How Long is Long Enough When it Comes to Intermittent Fasting? Let’s Take a Look!

Are you curious about intermittent fasting but not sure how long to fast? Don't worry — you're not alone!

The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. There are different options when it comes to intermittent fasting that you can explore that can help you figure out how long to fast.

But first — What is intermittent fasting? Simply put, it's a pattern of eating where you alternate periods of fasting (not eating) and eating.

Think of it like taking your taste buds on a little rollercoaster ride!


Now, let's talk about popular time frames of intermittent fasting:

  • 14/10 method: This involves fasting for 14 hours and eating within a 10-hour window. For example, eating between 9am and 7pm.
  • 16/8 method: This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. For example, eating between 10am and 6pm.
  • Alternate Day method: This involves limiting your calories on fasting days every other day. On non-fasting days, resume your regular time frames.
  • 24-hour method: This involves fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, you might fast from dinner to dinner the next day.
  • 5:2 method: This involves eating normally for five days a week and restricting calories (to about 500-600) for two non-consecutive days.

There are many other ways you can fast and different time frames to consider — but these are the best go-to options.

Time Frames

So, how long should you fast for?

Ultimately, it depends on your goals, lifestyle, and preferences…

  • If you're new to intermittent fasting, start with the 14/10 or 16/8 method and see how your body responds. You can always adjust the time frame later.
  • If you're looking to lose weight, the 14/10 or 16/8 method may be a good option. You can always try the other methods if you feel these aren’t quite working out.
  • If you have any health concerns or are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider before trying intermittent fasting.
  • Remember that fasting doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can experiment with different time frames and see what works best for you.

It's important to start with a time frame that feels comfortable. It’s going to take a little adjusting — but you’ll settle into a good routine as you go.

The Pros

One of the most significant benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss. By reducing your calorie intake, your body is forced to burn fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss over time.

In addition to weight loss, intermittent fasting has been shown to…

  • Improve insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduce inflammation, which has been linked to various chronic diseases.
  • Boost brain function and potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Potentially fight against cancers and other diseases.
  • Potentially increase heart health and overall lifespan.

Say goodbye to the monotony of traditional diets and hello to the pretty amazing benefits of intermittent fasting.

What to Eat

Now, let's talk about the best foods to eat while intermittent fasting. It's essential to fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods during your eating window to support your health and well-being.

Here are some tips:

  • Focus on whole, minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (basically, anything that won't make you feel like a couch potato).
  • Avoid highly processed foods, sugary drinks, and snacks, as they can disrupt your blood sugar levels and lead to cravings.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal tea, and other non-caloric beverages.

You’ll really score on the benefits of intermittent fasting when you pair it with a healthy, nutritious diet.

Hitting the Gym

Lastly, let's discuss the best workouts to do while fasting.

Exercise can be an excellent complement to intermittent fasting, as it can further promote fat loss and improve your overall health.

Here are some tips:

  • Listen to your body and choose workouts that feel good for you. You may find that some exercises are more challenging while fasting.
  • Opt for low to moderate-intensity workouts such as walking, yoga, or cycling when you’re starting out.
  • Consider timing your workout towards the end of your fasting period or during your eating window to maximize energy levels.

Start light and challenge yourself the more you get used to intermittent fasting. You’ll find that doing both will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.

What’s Best for You

Really, there's no one right way to intermittent fast. It's essential to find a time frame that works for you and your lifestyle, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods, and incorporate exercise as part of your routine.

Remember to listen to your body, experiment with different time frames, and enjoy the process.

Happy fasting!