It seems that many of you are asking “Which intermittent fasting is best for weight loss?” and “Which intermittent fasting is best for me?” and those are great questions! There are many different forms of fasting so choosing the best fasting method may seem like a difficult choice.

Most forms of fasting will help you lose weight and improve your overall health so there is no way for us to tell you which time is best for intermittent fasting. Instead, think about what your goals are, what your schedule is like, and most importantly, what you can maintain long-term. Intermittent fasting shouldn’t be treated like a fad diet, but instead, a lifestyle change that you try to maintain for years.

If your goal is weight loss, any form of fasting will help you achieve that so pick one that you feel most comfortable doing. However, if your goal is autophagy, then you will need to pick a form of fasting where the fasting period is long because it takes a long time of not eating for autophagy to take place. Examples of this type of fasting include alternate-day fasting, 20/4, or one-meal-a-day (OMAD). 

Most people find forms like the 16/8 diet and the 18/6 diet to be the easiest to maintain since the fasting window is the shortest. If this is something you think you can do long-term, then one of these (are something similar) is probably the best option.

Conversely, forms like alternate-day fasting, 20/4, and OMAD are more strict forms of intermittent fasting that some people may find more challenging to adhere to. 

These can be more difficult because you are likely going to skip out on social activities like dinners and parties or you may be the only one not eating, which makes people feel awkward. However, if you have good determination and feel comfortable skipping events or being the only one not eating a stricter form may be the best option for you. 

The adaptation period can also be challenging because it will be difficult to not eat for such a long period of time. 

Regardless of what fasting method you are most interested in, make sure you talk to your primary care physician before just to be safe. 

Asked by: Enola R.

Clinical Project Manager and Writer

With a Ph.D. in nutritional biology, Dr. Richardson is an expert in the field of nutrition, particularly intermittent fasting. Her dissertation project was an intermittent fasting study in athletes, which is where she gained substantial knowledge on the topic. She has contributed to a number of peer-reviewed articles spanning a wide array of topics and works as a freelance writer trying to make scientific knowledge accessible to the public.