Intermittent fasting is a fat loss trend that has become popular during the last few years. And that is for a reason — it works.
But can you do intermittent fasting for 12 hours a day and still get some of the benefits? Keep reading to find out.
Here’s the deal:
Intermittent fasting is a very broad term. It just means that you fast for a short while, then eat, then fast again and you keep going. Some people fast for 2 days every week. Some people fast for 16 hours every day. Some fast 24 hours every other day.
And if you read this post, you probably wonder if there’s any point in fasting for 12 hours every day. Will you still lose fat?
Here’s my answer…
I’m honest with you — there’s nothing magical to intermittent fasting. You set a specific period of time when you allow yourself to eat, and fast when you’re outside of that time frame.
That’s also the main benefit of intermittent fasting…
You don’t eat all the time.
When you’re free to eat whenever you want, it’s easy to snack. It doesn’t have to be bad snacks like Snickers bars and ice cream — you could snack on protein bars and oat meal. You still get one very bad consequence out of this snacking:
You squeeze in more and more calories into your daily eating!
When you decide not to eat breakfast, you walk around hungry for a bit before you get to eat again. In general, this leads to a decreased daily calorie consumption.
Let’s say you eat five meals a day. Every meal is 500 kcal on average. That means you eat 500 x 5 kcal per day, which is 2500.
If you were to cut out breakfast, you would only eat 4 meals a day. If those meals stay the same in size and remain 500 kcal on average, your daily calorie consumption goes down to 2000.
That’s a drastic change…
500 fewer kcal per day adds up to 3500 kcal per week. If you’re on a deficit of 3500 kcal per week, you’d lose half a pound of fat per week. (In theory, but you’ll lose a bit of muscle and water as well)
What if you could lose a pound every week — just from skipping that breakfast?
You read this example because it relates to your question about fasting for 12 hours per day. If you do that, you basically skip one meal every day. That could — in theory — lower your daily calorie intake (which is the only way to lose fat).
But you still need to keep control over your remaining meals. Some people fast every day, but don’t see any fat loss because they eat larger meals within their eating window.
What difference does it make if you skip breakfast, if you indulge in a double Whopper with large fries at lunch?
Is there anything else you miss out when you fast 12 hours a day?
As I said before, intermittent fasting is not magic. It’s largely about appetite control and convenience. Instead of eating frequent small meals that only make you hungrier… you save yourself for a few satisfying meals every day.
If fat loss is your main concern, fasting for 12 hours a day isn’t too different from the normal 16:8 protocol. (When you fast for 16 hours)
As long as you restrict your calorie intake, and eat a decent diet in general, it could be a convenient way to diet.
You can fast for 12 hours a day and still see excellent fat loss results, as long as you follow a good diet in general. The fasting period is neither too long or short.
But here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Your primary challenge is to be on a calorie deficit — to consume fewer calories than your body burns in a day — if you want to get leaner. Intermittent fasting is just a way to make it easier for you.
If you want to supercharge your fat loss even more, you can read my articles about no-bullshit supplements like:
- Cardarine — “exercise in a bottle” that makes you more insulin sensitive, blows your stamina through the roof and has a powerful nutrient partitioning effect.
- Ostarine — a legal chemical that helps you maintain muscle and strength during a tough diet.
- MK-677 — an growth hormone booster that makes your body burn fat at a much faster pace, and maintain muscle during a calorie deficit.
If you read up on those articles as well, and fast for 12 hours every day, you’ll be set for success.
Until next time,
— Alexander Contrarian