Intermittent fasting is a very popular diet that people participate in. There are many known benefits of intermittent fasting. People often do intermittent fasting to lose weight, but they can also improve their health and even help you live longer. There are several very different ways of doing intermittent fasting. All of them involve splitting time or day into periods of eating and fasting. The 18/6 and 16/8 are both two types of intermittent fasting methods. The 18/6 involves fasting for 18 hours and eating only within a 6 hours window. The 16/8 involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only within a 8 hours window.
Intermittent fasting is a diet that focuses on when you eat instead of what you eat. You cycle between a period of eating and then a period of fasting. To some extent, it is not a conventional diet as it does not specify what you should eat and what you can’t eat. Instead, it is all about the eating pattern.
The 16/8 method is often seen as the most popular method as it is considered to be the easiest, most sustainable and the one that most people can stick to. With this eating window, you can easily fit two or 3 meals within the 8 hours. Because you have 8 hours to eat, most people usually just skip breakfast or dinner to make sure their eating window fits within 8 hours. For example, you can start eating at 1pm and finish at 8pm and then fast for the rest of the 24 hours.
The 18/6 method is similar to the 16/8 intermittent fasting, the only difference is that the eating window you have is smaller. Instead of 8 hours of eating, you now only have 6 hours to eat. This generally means that you can manage to have 2 full meals and a small snack. You will most likely have to skip either breakfast or dinner and adjust your eating window so that you can fit your meals into 6 hours.
12 hours into your fast, all the food you have consumed is most usually burned away and your digestive system goes to sleep. Your insulin levels will start to drop and you will start to enter the metabolic state where your body will start to burn fat. Most people agree, 12 hours is the minimum you should fast if you want to make a positive change in your life.
16 hours into your fast is when your body starts to ramp up your fat burning. Most people are in full ketosis mode between 16 to 18 hours of fast. Your liver will start converting your fat into ketone bodies, which basically means that your fat is being converted into fuel for your body.
By 18 hours, your body will be fully burning fat. Because you do not have any food in your system, your body will fully switch to a fat burning mode and therefore you should be burning slightly more fat than before.
At the 18 hours mark of fasting, people generally are in the fat burning zone. This requires an extra two hours of fasting when compared to the 16/8. Personally, I think fasting for the extra 2 hours is quite beneficial. Studies have shown that autophagy begins at 24 hours of fasting. This means that your broken cells get eaten and self cleans. Fasting for 24 hours may be very hard for some people, even I have only done it 2 or 3 times in my life. But it is clear that there is many benefits for fasting up to 2 days. Therefore, I think if it is possible, you should aim for 18/6.
But for those of you who are starting off with intermittent fasting, you should try the 16/8 first. It is known as the most popular choice and is great for beginners. Intermittent fasting is a very valuable tool for you to improve your health. Since you know the difference between the 18/6 and 16/6 intermittent fast, you should figure out which length of fast would best meet your health goals.
Keep in mind that every body responds to intermittent fasting a little differently. Many factors such as genetics, lifestyle and health plays a huge part on how your body responds to intermittent fasting. This is a general timeline of events for those who intermittent fast, some people might hit certain stages faster or slower.
What is important is that you take note on what is happening to your body and keep track on how you are feeling. Perhaps you should work with a medical professional to help you find a plan and figure out a way to approach it the best possible way for your health.
Are you guys doing the intermittent fasting? And which method are you using? Let me know in the comments!