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Intermittent Fasting 12/12: A Simple Guide to the Easiest Eating Plan

What factors have made you open this article to learn more about the 12-hour fast? Perhaps you’re interested in shedding a couple of pounds or promoting your general health? The majority of people lean toward intermittent fasting for weight loss reasons. 

If you’re sick of counting calories but want to attain the desirable body shape, you can give intermittent 12-hour fasting a shot. This beginner-friendly fast is easier to follow as you will be asleep for most of your fasting time (sounds enticing and possible, right?).

But does this mean that everyone should start a 12-hour fasting regime? Of course not. Some people should abstain from this intermittent eating pattern. We will discuss them in this article and also cover whether or not 12/12 fasting is good for weight loss.

Check out the intermittent fasting 12/12: a simple guide on the easiest eating plan. 

Does 12/12 Work for Intermittent Fasting?

Depending on your goals, yes, a 12/12 intermittent fasting can be effective. Before we jump into the effects of a 12-hour fast, let’s clear the term up: the 12-hour intermittent fasting method involves consuming all your meals within a 12-hour window and then fasting for the remaining 12 hours that day. 

The current intermittent fasting schedule is the easiest one as most of your 12-hour fast will be spent in bed asleep. For example, if you get home from work at 5:30 PM and enjoy your last meal of the day by 7 PM, you can go to bed and eat your breakfast the next day at 7 AM.  

If you’re wondering How to Prepare For a Fast, the first thing you should pay attention to is the food you’ll be eating. Remember one crucial thing: no fasting will work for you if you don’t consume a healthy balanced diet during your eating windows. 

Perhaps this is the most common issue among people who think that abstaining from food for some time allows them to binge-eat whatever they desire. On the contrary, you should eat a healthy balanced diet with nutritious foods, including: 

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats and fish
  • Beans and legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Healthy fats
See also
Intermittent Fasting 101: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

Of course, we’re all human beings who adore guilty-pleasure foods, such as pastries or fast food. You can have them as well, but you need to make sure that most of your calories come from healthy, balanced meals. 

Now, let’s delve into the possible 12-hour intermittent fasting results for your overall health, according to studies. 

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Potential Health Benefits of 12/12 Intermittent Fasting

  1. You may improve your blood sugar control. One review and meta-analysis suggested that intermittent fasting may have beneficial effects on blood sugar and blood lipids in people with metabolic syndrome (2).
  2. You may support your brain health. There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may have some benefits for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. However, there is no clear evidence of any positive short-term effects on cognition in healthy people (10).
  3. You may help your gut health. Some evidence demonstrates that intermittent fasting may be beneficial for your gut microbiome. However, studies have mostly been performed on animals and more human studies are needed to prove the results (4).
  4. You may lose weight. Several studies have demonstrated that intermittent fasting can be effective for weight loss. It’s not magic – limiting the time you are allowed to eat often results in eating less overall, which can lead to weight loss. 
  5. You may improve your metabolic health. Research has suggested that an intermittent eating regime may result in improved markers of metabolic health, such as reduced insulin resistance, improved blood lipid levels, and lower blood pressure (6). These types of improvements tend to go hand in hand with weight loss. 

intermittent fasting 12/12  

How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Month with Intermittent Fasting 12/12?

Intermittent fasting for women and men has shown effective weight loss results for some people. The idea behind fasting is that when we eat after an extended fast, we don’t fully compensate for the food we’ve gone without. In other words, we eat less overall. This results in an energy deficit and can promote weight loss.

See also
What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting: How To Maintain The Benefits Of Your Fast

One small pilot study on obese people demonstrated that a similar type of fasting (16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating) produced weight loss over 12 weeks (3).

Most experts and health authorities suggest that aiming to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week is safe and sustainable. This would translate to approximately 4-8 pounds in a month. Whether you can achieve this with 12/12 intermittent fasting will depend on how many calories you eat each day and what your energy expenditure is. 

Before trying out this fasting regime, it would be a good idea for you to learn How to Fast Properly

Even with an easy fasting pattern like 12/12, people may face issues such as dizziness, fatigue, or cravings. Therefore, it leads to some of them binge eating or devouring unhealthy foods to compensate for their abstention. 

There are two things you should do: 

  1. Talk to your family doctor or another healthcare provider and ask them whether intermittent fasting is possible for you. 
  2. If you can fast, ask for recommendations on how to stick to fasting properly, so you can achieve your desired results without any major risks. 

How Many Calories Are Burned by Fasting for 12 Hours?

The number of calories you burn in 12 hours is highly individual and depends on factors such as age, sex, body size and composition, and physical activity level.  

Will I Lose Weight If I Only Eat Between 12 and 8?

Yes, you may lose weight if you only eat between 12 and 8, as long as you eat less overall. However, you should not concentrate on only the time. The weight loss process is profound and slightly complicated. Striving for fast results without digging deeper into the subject is not the best option for those who want to cut down their weight healthily. 

See also
Fasting vs Starving: Knowing The Difference Will Save Your Life

Take these additional steps to trim fat without consequences: 

  • Drink enough water (for many people, this means at least 2 liters daily). 
  • Engage in activities. If you’re not a gym fan, opt for something different – anything that involves moving your body will work. This could be Pilates, volleyball, skiing, walking, or yoga.
  • Sleep enough (at least 7 hours per night).
  • Reduce stressors in your life and shift to more positive thinking if possible.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet (your necessary foods should include lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, beans and legumes, vegetables, and fruits).
  • Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake.
  • Cut down on other sugary beverages and ultra-processed food such as pastries, candies, chips, and fast food. 

intermittent fasting 12/12  

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

The best intermittent fasting regimen to lose belly fat is the one that results in you eating less and that fits into your lifestyle. Consistent reduced calorie intake is necessary to lose belly fat. The ideal diet or fasting regimen will vary from person to person. 

One option is a 14-hour fast with a 10-hour eating window. In one small study that was conducted in 2019, 19 adults with metabolic syndrome had to fast for 14 hours and then eat all of their meals during a 10-hour window (followed by 14 hours of fasting). The study highlighted the positive impact of the 14/10 fasting pattern on weight loss, smaller waist circumference, lower blood pressure, and LDL “bad” cholesterol (9).

A good place to start for weight loss including visceral belly fat in beginners is surely a 12/12 fasting regime. When you feel ready, you can increase your fasting window until you find what works best for you. 

Read more: Green Tea Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Side Effects

Is 12/12 or 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Better?

12/12 vs 16/8 intermittent fasting is a common comparison among people who want to promote their health and lose weight. But which is best? 

See also
Intermittent Fasting for Seniors: Pros, Cons, and How To

Well, a lot depends on the overall goals of the person. Individuals who strive to cut some weight may achieve better results by following the 16/8 intermittent fasting pattern.

This regime involves abstaining from food for 16 hours and eating all your meals during an 8-hour window. 

A calorie deficit is essential for losing weight. Of course, the calorie deficits that are typically perpetuated by both fasting regimes will differ. If you have less time to eat, you’re likely to eat less, which will probably create a greater calorie deficit. 

However, 12/12 intermittent fasting is best for its gentler nature, which makes it perfect for beginners. It’s common to start with 12/12 and work your way up to 16/8 or whatever works best for you. 

Is It Safe to Fast for 12 Hours Every Day?

Generally, going without food for 12 hours is safe for most healthy adults (11). But even a simple fasting regime may not suit everybody. Such individuals should avoid fasting: 

  • Those under the age of 18 or over 80 years old
  • Anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive
  • People taking prescription medications 
  • Those who have (or are at risk of developing) an eating disorder or have a history of one
  • People with a body mass index (BMI) < 18.5
  • Those with any medical condition
  • Extremely active people

So, if you recognize yourself in one of the following points, you should talk to your doctor before you try any fasting regime. 

Are There Dangers with Intermittent Fasting?

The dangers of intermittent fasting are fewer than the benefits, but we need to address them here for your safety. There are three potential health risks with the 12/12 fasting regime.

Risk #1: Dehydration

Fasting can result in dehydration, leading to headaches and fatigue, which may interfere with your work or free time. Therefore, you need to drink enough water during the fasting and non-fasting windows

See also
Can I Use Stevia While Fasting? Let’s Show You How to Sweeten a Fast

Risk #2: Disordered Eating

For some people, intermittent fasting can trigger disordered eating behaviors such as binging (1). If you notice that you’re eating too much during your eating windows, regretting it afterward and continuing your binge eating again, then it’s likely that intermittent fasting is not the safest way for you to lose weight. 

Risk #3: Weight Gain

This one may perplex you as we’ve provided an abundance of evidence that fasting is good for weight loss. But here’s the deal – fasting can kick your hunger and cravings into an uncontrolled process. In addition, you may have slept badly or exercised too much and things like this can push your appetite cues out of whack and make it difficult to make wise food choices. 

You may feel tempted to eat chocolates, chips, or any other high-calorie hyper-palatable food, which can contribute to weight gain rather than weight loss.

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intermittent fasting 12/12  

FAQs

  • Is 12 hours of fasting enough to burn fat?

12 hours of fasting may be effective for your weight loss goals when combined with a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and an active lifestyle. However, if you’re striving to lose more weight, you should consider a 16/8 fasting eating pattern, which might help you create a larger calorie deficit. 12 hours of fasting is more likable for beginners, while more experienced practitioners can take advantage of more advanced fasting regimens. 

  • How can I lose 2kg in a week with intermittent fasting?

You should aim to lose 0.5 to 1 kilogram per week with intermittent fasting. In order to do this, you need to stay active, eat healthy and balanced meals loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients, sleep enough, and stay hydrated. Most importantly, you should avoid alcohol and other sugary beverages and limit ultra-processed, fried, or fast foods. 

  • Is 16/8 fasting better than 12/12?

16/8 fasting may be better for those who have tried the 12-hour fast and want an additional challenge. It may help you create a larger calorie deficit, leading to more weight loss. However, both fasting regimes can be effective and require a consultation with your doctor beforehand. 

  • Is it OK to fast for 16 hours every day?

There is no clear evidence showing the effects of 16-hour fasting on a long-term basis. But if you want to fast daily, you should consider a 12-hour fast, which is surely a safer option. In addition, ensure you’re safe to fast and talk to your doctor before you experiment with any fasting-eating pattern. 

The Bottom Line

You’ve reached the end of intermittent fasting 12/12: a simple guide to the easiest eating plan. Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of the 12-hour fast. 

The 12-hour intermittent fasting method involves consuming all your meals within a 12-hour window and then fasting for the remaining 12 hours that day. 

Potential health benefits include improved metabolic health markers, better gut health, and weight loss. This type of fasting may be a perfect beginning pattern for your weight loss goals. It should be noted that intermittent fasting alone should not be considered a final remedy for losing pounds. In addition to  fasting, you need to follow a healthy balanced diet, get enough sleep, drink more water, and increase your physical activity. 

Before you start any fasting regime, talk to your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you. 

DISCLAIMER:

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!

SOURCES: 

  1. Craving for carbs: food craving and disordered eating in low-carb dieters and its association with intermittent fasting (2022, springer.com)
  2. Effect of Intermittent Fasting Diet on Glucose and Lipid Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Patients with Impaired Glucose and Lipid Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  3. Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. Effects of Ramadan and Non-ramadan Intermittent Fasting on Gut Microbiome (2022, frontiersin.org)
  5. Exercise Training and Fasting: Current Insights (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health (2013, mdpi.com)
  7. Intermittent Fasting May Aid Weight Loss (2020, nytimes.com)
  8. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  9. Ten-Hour Time-Restricted Eating Reduces Weight, Blood Pressure, and Atherogenic Lipids in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome (2019, cell.com)
  10. The Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Brain and Cognitive Function (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  11. To Fast or Not to Fast (2019, newsinhealth.nih.gov)
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