Table Of Contents

Setting Sail of 18 6 Intermittent Fasting

Welcome, wellness warriors and health enthusiasts! Are you tired of the never-ending diet cycle that seems impossible to stick with? Have you heard whispers about intermittent fasting but are not sure what it’s all about? Well, prepare to usher in a new era of your health journey.

In this article, we will delve into the idea of intermittent fasting 18/6 weight loss idea. It is a lifestyle choice that’s taking the wellness world by storm. It isn’t another diet fad. It’s a sustainable strategy that leads you to the secret weapon in the battle against unwanted weight.

With roots deep in our evolutionary history, the 18/6 approach could be the natural, time-honored solution you’ve sought. So, grab a cup of water, and settle in. Get ready to uncover the secrets of sustained weight loss with 18/6 Intermittent Fasting. Your health revolution starts right here!

18-Hour Fast Benefits & Downsides: Balancing the Scales

18-hour fasting, also known as time-restricted feeding (TRF), is intermittent fasting. In this diet, you eat all your food within a 6-hour window and fast for the remaining 18 hours. This fasting method is popular due to its potential health benefits. It also offers good flexibility.

1. Research suggests that 18-hour fasting can have numerous health benefits. One study found that this form of fasting can “flip” the metabolic switch. This leads to weight loss and improved health markers. 

2. Another study found that early time-restricted feeding can improve 24-hour glucose levels. It also affects markers of the circadian clock, aging, and autophagy.

It’s thought that these advantages result from the body’s normal circadian cycle as well as the metabolic adjustments made during a fast. Our bodies go into ketosis—using fat as their prior energy source instead of glucose—during a fast. 

This metabolic switch is thought to have various health benefits. For example, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced hyperlipidemia, and weight loss.

18/6 Intermittent Fasting

Also, read – Intermittent Fasting vs. Prolonged Fasting: Which Wins

Benefits of 18 6 Fasting

  • Sweetened Digestion

Fasting can help improve digestion and reduce bloating by giving your digestive system a break.

  • Lower Insulin Levels

Fasting can help lower insulin levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Enhanced Immune System 

Fasting may stimulate autophagy. In this process, your body cleanses damaged cells to potentially improve your immune system.

Potential Downsides 

  • Lethargy

During the initial stages of fasting, some people might feel tired or lethargic.

  • Headaches

Headaches can occur initially due to the body adjusting to a new eating schedule.

  • Hunger Crashes

Some individuals may struggle with intense hunger during fasting.

Observations of Intermittent Fasting 18/6 Before and After – Unmasking the Impact

Intermittent fasting can lead to a series of physiological changes. An examination published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine states intermittent fasting (18/6) affects energy expenditure, nutritional status, and body composition. 

Another study pointed out that long-term intermittent fasting paired with a very low-carbohydrate diet led to significant weight loss around six months. The study also showed many people regain some weight.

Inside Your Body During 18/6 Intermittent Fasting

Here’s what happens when you adopt an 18/6 intermittent fasting regimen:

  • Metabolic Switch 

Your body goes into ketosis during the fasting phase, which is the transition from using glucose to fat as its primary power origin. 

  • Autophagy 

This is a cellular cleansing process that gets triggered during fasting. Damaged proteins and organelles are disassembled and recycled, which may strengthen your defenses against illness and lessen inflammation.

  • Weight Management 

Because intermittent fasting encourages fat reduction while maintaining muscle mass, it can aid in controlling body weight.

  • Hormonal Changes 

Fasting influences several hormones, such as insulin and human growth hormone, which can aid in weight loss and muscle gain.

Also, read – Intermittent Fasting Celebrities Trend: The Hot New Craze to Glow Up

The Outcome: 18/6 Intermittent Fasting Results

One of this fasting schedule’s most widely celebrated outcomes is its potential for weight loss. It’s not just about eating fewer calories, although that can play a part. The magic lies in the way it changes how your body functions. 

When you fast, your insulin levels drop, which facilitates fat burning. 

Moreover, the increase in growth hormone levels during fasts could aid in muscle gain. It leads to an improved metabolic rate.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt foggy-headed after a big meal. 

With 18/6 intermittent fasting, many people report increased mental clarity and concentration during their fasting hours. 

This is because your body can devote more energy to brain function when it is not overburdened with digestion.

What is 18/6 Fasting? Read Proof Insights

The fundamental premise of 18/6 fasting revolves around the body’s metabolic response to the absence of food. During fasting, your body exhausts its glucose stores and forms burning fat for fuel. 

The underlying principles of fasting 18 hours a day are based on the body’s natural processes. It is also based on responses to energy consumption and deprivation:

1. The cycle of fasting and eating is designed to take advantage of the body’s metabolic adaptations. For example, shifting from glucose to fat is the primary energy source.

2. Fasting periods trigger cellular repair processes, such as autophagy. In this case, cells remove and recycle waste products.

3. Insulin and human growth hormone are two hormones that fasting helps regulate. It can help with both muscle gain and weight loss.

This Fasting Method Is Relatively Straightforward

Choose Your Window: You select a six-hour window for eating. This could be from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Whatever fits best with your schedule.

Fast for 18 Hours: For the remaining 18 hours, you abstain from eating. You’re allowed to drink water, herbal tea, or black coffee during this time.

Eat Balanced Meals: Make an effort to eat well-balanced meals that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats during your window of opportunity.

How Many Calories to Eat During Intermittent Fasting 18/6? Dietary Numbers Game

It’s important to know your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) before estimating your calorie demands. Your body needs a certain amount of calories, or BMR, to carry out essential life-sustaining processes while at rest. Variables, including muscle mass, age, gender, and weight, influence BMR. 

BMR can be estimated using various formulas, including the Harris-Benedict equation. Knowing your BMR will help you modify your calorie intake according to your desired weight and degree of activity.

Weight Loss Focus 

If weight loss is the primary goal, creating a caloric deficit is key. A study issued in the Journal of Translational Medicine (2016) found that intermittent fasting, combined with a caloric deficit, was influential in weight loss. 

Typically, a reduction of 500-750 calories per day from your maintenance calorie needs (including BMR and activity level) is recommended for safe and sustainable weight loss.

Maintenance or Muscle Gain

Caloric needs differ for maintenance or muscle gain. According to a review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2014), muscle hypertrophy requires adequate protein intake and sufficient overall calories. 

Depending on your specific goals and activity levels, you might need to consume your maintenance calories. A slight surplus during your eating window is also acceptable.

Intermittent Fasting 18/6 vs 16/8: How Regimes Stack Up Against Each Other?

Category16/8 Method18/6 Method
DescriptionIt implies fasting for 16 hours each day and eating during an 8-hour window. 
This is one of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting, considered by many as a sustainable approach.
This method requires fasting for 18 hours and allows for a 6-hour eating window. 
It’s a more stringent form of intermittent fasting, potentially offering more pronounced benefits due to the longer fasting period.
Eating WindowTypically involves skipping breakfast and eating from noon until 8 p.m. This window can be adjusted to fit individual schedules.Often involves eating between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. This can be adjusted to suit individual preferences and schedules.
Fasting WindowMore restrictive eating windows can be socially and logistically challenging risk of overeating during the eating window might be harder to sustain long-term for some individuals18/6 vs 16/8 intermittent fasting window may require skipping breakfast and potentially delaying lunch. This can be more challenging for those new to intermittent fasting.
BenefitsThe fasting period includes the evening and overnight hours, and the morning. This makes it relatively easy to adhere to for many people.More restrictive eating windows can be socially and logistically challenging risk of overeating during the eating windowMight be harder to sustain long-term for some individuals
ChallengesAdjusting to skipping breakfastSocial events and meals may fall outside the eating windowInitial feelings of hunger and fatigueThose who have experience with intermittent fasting and are looking to deepen their practice individuals seeking to overcome weight loss plateaus or improve metabolic health markers further
Who It’s Best ForBeginners to intermittent fastingIndividuals looking for a flexible fasting regime that can be easily adapted to a busy lifestylePotentially greater impact on fat loss and metabolic health due to the longer fasting period offers deeper detoxification processes

When to Switch From 18/6 to 12/12 Fasting Schedule? Right Time to Shift Gear 

  • Experience negative side effects. If you’re feeling overly fatigued, or experiencing mood swings, during your fasting period, it might be time to switch.
  • Hit a Plateau. If you’ve stopped seeing progress in your weight loss or other health markers, changing your fasting schedule could help you restart your progress.
  • Life changes. Adjusting your fasting schedule might be beneficial if your lifestyle seriously changes. For example, a new job or increased stress levels.

Also, read – What is Dirty Intermittent Fasting and the Benefits

What Happens When You Fast for 18 Hours Inside Your Body?

During the fasting period, your body shifts from a state of feeding to a state of fasting. In a typical diet, meals are consumed every two to three hours. There the body is in a constant state of digestion and nutrient absorption. However, this process is halted when you fast. The body starts switching its energy source from glucose derived from food to stored fat. This process is known as ketosis, which typically begins after 12 to 14 hours of an 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule.

Rise in Human Growth Hormone

HGH regulates bone and muscle growth, bodily fluids, sugar and fat metabolism, and cardiac function. Studies have shown that there might be a five-fold increase in HGH levels during a fast compared to a non-fasting state. 

The Body Starts to Undergo Autophagy

This is a natural process in which the body cleans out damaged cells. It helps to regenerate newer, healthier cells. Autophagy can potentially help protect against diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s common for your body to lose some fluids during a fast; if this isn’t appropriately controlled, it could result in moderate dehydration. Consuming lots of water is critical to staying hydrated during a fast.

What to Eat After 18-Hour Fast – Best Foods Detected

1. Hydration

  • Coconut water 
  • Herbal teas 
  • Bone broth 
  • Water with a pinch of Himalayan salt 

2. Fruits

  • Watermelon 
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Oranges 
  • Avocado

3. Vegetables

  • Steamed carrots 
  • Spinach 
  • Beetroot 
  • Cucumber 
  • Sweet potatoes

4. Proteins

  • Poached or scrambled eggs 
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Baked salmon or steamed fish 
  • Chicken broth 
  • Tofu or tempeh 

5. Healthy Fats

  • Almonds or walnuts 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Olive oil 
  • Flaxseeds 

6. Complex Carbohydrates

  • Quinoa 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Brown rice 
  • Whole grain toast 

7. Fermented Foods

  • Kefir 
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi 
  • Miso soup

8. Smoothies and Juices

  • Green smoothie (spinach, kale, green apple, and ginger)
  • Carrot and ginger juice 
  • Berry smoothie 

9. Snacks for Later

  • Hummus with cucumber or carrot sticks
  • Rice cakes with almond butter
  • Dark chocolate (70% or higher)

10. Herbs and Spices

  • Ginger 
  • Turmeric 
  • Cinnamon 
18 6 Intermittent Fasting

Also, read – 28 Day Fasting Challenge – Unleash Your Potential

Exciting Nutritional Meal Plan for Intermittent Fasting 18/6

Breakfast (Your First Meal): Avocado and Egg Toast with Mixed Berries

Time: 12:00 PM

  • Ingredients

Whole grain bread, one ripe avocado, two eggs (poached or soft-boiled), mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), a handful of arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Lunch: Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

Time: 2:30 PM

  • Ingredients 

Quinoa, grilled chicken breast, a medley of roasted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, red onion), mixed greens, feta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Snack: Greek Yogurt with Nuts and Honey

Time: 4:00 PM

  • Ingredients

Greek yogurt, a mix of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), a drizzle of honey, and cinnamon.

Dinner: Baked Salmon with Sweet Potato & Steamed Broccoli

Time: 5:30 PM

  • Ingredients 

Salmon fillet, sweet potato, broccoli, olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper.

Drink: Plenty of Water, Herbal Teas, and Black Coffee

Aim for at least 2-3 liters of water. Herbal teas and black coffee are also good choices during fasting hours.

Wrapping Up the 18/6 Intermittent Fasting Way! 

Is 18 hours fast better than 16? You already know it, the 18/6 intermittent fasting way demystified! This method is not just about skipping meals; it’s a journey of self-discovery and wellness. It’s about understanding your body, listening to its needs, and allowing it the time to rest, recover, and rejuvenate.

Remember, fasting is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to find what works best for you and your lifestyle. The 18/6 technique is versatile and flexible. Research has demonstrated many health benefits, including enhanced mental clarity and weight loss. Above all, it’s a long-term approach to a better lifestyle.

So, why not give it a shot? Your body might just thank you! 

Romana Sharmin is a South Asian food enthusiast who enjoys eating healthy. She has been trying intermittent fasting for the last 20 years and knows the tricks and tips for succeeding in this diet. She believes in eating the right proportion and following a routined eating habit can change your body for the better.

Intermittent fasting 101Intermittent fasting schedule for menIntermittent fasting schedule for women