12/12 vs 16/8 intermittent fasting
William Read - Nutrition Consultant / Proofreader
William is from Canada, he is passionate nutrition & wellness writer. William understands that the topic of wellness is still not well understood, so his goal is to enlighten and teach people how to live healthier and happier in their bodies.
12.12.22

12/12 vs. 16/8 Intermittent Fasting: Which is better?

Table Of Contents

Intermittent Fasting is a popular phrase amongst the dieting and weight loss community these days. Fasting is important because it helps us lose weight, detoxifies our body, and makes us live healthier lives. 

However, there are different types of intermittent Fasting, and each is advantageous in its own right. 

If you are planning to undertake Intermittent Fasting but don’t know which one is best for you, then you are at the right place. This post will highlight the benefits of both 12/12 intermittent fasting and the 16/8 fasting intermittent types. 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is a type where a person fasts for a specific period and then eats for the remaining time. It has become a popular way of living healthily and is encouraged to be practiced by most dieticians and weight loss coaches. 

There are different types of intermittent Fasting, each depending on the person’s choice and schedule. For this post, we are concentrating on 12/12 vs. 16/8 intermittent fasts. 

The first number represents the fasting period for the intermittent fasting ratio, while the second represents the open window when you are free to eat. 

12/12 vs. 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

16-hour Fasting

The 16-hour Fasting, better known as 16/8 intermittent fasting, is a form of fasting in which you alternate between 16 and 8 hours of fasting and eating.

In this form of fasting, you fast for the first 16 hours, then use the next 8 hours to eat your meals. Meals eaten during an intermittent meal window should be meals that are healthy and low in carbs and cholesterol. 

Benefits of 16/8 fasting

There are a lot of myths about 16/8 fasting, but one truth stands out: Fasting is a fasting ally of the body. Some of the benefits of 16/8 fasting include:

  • Weight loss  

Although 16/8 IF is not an extreme measure to reduce weight, it will help you burn calories during the fasting period, leading to weight loss if you are consistent.

  • Better sleep 

A fasted state has been shown to help improve sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep faster.

  • Lower blood pressure 

Fasting lowers cholesterol levels in the human body. Cholesterols are one of the causes of heart-related ailments. 

  • Improved mood 

Fasting helps you stay focused and improve your mental clarity to think properly. When you think and act properly, your mood will get better. 

  • It is not an extreme measure

Unlike other types of Fasting, 16/8 fasting is not an extreme dieting measure. Therefore it is something a healthy adult can freely do without experiencing any complications. 

16/8 Fasting for Weight Loss

16/8 fasting is a popular eating pattern that entails eating up your meals during an 8-hour window, followed by an 8-hour fasting period. It’s often described as a healthy way to lose weight, but is it?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer depends on the total calorie intake and exercise levels.

Research suggests intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss in obese individuals. This is because it reduces appetite, leading to fewer calories consumed at each meal.

Intermittent Fasting also reduces overall food intake by curbing hunger, which could be one reason it works so well for weight loss.

16-hour Fasting: What Happens When You Fast for 16 hours?

The result of undertaking a 16/8 IF is that you will begin losing weight, your body will detoxify, your cholesterol level will decrease, and your overall bodily health will improve. 

Also, it has been discovered that fasting improves mental clarity, so aside from the physical benefits, you will get psychological benefits from fasting. 

12 Hour Fasting

12/12 intermittent fasting involves alternating between 12 hours of Fasting and another 12 hours of meals. It is a simple Intermittent Fasting method that everyone can practice regardless of health status.

It is a simple intermittent fasting measure and most people’s favorite because it doesn’t require you to skip any meal. For instance, you might eat between 6 am and 6 pm and then refrain from eating until 6 am the next morning. The circle keeps repeating. 

12-hour Fasting for Weight Loss

12-hour Intermittent Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits. It can help you lose weight because, during the fasting period, you consume fewer calories and reduce your food consumption during periods with less physical activity. 

A 12-hour fast discourages eating at night for people who want to lose weight. Night eating has been identified as one of the major causes of overweight because there is less activity then, and most calories consumed will end up being stored in the body as fats. 

Benefits of 12-hour Fasting

There are many benefits to intermittent Fasting, but one of the most significant is weight loss. Research suggests that people who fast for 12 hours each day lose more weight than those who take in calories throughout the day.

Additionally,12 intermittent fastings may help you live longer by reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes—two major causes of death in America. 

According to one study, having fewer meals each day lowers your chance of passing away too soon from heart disease or a stroke (or both). Another discovered that persons who followed this type of dieting were less likely to acquire Type 2 diabetes than those that did not. 

In addition to these health benefits, intermittent Fasting has been shown to increase good cholesterol levels and decrease triglycerides—a type of fat that can cause clogs in blood vessels and lead to heart disease or stroke over time. It also boosts brain power.

Intermittent Fasting: 16-Hour Fast vs. 12-Hour Fast

16-hour fast and 12-hour fast differ by the time you spend doing each of the fastings. In a 16-hour fast, you have a 16-hour fasting window and an 8 hours window to eat. On the other hand, in 12 hours fast, you have a 12-hour eating window and a 12-hour fasting window. 

Both 12 hours fast and 16 hours fast are important. It is left to you to choose which one is more effective for you. 

The fundamental difference, apart from the fasting time, is that during 16:8 the body enters autophagy, also known as the ketosis process. Autophagy is the process of cells digesting themselves, and this can only be achieved by fasting for at least 16 hours.

For those who want to lose weight, 16/8 IF is better. However, for people who want a break from their regular eating routine, or those who need a fasting method that doesn’t require much commitment then the 12-hour method is better. 

Generally, 16/8 is better for weight, while 12/12 IF is more feasible and can be done consistently by anyone without any severe complications. 

Intermittent Fasting: 16-Hour Fast vs. 12-Hour Fast

FAQs

Is it better to intermittently fast for 12 hours or 16 hours?

Depending on your needs and situation, each fasting method is good. However, if you want to lose weight easily, then 16/8 intermittent fasting is recommended. 

Is 12 and 12 OK for intermittent Fasting?

Yes. 12/12 is also a form of intermittent Fasting and is effective for most people. On 12/12, IF you have a 12-hour fasting and 12-hour eating window. The eating period is mostly during the day when there is higher physical activity. 

Is 12 hrs fasting enough?

Twelve hours of Fasting is enough and effective. However, it should be complemented with healthy meals, healthy drinks, good sleep, and exercise. 

Conclusion

16/8 and 12/12 Intermittent fasting are both great ways to lose weight. This post has identified the difference between these two intermittent fasting methods as well as the benefits of each. It is now left for you to choose which is the best for you. 

References

  1. Kim KS, Nam HJ. Detoxification combining fasting with fluid therapy for refractory cases of severe atopic dermatitis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:561290. doi: 10.1155/2013/561290. Epub 2013 Aug 6. PMID: 23986784; PMCID: PMC3748731.
  2. McStay M, Gabel K, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, Lin S, Varady KA. Intermittent Fasting and Sleep: A Review of Human Trials. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 1;13(10):3489. doi: 10.3390/nu13103489. PMID: 34684490; PMCID: PMC8539054.
  3. Harris L, Hamilton S, Azevedo LB, Olajide J, De Brún C, Waller G, Whittaker V, Sharp T, Lean M, Hankey C, Ells L. Intermittent fasting interventions for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2018 Feb;16(2):507-547. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2016-003248. PMID: 29419624.
  4. Vasim I, Majeed CN, DeBoer MD. Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health. Nutrients. 2022 Jan 31;14(3):631. doi: 10.3390/nu14030631. PMID: 35276989; PMCID: PMC8839325.

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William is from Canada, he is passionate nutrition & wellness writer. William understands that the topic of wellness is still not well understood, so his goal is to enlighten and teach people how to live healthier and happier in their bodies.