If you are just starting the intermittent fasting practice but are intimidated by the thought of fasting for 16 hours a day, then the 12 hours intermittent fasting plan may be meant for you.
Intermittent Fasting is among the most popular dietary practices after being widely accepted by famous A-List celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum.
This dietary practice involves distributing the fasting and eating windows into separate intervals to facilitate weight loss.
Many consider the 16/8 intermittent fasting to be the best beginner fasting schedule as it allows the body to effectively burn out visceral fats and boost metabolism.
The 14/10 Intermittent fasting schedule is another alternative to this highly restrictive eating plan that allows you to fast for 14 hours and eat during the 10-hour window.
But for people who have very busy work schedules and long work hours, fasting for both 14 or 16 hours a day, the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule is suitable for you.
While many celebrities and Fitness gurus like Jillian Michael swear by the benefits of fasting for 12 hours a day, others consider the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule to be ineffective.
The 12 hours a day intermittent fasting plan, although unconventional, often acts as a great transitional fasting plan for most intermittent fasting beginners.
If you are considering starting your intermittent fasting journey by practicing the 12 hours intermittent fasting plan but are still apprehensive about its benefits to your health, we’ve got you covered.
Here is all you need to know about this beginner-friendly Intermittent Fasting schedule to know if 12 hours is enough for Intermittent Fasting.
What is 12-Hour Intermittent Fasting?
The 12-hour intermittent Fasting Schedule is also referred to as the 12/12 or the overnight intermittent fasting plan.
This intermittent fasting schedule requires you to divide your intermittent fasting plan into 12 hours of eating and fasting windows.
The 12-hour fasting plan pertains to fasting for 12 hours every day all the while arranging each meal of the day into the 12-hour eating window.
When practiced correctly in conjunction with the consumption of only clean foods during the eating window, research suggests that constantly practicing a 12-hour intermittent fasting plan provides similar benefits to plans with longer fasting windows.
How does the 12-hour Intermittent Fasting Schedule Work?
The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule is among the easiest intermittent fasting meal plans as it can be easily practiced during your sleeping hours.
The rules of the 12-hour Intermittent Fasting Schedule are quite self-explanatory, ie., fasting for 12 hours and eating during the remaining 12 hours every day.
According to a study, fasting somewhere between 10 to 16 hours can help accelerate the process of visceral fat burnout in the body, where the fat stored in the cells is converted into energy, which then releases ketones into the bloodstream. This release of ketones into the bloodstream boots metabolism and facilitates weight loss.
The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule is great for beginners as it works by distributing your fasting windows into smaller or shorter intervals that can also occur during sleep.
By restricting excessive calorie intake and indulging in a nutritionally balanced diet during the day you can achieve similar benefits to any other intermittent fasting schedule.
What are the Benefits of a 12-hour Intermittent Fasting Schedule?
The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule is among the easiest, beginner-friendly, most natural, and least painful intermittent fasting methods.
This intermittent fasting schedule is among the most flexible intermittent fasting plans that are most compatible with women’s hormonal fluctuations and metabolism balances.
While many people consider this short-term fasting plan to be ineffective, several research studies prove otherwise.
Here are some benefits of the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule that will motivate you to embark on the fasting journey immediately:
The human body is a self-regulating mechanism that integrates several systems of functions that work towards keeping the body healthy.
Your body throughout the 24 hours of the day is trying to detoxify itself. This detoxification process however is often hindered due to the process of food digestion.
By giving your body a 12-hour break by practicing the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule you can amplify and optimize the detoxification process.
Helps Reduce Inflammation:
Inflammation can be a direct cause of excess toxin buildup in the body, hence by optimizing the detoxification process, you can also reduce overall inflammation in the body.
By fasting for 12 hours you can turn on the NRF2 gene pathway that helps amplify the protection of antioxidants, enhances detoxification, and also helps reduce inflammation.
Facilitates Weight Loss:
The body ideally takes up to 6 or 8 hours to burn all the glycogen in the body. Once the body has successfully used the glycogen (glucose) for energy it turns to fat cells as fuel to convert it into energy.
The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule allows you to easily extend your fasting window which promotes the body to burn fat cells and in turn promotes weight loss.
Improves Brain Function:
The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule has been proven to help enhance and improve mitochondrial function in the brain.
The enhanced mitochondrial functions help improve the overall health of the brain.
According to research led by Dr. Walsh, intermittent fasting can also help prevent and even reverse progressive brain disorders.
Three ways you can start your 12-hour Intermittent Fasting Schedule:
The 12-hour intermittent fasting is among the most flexible intermittent fasting plans that allow you to distribute your meal plans in equal 12-hour intervals.
For example, you can start your 12-hour eating window at 7 a.m. and end it by 7 p.m. after which you can fast the entire night.
If you are interested in practicing the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule but do not know where to begin, do not worry.
As not everyone has the same daily schedule or eating patterns, here is how you can incorporate the 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule based on your needs and requirements:
Eating Three Meals a Day:
When practicing this eating schedule you can eat for 12 hours of the day, while you can fast during the remaining 12 hours as you sleep.
The three meals of the day for your eating window encompass having clean foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Eating Two Meals a Day:
This eating play allows you to only consume two meals a day, which can ideally be a late breakfast and a social dinner.
This eating plan is great for diabetics as it only elevates the blood sugar and insulin levels twice a day.
Eating Small Meals or Snacks:
While this method is not recommended for people diagnosed with diabetes as it raises the insulin and blood sugar levels, this eating plan can help people easily transition to intermittent fasting.
This intermittent fasting meal plan allows you to consume up to 6 small clean meals throughout the 12-hour eating window while you fast during the remaining 12 hours.