Blog Diets Fasting Which Fasting Diet for Men Is Best for Weight Loss? 

Which Fasting Diet for Men Is Best for Weight Loss? 

Fasting has long been hailed as a popular shortcut to weight loss. The idea is pretty simple – by reducing the window of time you’re allowed to eat, you automatically eat less.

Yet, we all know that weight loss is never straightforward. Solutions that seem too good to be true, usually are just that. For long-term weight loss, there’s more to effective fasting than just watching the clock.

Let’s explore how men should approach fasting, which methods work best, and why it’s not just about skipping meals but making those meals count.

What Does Fasting Do To a Man?

Some claim that the right fasting diet plan can improve insulin resistance, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Studies on animals suggest that intermittent fasting may have some health benefits. Although human studies are still underway, the results so far suggest that intermittent fasting can result in weight loss, which itself may have health benefits for many overweight and obese individuals (2).

But fasting isn’t just about physical health. Some people find that the practice also has a profound impact on mental clarity and overall well-being. Many men report feeling more energized, focused, and in control of their eating habits when they fast regularly.

Let’s explore each of these potential benefits in more detail.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When insulin resistance occurs, it means that the body’s cells are not responding as they should to insulin, causing higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar. This is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders (6).

Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, meaning the cells are better able to respond to insulin and regulate blood sugar levels more effectively. This can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve overall metabolic health in men. Improved insulin resistance could just be a result of losing weight since studies comparing IF to simple calorie restriction have found similar results (6). 

See also
Time-Restricted Eating vs Intermittent Fasting: Are They The Same?

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Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Intermittent fasting has been found to lower blood pressure in men, potentially reducing their risk of developing these serious health issues (4).

Fasting can lead to weight loss, which is a key factor in managing blood pressure (2).

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or illness, but chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health issues, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. Studies in animals have suggested that intermittent fasting may help reduce inflammation in the body (12). More evidence is needed in humans. Additionally, losing weight (by any method) can help reduce chronic inflammation in someone who is overweight or obese. 

Increased Mental Clarity and Focus

Some men report feeling more mentally sharp and focused when they fast. This could be due to improved insulin sensitivity, as high blood sugar levels might affect these feelings. Fasting may also promote the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a crucial role in the health of neurons (11).

fasting diet for men  

Protection from Chronic Diseases

Animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting might improve lifespan and protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. While human studies are still ongoing, the initial results look promising (5).

Intermittent fasting may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. It also is believed to promote cellular repair processes, which may help prevent age-related diseases (1).

See also
5 Health Benefits of a 20-Hour Fast

Potential for Weight Loss

Weight loss is often the primary motivation for men to attempt fasting. And there is evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting can be an effective tool for shedding excess pounds (8). Most of the other potential health benefits of IF could be (at least in part) a result of losing weight. 

By reducing the window of time in which you are allowed to eat, you may consume fewer calories overall. 

On the surface, IF is less concerned with the quality of the food you consume and more focused on when you eat it. This is where sustainable weight loss may require some additional considerations.

Potentially Longer Lifespan

Perhaps one of the most exciting possible benefits of fasting is its potential to extend lifespan. Animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction in general may increase longevity and delay age-related diseases. More human studies are needed before it would make sense to recommend intermittent fasting for this reason alone (7).

Fasting has been suggested to promote cellular repair processes, reduce inflammation, and improve metabolic health – all key factors in maintaining a healthy and long life (2).

Read more: Intermittent Fasting for Men Over 50: Benefits, Potential Risks, and 10 Tips to Boost the Advantages

What Type of Fasting Is Best for Men?

The best intermittent fasting for men is one that fits best in their lifestyle and is sustainable for the long term. This is because the benefits of fasting are only realized when it is practiced consistently.

There are several popular methods of intermittent fasting, including:

Time Restricted Eating (16:8,  18:6, etc.)

This is the most common form of intermittent fasting, where you limit your daily eating window to a certain number of hours and fast for the remaining time. For example, with a 16:8 schedule, you would eat all your meals within an 8-hour window (e.g., from 12 pm to 8 pm) and fast for the remaining 16 hours.

See also
Fasting Workout: Everything You Need to Know About the Potential Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Out While Fasted

Why Is 16 Hours The Magic Number for Fasting?

16 hours is often referred to as the “sweet spot” for intermittent fasting, as it is thought to give your body enough time to fully enter into a fasted state and potentially reap the benefits of autophagy (cellular repair processes). That’s not all:

  • For many, it’s an achievable goal without feeling too restrictive or hungry.
  • It’s a good starting point for beginners as they can work their way up to longer fasts if desired.
  • It allows enough time to consume two meals within the eating window, making it easier to meet daily nutritional needs.
  • It fits well into a typical workday schedule.

fasting diet for men  

Alternate Day Fasting

As the name suggests, this method involves alternating between days of normal eating and days of fasting. On a fast day, you may consume 25 percent of your calorie needs, or around 500-600 calories. On regular eating days, you can eat as normal.

One advantage of this approach is that men who exercise or lift weights can continue to follow their workout and nutrition routine on non-fasting days without worrying about not having enough energy.

5:2 Fasting

This method involves eating normally on five days of the week and restricting calories to around 500-600 on two non-consecutive days.

Just like ADF, this method is also popular among men who want to continue their weight training program while incorporating fasting.

However, it’s super restrictive as you have to limit your caloric intake for two days, which can be challenging.

Active men may also find it hard to function on low-calorie days. 500 calories are way too low for most men who weight train, and this often leads to feeling tired, irritable, and hungry.

Find further information about the different types of fasting methods in our, intermittent fasting men’s article

See also
Is Fasting Bad for You? Addressing the Myths and Facts

How Long Should a Man Fast For?

We recommend 16 hours as a fasting time for men since this is the duration that is believed to provide many of the health benefits associated with intermittent fasting. However, you can experiment and adjust your fasting schedule according to your body’s response.

For example, some men may find they feel better with an 18:6 or 20:4 schedule, while others may prefer a shorter fast of  14 hours.

Ultimately, the optimal length of a fast is one that you can comfortably sustain and fits into your lifestyle.

For Weight Loss:

If weight loss is your main goal, then fasting for 16 hours and eating all your meals within 8 hours typically results in a reduced calorie intake. 

Making sure you maintain proper nutrition during eating windows can also be crucial for sustainable weight loss (9).

For General Health:

For general health benefits, a 16-hour fast may be sufficient. Talk to your healthcare provider before experimenting with longer fasting periods, if that is your desire.

Ultimately, the best fasting length is one that you can comfortably maintain and fits into your lifestyle.

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What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Window to Lose Belly Fat?

The best IF window to lose belly fat is any that allows you to maintain a calorie deficit and healthy eating habits.

While there is no specific time frame that targets belly fat, consistently maintaining an overall caloric deficit through IF can lead to fat loss throughout the body, including the midsection.

That said, some men may find that a longer fasting window (18-20 hours) helps reduce snacking and mindless eating, which can contribute to excess belly fat. However, individual experiences will vary.

See also
How to Fast Properly to Reap Wellness Rewards

Alongside fasting, the following efforts may also aid in losing belly fat:

  • Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods
  • Reducing added sugars and unhealthy fats
  • Prioritizing strength training and cardio exercise
  • Getting enough quality sleep
  • Managing stress levels.

Read more: 11 Surprising Benefits of Squats for Men That You Didn’t Know About

Tips for Men Starting Intermittent Fasting

The main tip for men starting intermittent fasting is to ease into it gradually. Start with a shorter fasting window, such as 14-16 hours, and work your way up if desired. Also, talk to your healthcare provider before starting any fasting regimen.

Other tips include:

  • Consuming balanced, nutrient-dense meals during eating windows to make sure you’re meeting your body’s nutritional needs
  • Scheduling workouts during eating windows for optimal energy and muscle maintenance
  • Eating more protein during eating windows promotes satiety and muscle growth
  • Drinking only calorie-free beverages (water, black coffee, tea) during fasting periods
  • Indulging in occasional treat meals during eating windows to maintain a healthy relationship with food and prevent binging.
  • Listening to your body and adjusting your fasting schedule according to how you feel
  • Resting and taking breaks from fasting if needed (e.g. during illness or strenuous physical activity).

In a previous blog: Intermittent Fasting for Men Over 50, we dive deeper into the specific considerations and benefits of intermittent fasting for men in this age group.

fasting diet for men  


  • What Can I Drink While Fasting?

You should drink zero- or low-calorie beverages while fasting, including water, black coffee, tea, and herbal teas without added sugar. These won’t break your fast and can even help curb hunger and improve hydration. Avoid all caloric drinks, including juices, sodas, and alcohol. Sweeteners, creamers, and other additives should also be avoided.

  • Does Coffee Break a Fast?

Unsweetened, black coffee is considered a zero-calorie drink and, therefore, does not break a fast. However, adding cream or sugar would break your fast as it adds calories.

  • How Much Weight Will I Lose on a 3 Day Water Fast?

You might lose up to 3-4 pounds of water weight on a 3-day water fast, but this will vary for each individual. Water fasts can’t guarantee long-term weight loss; this depends on creating a caloric deficit through fasting and healthy eating habits. Most of the weight you lose on a 3-day fast is likely to return once you start eating again.

  • What Happens If You Don’t Eat for 3 Days But Only Drink Water?

If you don’t eat for 3 days but only drink water, you will likely experience temporary water weight loss, dehydration, and other symptoms of fasting. However, it’s not recommended to fast for any extended periods without consulting a healthcare professional beforehand.

The Bottom Line

A fasting diet for men might offer a range of health benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. While there are various methods of fasting, it’s essential to find one that fits your lifestyle and goals. Usually, slow and steady changes tend to be more sustainable in the long run, so take your time and listen to your body as you experiment with different fasting methods.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Autophagy and intermittent fasting: the connection for cancer therapy? (2018,
  2. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting: a narrative review (2023,
  3. Effects of Short-term Fasting on Ghrelin/GH/IGF-1 Axis in Healthy Humans: The Role of Ghrelin in the Thrifty Phenotype (2022,
  4. Influence of an acute fast on ambulatory blood pressure and autonomic cardiovascular control (2022,
  5. Intermittent Fasting on Human Health and Disease (2023,
  6. Intermittent Fasting and Insulin Resistance: Benefits Beyond Weight Loss (2022,
  7. Intermittent and periodic fasting, longevity and disease (2022,
  8. Intermittent fasting and weight loss (2020,
  9. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2021,
  10. The Effect of Fasting on Human Metabolism and Psychological Health (2022,
  11. The effect of four-week intermittent fasting from dawn to sunset on circulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in subjects with metabolic syndrome and healthy subjects (2021,
  12. The influence of fasting and caloric restriction on inflammation levels in humans (2021,
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