Men, women, beginners, people who want to go deeper into fasting… With different needs and goals, every individual can find “the fasting schedule” that works best for them.
Intermittent fasting is a recently popular “diet trend” (even though it isn’t actually a diet), which is essentially based on restricting the time during which you eat. There are two different periods in intermittent fasting: the eating period, when you eat what you like, and the fasting period, when you only consume non-calorie beverages.
The most amazing thing about fasting is, you can arrange your own fasting schedule to fit into your lifestyle. Depending on how long the fasting period is, there are many ways to inte
grate fasting into your daily routine.
And when it comes to weight loss, there is no absolute intermittent fasting schedule. Experts agree that the key to weight loss by intermittent fasting is consistency. So the best plan for those who want to lose weight is the one they can follow regularly.
Here are the top fasting schedules, including beginner-friendly options. If you’re not sure about which plan is the perfect fit for you, just keep scrolling:
The 12-hour fasting – circadian rhythm diet – simply involves fasting half of the day; so in other words you eat during the daytime, and fast at night. The 12-hour intermittent fasting schedule is perfect for beginners as it is easy to follow.
As an example of a 12-hour fasting schedule, if you finish your dinner at 8 p.m., you break your fast with breakfast on the next day at 8 a.m.
Another simple but still effective way of fasting, the 14/10 intermittent fasting schedule allows you to eat during the 10-hour eating window, and the remaining 14 hours is the period during which you fast. 14/10 fasting is highly recommended for women as prolonged fasting may not be beneficial for female hormones.
One example could be eating dinner at 8 p.m. and fasting until you have breakfast at 10 a.m.
16/8 is the most common fasting method, including a 16-hour fasting window and restricting the eating window to 8 hours. Many studies show that following a 16/8 fasting schedule decreases the appetite significantly and boosts weight loss (1,2).
Most people practice the 16/8 fasting schedule by skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner. If you’ve finished your dinner at 8 p.m., your 16-hour fast ends with lunch at 12 p.m. as illustrated below.
18:6 fasting schedule includes 18 hours of fasting and 6 hours of eating. It’s a slightly rigid type of intermittent fasting. It’s absolutely perfect for those who get used to 16:8 and looking for a more intense version.
An example 18:6 fasting schedule could mean having lunch at 12 p.m and finishing dinner at 6 p.m.
20/4 Fasting (Warrior Diet)
As the name implies, the warrior diet is a challenging method for fasting. The 20/4 fasting schedule involves fasting for 20 hours and eating during just 4 hours.
People following a 20/4 schedule commonly have one meal a day, which is also called OMAD. For example, you can have your dinner at 8 p.m. and break your fast at 4 p.m on the next day. This is a highly extreme plan and not convenient for beginners.
Eat-Stop-Eat Approach (24-hour fasting)
Eat-stop-eat or 24-hour fasting includes fasting for 24 hours twice a week.
For example, if you begin your fast at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday after dinner, your eating window begins at 7.00 p.m. on Friday. The best part is that you choose the days when you’re going to fast. Just make sure that your 24-hour fasts aren’t two days in a row.
The 5:2 method
The 5/2 diet includes 2 days of fasting and 5 days of normal eating. Unlike other fasting schedules, you don’t totally avoid food during the fasting period, instead, you limit your calorie intake. The recommended calorie intakes on fasting days are 500 cal for women, and 600 cal for men.
You just pick two days a week that suit you and consume fewer calories on these days. Make sure that your calorie-restriction days aren’t two days in a row, as for the eat-stop-eat approach.
Alternate day fasting
When following an alternate day fasting schedule, you fast on one day and eat normally on the following day. To follow alternate day fasting, you should consume zero calories on fasting days. This isn’t an easy schedule to follow, but you can try it if you’re an experienced faster.
36-hours fasting (Monk Fast)
Monk fast is another extreme version of intermittent fasting. It involves 36 hours of fasting once a week. It is the best intermittent fasting schedule to boost ketosis and autophagy, but is definitely only suitable for those who have previous fasting experience.
If you’re ready for a real challenge, you can do 36 hours of intermittent fasting with a fasting period that begins at 8 p.m on Monday and ends at 8 a.m on Wednesday.
The Bottom Line
If you still can’t make up your mind about which fasting plan to follow, you can try each one to find the one that works best for you. Or just download Fasting Kompanion and get your customized plan based on your physiological needs and goals.