining a healthy diet.

    High-Protein – Low-Carb Days

    1. 20-hour Underfeeding window: It will help if you continue consuming the same foods and drinks you have been consuming over the previous weeks.

    2. Overfeeding window of four hours: After breaking your fast with the same salad, your subsequent meals should contain between 227 and 454 grams (total) of animal protein and some cooked vegetables that do not contain starch.

    3. Fruit While you should avoid eating grains and vegetables high in starch these days, you are allowed to consume fruit if you are still hungry late at night.

    After completing this three-week phase, you should start over again. Suppose you do not find this suggestion appealing. In that case, you should simply adhere to the rules of undereating that have been established for the 20 hours and then consume nutritious meals high in protein during the overfeeding window that lasts 4 hours.

    What Should I Eat With 20/4 Intermittent Fasting?

    What Should I Eat With 20/4 Intermittent Fasting?

     

    The next step you should take now that you are familiar with how to adhere to the rules of intermittent fasting 20:4 successfully is to create a meal plan. Planning your meals is a straightforward method for ensuring that you never find yourself without a meal when you need to break your fast at an unexpected time. This prevents you from selecting unhealthy food options because it guarantees you will always have nutritious meals or snacks.

    As a result of the fact that intermittent fasting is an eating plan and not a diet, participants are not required to adhere to any particular guidelines regarding the kinds of foods and beverages that they should consume during the feeding window. The Warrior Diet stands out from other eating plans because it includes instructions on proper nutrition. Your meals should make up what's known as a balanced diet, which is a diet that provides sufficient nutrients for your body to function correctly, allowing it to defend itself against illness, infection, fatigue, and poor performance.

    Keeping this in mind, the following is a list of foods that should be incorporated into your meal plan or shopping list for the 20/4 intermittent fasting method. These foods will not only assist you in reaching your weight loss goals, but they are also beneficial to your general health and well-being.

    Carbohydrates of a Complicated Nature

    Carbohydrates of a Complicated Nature

     

    The foods containing complex carbohydrates are whole wheat, brown and wild rice, oats, and quinoa. Not only do they have a greater variety and quantity of nutrients than simple carbohydrates, but they are also fantastic for the health of the digestive system and the heart.

    After a fast lasting 20 hours, you will find that you are pretty hungry, and there are times when the foods recommended for the undereating window are simply not enough to satisfy your hunger. Consuming foods high in fiber helps you feel full for a more extended period and may prevent you from experiencing feelings of hunger in the morning, both of which will make your fast more manageable.

    Dark Leafy Greens

    Dark Leafy Greens

     

    When you break your fast with a salad, include some leafy greens. They are also high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium and have low calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol levels. Bok choy, arugula, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, and Romaine lettuce are all examples of well-known dark leafy greens.

    Fruits

    Fruits

     

    You can eat fruits during the underfeeding window or as a dessert during week 3 of phase 3: the vitamins, minerals, and necessary other nutrient sources we can be found in abundance in fruits. Not only do they contain a high amount of fiber, but they also offer a wide variety of antioxidants that benefit one's health.

    The following are some of the many nutritious fruits we should ensure we include in a meal plan that incorporates the 20/4 intermittent fasting method: apples, lemons, kiwis, strawberries, bananas, grapefruits, blackberries, blueberries, passion fruits, watermelon, and pineapples.

    Lentils And Legumes

    Lentils And Legumes

     

    Protein, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus are some of the nutrients that can be found in them, and they have a naturally low-fat content, with virtually no saturated fat at all. They also contain a lot of fiber, which makes them quite satisfying to eat and ensures that you won't experience feelings of hunger too early in the day.

    Fish Rich in Oil

    Fish Rich in Oil

     

    Fish species such as trout, tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and pilchards are some examples. They are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which help reduce inflammation and may contribute to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis.

    Lean Proteins

    Lean Proteins

     

    The phase three-cycle includes following a diet that is high in protein. Proteins in your diet contribute to weight loss by raising levels of hormones associated with satiety and lowering levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for hunger. Additionally, proteins speed up your metabolism, which in turn causes you to burn calories more quickly.

    Because they contain less saturated fat, leaner cuts of meat are preferable. Examples of lean meat include seafood such as crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, and clams, as well as lean cuts of beef, lamb, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, and poultry such as chicken, turkey, and duck, as well as lean cuts of beef. Eggs are another excellent food that is packed with lean protein.

    All Kinds Of Vegetables

    All Kinds Of Vegetables

     

    In addition to helping lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering the risk of stroke, preventing certain types of cancer, reducing the risk of eye and digestive problems, and reducing the risk of diabetes, eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit may help control appetite and blood sugar levels.

    Some Vegetables are Starchy, and Vegetables That is Not Starchy:

    1. Cucumbers, eggplants, amaranth, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms, okra, peppers, squash, asparagus, bean sprouts, and many other types of vegetables do not fall into the category of starchy vegetables.
    2. On the other hand, vegetables containing starch include yams, white potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, pumpkins, and winter squash, among other things.

    Water

    Water

     

    It is just as important to consume sufficient water as to eat healthily. Many processes in your body can't function properly without adequate hydration. Although you are only permitted to drink water while fasting, as you are already aware, this does not mean you can ignore the importance of staying hydrated while eating. You should drink a glass of water before every meal, before, during, and after your workout, and before you go to bed to stay hydrated throughout the day. This will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

    It is recommended that an average adult consume approximately eight glasses of water daily; however, your thirst is the best indicator, so drinking water whenever you feel like it is the best option. In general, an average adult should consume approximately eight glasses of water every day. You could try drinking unsweetened tea or coffee if you don't like the taste of plain water. An excellent alternative to consider is flavored water. It is straightforward to prepare, and in addition to keeping you hydrated, it can give you a variety of vitamins and minerals. To make flavored water, you must let an ingredient of your choice sit in water for some time before drinking it. Lemon water, cucumber water, aloe water, oatmeal water, and a few other flavored drinks of water are among the most effective for promoting weight loss.

    Recipes for a Healthy 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Diet

    Recipes for a Healthy 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Diet

     

    It is helpful to be aware of what foods to consume while following the intermittent fasting 20/4 plan; however, it is even more beneficial to incorporate the permitted foods into a dish that is both delicious and beneficial to one's health. This article eliminates the need for you to sift through the endless list of recipes found online, as it provides all the information you require. The following is a list of the top 20/4 recipes that are both nutritious and delectable, and they are all suitable for intermittent fasting:

    Pie with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Potatoes

    This mushroom, spinach, and potato pie are perfect for meal prep or a dinner with the family because of how easy it is to make and how delicious it is. Additionally, it is suitable for vegetarians and does not contain any meat.

    Ingredients for 4 servings:

    • 400g (14 oz) baby spinach
    • 500g (17.6 oz) mushroom
    • 300 grams (10.5 ounces) of newly harvested potatoes, cooked and diced into bite-sized pieces
    • steamed green beans and broccoli, each weighing 300 grams (10.5 ounces)
    • 1 cup vegetable stock
    • Two cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed.
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • One tablespoon of whole grain mustard
    • Two tablespoons piled-up up light crème Fraiche.
    • 1 milligram of finely grated fresh nutmeg
    • Three sheets of filo dough

    Directions:

    • Prepare the oven by preheating it to 200–180 degrees Celsius (fan/gas 6). The best way to wilt spinach is to place it in a colander and pour boiling water over it from a kettle.
    • Fry mushrooms over high heat in a large nonstick pan with half a tablespoon of oil until they are golden brown. After adding the garlic and allowing it to cook for one minute, proceed by adding the stock, mustard, nutmeg, and potatoes. After a few minutes of bubbling, season the dish and remove it from the heat. Mix in some crème Fraiche and chopped spinach. The mixture should then be allowed to cool after being poured into a pie dish.
    • Brush the filo with the olive oil that is still left over. After that, loosely scrunch the quarter sheets and lay them on top of the pie filling. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Complement the meat with vegetables.

    The following is The Nutritional Value Of One Serving:

    Calories: 215, carbs: 29g, fats: 8g, Protein: 9g

    Soup with Spiced Carrots and Lentils

    Soup with Spiced Carrots and Lentils

     

    This delicious soup made with carrots and lentils is not only high in nutrients but also very filling despite its relatively low-calorie count. This soup, which is ideal for lunch, will help you achieve your fitness goals without requiring you to compromise on flavor.

    These are The Ingredients For Four Servings:

    1. 600 grams (21 ounces) of carrots, washed and grated very coarsely
    2. 140g (5 oz) split red lentils
    3. Four and a half cups of hot vegetable stock
    4. ½ cup milk
    5. 2 tsp cumin seeds
    6. 2 tbsp olive oil
    7. Pinch chili flakes
    8. Serving suggestions include plain yogurt and naan bread.

    Fasting

    Directions:

    Cumin seeds and chili flakes should be dry-fried in a large saucepan for one minute.

    Remove and set aside approximately half of the mixture using a spoon. Put some olive oil, coarsely grated carrots, red lentils, tasty vegetable stock, and milk in a pan and bring it to a boil.

    Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have absorbed the liquid and become mushy.

    Blend the soup until it is smooth (or keep the chunks if that is more to your liking).

    To finish, top each portion with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of the toasted spices you set aside earlier, and serve the dish alongside warmed naan pieces of bread.

    The Following is The Nutritional Value of One Serving:

    Calories: 238, carbs: 34g, fats: 7g, Protein: 11g

    Thai Prawns With Pineapple & Green Beans

    These Thai prawns with pineapple and green beans are a culinary masterpiece; they are packed to the brim with protein and are served with green beans and pineapple. They are pretty simple to prepare and do not require much time.

    Ingredients For Two Servings:

    • 100g (3.5 oz) green bean
    • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of chunks of fresh pineapple
    • 200g (6 oz) raw king prawn
    • Whole cherry tomatoes weighing 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
    • A shredded ginger chunk about the size of your thumb
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • Two lemongrass stalks, the tough outer leaves removed, and the remaining lemongrass finely chopped.
    • Thai basil leaves are packaged in a small pack.

    As For The Sauce:

    sauce

     

    1. Four tablespoons of lime juice, in addition to wedges to serve
    2. 2 tbsp liquid chicken stock
    3. One tablespoon of fish sauce
    4. One tablespoon of brown molasses sugar

    Directions:

    • In a shallow bowl, thoroughly combine all of the components of the sauce, then set it aside.
    • In a large wok, heat the oil and saute the lemongrass and ginger until the lemongrass is golden and the ginger is translucent. Stir-frying the pineapple, beans, and cherry tomatoes for three to five minutes, or until the beans are tender but still slightly al dente, is the next step. Stir-frying will continue for another three to five minutes after adding the prawns and sauce. Include the majority of the basil leaves in the dish. Serve with wedges of lime, and scatter the remaining basil leaves over the top before serving.

    The Following is The Nutritional Value of One Serving:

    Calories: 228, carbs: 20g, fats: 7g, Protein: 22g

    What Are Some Advantages of Intermittent Fasting 20/4?

    What Are Some Advantages of Intermittent Fasting 20/4?

     

    If you are curious about how the 20:4 method of intermittent fasting affects the body, you are not alone.

    The following is a list of potential advantages that may arise as a result of adhering to the warrior diet:

    1. Weight Loss

    People who followed an eating pattern that closely resembled the 20/4 intermittent fasting method shed more weight than those who ate the same number of calories but spread them out throughout several meals throughout the day. The study results were published in a controlled trial in 2009 and presented at a conference in 2010.  It is widely held that one can lose weight through the practice of fasting because it is more difficult to consume as many calories during a restricted feeding window.

    2. Could be a Protective Factor Against Alzheimer's Disease

    Please remember that these findings come from research on animals (mice), not humans. A study conducted in 2017 and published online found that intermittent fasting, in general, may help protect against Alzheimer's disease by restoring Aquaporin-4 Polarity. In a study published in 2018, researchers found that intermittent fasting protects against this disease by increasing the number of lipoproteins delivered to the brain.

    3. May Improve Blood Sugar Levels

    Fasting on an intermittent basis is generally associated with improving the ability to control blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. A preliminary investigation carried out in 2017 found that fasting for 18 to 20 hours could result in weight loss and better control of blood sugar levels after meals. This demonstrates that patients with type 2 diabetes could reap many benefits from fasting. If you are afflicted with this condition, you must consult your medical professional before attempting the 20-hour fast or any other form of intermittent fasting.

    4. May Help With Inflammation

    Some evidence is that certain forms of intermittent fasting can help reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammation. Although this study did not use the intermittent fasting 20/4 method, you may still be able to benefit from it in the same way as this study did. An overactive inflammatory response has been linked to various diseases, including diabetes, certain cancers, bowel disorders, and heart disease.

    Does the 20:4 Intermittent Fasting Method Have Any Potentially Negative Side Effects?

    Dangerous effects of intermittent

     

    There are. The following is a list of some of the potential drawbacks of participating in a fasting eating plan:

    • Binge eating disorder is a severe disorder in which you regularly consume a considerable amount of food and feel unable to stop eating. This type of eating disorder can lead to binge eating disorder. There is a correlation between fasting and an increase in the likelihood of engaging in binge eating.
    • May result in nutrient deficiencies: If you restrict your eating to a concise window, it is improbable that you will consume the number of servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for each day. Nutrient deficiency can result in anemia, fatigue, weakness, poor eye health and immunity, short-term memory loss, diarrhea, dementia, skin disorders, muscle loss, osteoporosis, and depression. A lack of vitamins A and minerals can also cause skin disorders.

    Intermittent Fasting

     

    • It is important to note that this diet is not based on any scientific findings - As mentioned above, this diet was created by an ex-military man who based all of his findings on the experiences he had during his time as an active duty service member. There must be taken into account that he is not a scientist, a nutritionist, or a dietitian. As for the benefits mentioned, most of them have been associated with fasting in general or other forms of intermittent fasting, not with the 20/4 method in particular.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Disclaimer:

    This article only general information about 20/4 intermittent fasting, and it does not address any particular situation or set of circumstances. It should not be relied on to make decisions because it is not a suitable replacement for professional advice or assistance. There is no substitute for speaking with a qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat any medical condition properly. Taking action based on the information presented in this article is solely at your own risk, and you are fully responsible for any consequences of such action!