18 6 Intermittent Fasting: Should You Try It?

18 6 Intermittent fasting symbolized by antique street clock.

Have you ever wondered if intermittent fasting is good for you?

What is fasting anyway? What does it mean? How do you do it? Is it actually good for you?

And are the health benefits proven?

In this article, we’ll explain what it is, what the health benefits are, who should do it, and how to implement it. 

So, keep reading to find out if 18 6 intermittent fasting is right for you!

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting means you fast for the major part of the day and eat during the remaining hours.

Fasting in this sense means that you only drink water and calorie-free beverages during your fasting window.

But you don’t eat any food.

Instead, you eat during a selected hour eating window and then repeat that cycle the next day.

Fasting is a centuries-old common practice.

Humans have fasted throughout time due to difficulties finding and storing food.

And because of that, we’ve evolved to function well through periods of little to no food.

Nowadays, you can decide to fast for a variety of reasons.

It can surround health, weight loss and medical procedures, or certain beliefs and religious practices.

There’s something to letting your organs rest for part of the day. But what does the research say?

Let’s dive deeper into what that is!

Types of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting comes in many forms that all require a period of fasting.

You should choose the intermittent fasting method that fits you best.

Most people fast:

  • Weekly or monthly on specific days
  • 16-20 hours per day for a month
  • During certain meals while eating others
  • Every other day, i.e., alternate day fasting
  • 36-72 hours at a time

When you decide on your hour fast, you might decide between intermittent fasting 18/6 vs 16/8.

This means fasting for 18 hours vs 16 hours. Because of that, they’re called 18 and 6 fasting.

We are covering 18/6 intermittent fasting in this article. 

During 18/6 intermittent fasting, you fast for 18-hours a day and eat during a six hour window.

And then repeat that in a cyclical pattern for several weeks until you reach your goal.

Other names for 18/6 intermittent fasting are:

  • 18 to 6 fasting
  • 6 18 fasting
  • 18 and 6 fasting
  • 18 and 6 intermittent fasting

Since 18 6 intermittent fasting restricts time and not calories, it’s been popularized recently.

Thus, 18/6 intermittent fasting Reddit queries and 18/6 fasting reviews are a dime and a dozen.

This eating pattern creates a state of healthful rest and repair that’s associated with many health benefits.

The questions remain:

  • What are intermittent fasting results 1 month 18:6?
  • Are intermittent fasting 18/6 results the same as other forms of fasting?

Keep reading to find out!

Intermittent Fasting Myths

Many myths surround fasting.

With the help of this 2022 Nature Reviews article, we’ll debunk some common myths:

Fasting makes you overeat during the eating window

  • This is rarely the case.
  • Instead, you’re typically not able to eat as much as you normally would.
  • This creates an energy deficit of 10-30%, allowing you to lose weight.

You eat more unhealthy foods when fasting

  • Although it’s perhaps intuitive to think you’d reach for comfort foods while fasting, this typically isn’t the case.
  • Studies show that the proportions of foods don’t change during fasting.
  • Instead, you eat what you normally do but in shorter intervals.

It’s difficult to incorporate fasting  

  • Perhaps contrary to beliefs, most people don’t find it difficult to incorporate fasting.
  • This may be because it focuses on when rather than what to eat.

Fasting lowers your metabolism

  • Well, this isn’t exactly true for intermittent fasting.
  • Because it isn’t maintained for more than 18 hours, it doesn’t appear to affect the metabolism significantly. 
  • However, with longer stretches such as 36-72 fasting hours, your body might go into a starvation mode with might lower the metabolism.

Intermittent fasting 18/6 and exercise is a no-go

  • You can and should exercise.
  • Most people can work out at a moderate to high-intensity pace during fasting without side effects.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Recent research shows that intermittent fasting may benefit heart and brain health, lead to a healthier longer life, and help with weight loss.

Specifically, it can help lower inflammation, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and blood fats.

And it may also help control blood sugar levels, lower insulin levels, and reduce insulin resistance.

These are key to helping prevent type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.

Other studies, however, show little benefit.

Intermittent fasting may also increase human growth hormone, but it’s unclear if that’s good or bad.  

Although growth hormone may help you lose weight it may also pose cancer risks.

Furthermore, since most studies are short-term, it’s unclear if intermittent fasting can help manage weight loss in the long term.

Weight loss success also depends on other factors.

Those include being physically active, reducing stress, and getting quality sleep.

Effects of Intermittent Fasting on the Body

Intermittent fasting works by switching your energy metabolism.

When you eat carbohydrates, aka glucose, at a normal rate your body uses liver and muscle glucose for energy.

But because no glucose is coming in while fasting the body switches to using ketone bodies from fat cells for energy.

This is similar to what happens during the popularized keto diet.

Thus, ketone bodies are the body’s alternate way of producing energy.

Thus, this process helps use up stored fat so you can begin losing weight.

Intermittent fasting also upregulates something called autophagy.

This is a process that selectively removes damaged and old cells and recycles them for energy and materials.

Because these cells are removed, it may be important for chronic disease and cancer prevention.

18 6 Intermittent Fasting

18/6 Intermittent Fasting Benefits

The health benefits of 18 6 intermittent fasting are similar to other types of fasting as described above.

The difference is that 18-hour fast weight loss results are a bit smaller.

More on that below.

Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting 18/6

PROs

Intermittent fasting is generally safe for most people.

It’s also easier to do than many other weight loss programs that require you to count calories.

Similar to other calorie-restrictive diets, in that 75% of lost weight is fat mass and 25% is muscle.

PRO TIP:

Eat lean protein daily and combine fasting with resistance training to minimize loss of muscle mass.

CONs

Some people feel more hungry, irritable, and moody.

While others develop headaches and have difficulty concentrating.

Although this usually resolves after a couple of weeks and by drinking enough water.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from 18:6 Intermittent Fasting?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can take 2-4 weeks for your body to get used to intermittent fasting.

After that, you can expect to see intermittent fasting results in the range of 3-8% weight lost over 8-12 weeks.

Thus, intermittent fasting is similar to other weight loss approaches that restrict calories.

However, if you compare alternate day and 18/6 intermittent fasting results were smaller for time-restricted fasting.

Here, 18:6 fasting results were in the 3-4% range after 8-12 weeks.

Thus, fasting 18 hours a day for a month may not be long enough.

Furthermore, it also appears to take about 1-2 months for improvements in heart health and blood sugars to show up.

Thus, if you don’t like your 18:6 fasting results for one month, keep going for another month or two.  

That way you’re more likely to reach that intermittent fasting 18/6 before and after shot you’re looking for.

Should You Try It?

Before starting an intermittent fasting regimen, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider, as it’s not for everyone.

But if you’re interested in intermittent fasting, find a window that you can work with.

And although intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, it’s also important to exercise daily, lower stress, and get quality sleep.

Who Shouldn’t Try It?

Since intermittent fasting requires longer periods of fasting, or calorie restriction, it isn’t for everyone.

And since the 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule is particularly strict, it deserves some consideration before adopting.

Because of some safety concerns, it’s not recommended for:

  • Children or adolescents
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Those with an eating disorder
  • People who are underweight (BMI <18.5)
  • Elderly over age 70
  • Those with poorly controlled diabetes or trouble sleeping

Bottom Line

Intermittent fasting can bring a host of health benefits.

You can choose restricted eating for a 6 or 8-hour window or choose to fast on certain days.

And since it limits your intake of calories by 10-30%, you can expect 18-hour intermittent fasting results to be in the 3-8% range.

This occurs primarily over 8-12 weeks.

But remember that 18/6 fasting weight loss results may be somewhat variable.

And there aren’t any studies on 18 6 intermittent fasting weight loss results in the long term.

Meaning that it’s unclear if longer fasting yields different results.  

In the end, if you’re not losing weight with intermittent fasting 18/6, try another form of fasting.

How to Start 18/6 Intermittent Fasting

If you want to try 18-6 intermittent fasting, it may be easiest to start with a shorter fast and then gradually increase it.  

For instance, the 16/8 schedule with a 16-hour fast and 8 hours of eating may be simpler to follow.

Then, if you’re ready to increase, go for the 18/6, or 18 hours fasting and 6 hours eating.

That way you can build up your tolerance and also get used to the new schedule.

Example 18/6 Intermittent Fasting Schedule

An 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule could mean that you fast from 6 pm to 12 noon the next day.

And then eat from 12 noon to 6 pm. And then you start over.

See the graphic below for an example.

Graphic showing times of fasting and eating 18-6 intermittent fasting.
Sample schedule. Design: Heselholt Group, LLC/Canva.

If that doesn’t work, you can extend the eating window, change the hours, or choose another form of fasting.

Tips for Success with 18/6 Intermittent Fasting

When you’re starting 18-6 intermittent fasting, it’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead of time.

That way you can be sure to get enough nutrients.

But since intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat not what you eat, you’re meant to eat your regular diet.

However, you should focus on healthy eating.

Plan to eat every two hours and include healthy snacks as well if you need to.

Also, remember that it may take a few weeks to get used to this new way of eating.

When you’re ready to transition off intermittent fasting, you can gradually widen the eating window.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Overeating While it may be easy to reach for snack foods, you should aim for 2-3 normal portioned meals.
  • Undereating Eat enough food from all food groups so that you don’t get deficient in any nutrients.
  • Becoming dehydrated. Aim for at least 64 ounces of water, tea/coffee, and calorie-free drinks per day.
  • Overthinking It Look at fasting as a commitment you’ve made to your health, not an overcomplication of your life.

Sample Meal Plan for 18/6 Intermittent Fasting

18/6 intermittent fasting is based on watching the clock, not your calories.

That being said, it’s important to make sure you’re eating a balanced varied diet based on whole foods from all food groups.

This is important so you get enough essential nutrients and fiber.

You should include foods such as fruits & berries, veggies, herbs & spices, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

This is important so you get enough fiber, protein, essential fat, vitamins D and B12, electrolytes, and phytochemicals.

See the graphic below for examples of foods you can use to come up with your intermittent fasting diet plan.

18-6 Intermittent Fasting Sample Foods List.
Fasting sample foods. Design: Heselholt Group, LLC/Canva.

It’s also best to limit or avoid packaged snack foods, bakery items, processed & deep-fried foods, most frozen foods, and sugary drinks.

Final Thoughts

18/6 intermittent fasting may help a host of organs in your body including your brain and heart.

It can also help control blood glucose levels and help prevent cancer.

Most people can expect to lose 3-8% weight over 8-12 weeks and see other health benefits in 1-2 months. 

Intermittent fasting works by switching your energy metabolism from glucose to fat and by recycling old damaged cells.

Although you’re meant to eat your regular foods during intermittent 18 hour fasting, it’s important to eat a balanced varied diet.

This is important so you don’t get deficient in any vitamin or nutrient.

WANT MORE ON CANCER PREVENTION?

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