Intermittent Fasting 101: The Best Times Of The Day To Avoid Food

Intermittent Fasting 101
Intermittent Fasting 101

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet in a conventional sense. But, it’s an eating plan wherein an individual creates an alternating schedule of eating and fasting. Following a strict fasting schedule grants you different benefits, like improved weight loss and lowered risk of diabetes. But, you might be wondering about the best times of day to avoid eating food. That concept falls upon the different intermittent fasting types available for you to try.

Hence, here are the different intermittent fasting types and their sample schedules to help you know which times of the day it would be best not to eat food:

The 12-hour-a-day Fasting Method

The rules of this intermittent fasting method are relatively simple: you decide and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window daily.

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal states that fasting for about 10 to 16 hours per day can cause the body to metabolize fat stores into energy more efficiently than average. Not eating for about 12 hours a day will help release ketones into the bloodstream.

12-hour-a-day Fasting Method
Intermittent fastin concept – countdown to eat salad with avocado, grapefruit and shrimps in bowl

The liver produces ketones when the body doesn’t have enough insulin in the body. On that note, insulin is a substance to turn glucose or sugar into energy.

So, if the body can’t detect a significant amount of sugar to turn to energy, the insulin stores will, in turn, seek fat for energy. Ultimately, the 12-hour-a-day intermittent fasting method presents individuals with an excellent chance of losing extra fat and weight.

Perhaps, the easiest way to do this intermittent fasting technique is to include sleep into the equation. For example, you can fast between 8 pm and 8 am. Hence, you shouldn’t have another bite of food after 8 pm, and you need to wait until 8 am before eating a healthy breakfast. During this fasting window, you can sleep so you won’t get bothered by hunger pangs.

The 16/8 Fasting Method

When you do the 16/8 intermittent fasting method, you can fit two, three, or more meals in a day. You might classify this fasting method in two categories: not eating after dinner or skipping breakfast.

For example, your last meal of the day is at 9 pm. Now, you need to wait 16 hours before you can have another bite to eat. So, your next meal should be at about 1 pm for the next day. But, for people who get hungry during breakfast time or like to eat during this period, they might find it very challenging to get used to the 16/8 fasting method.

16/8 Fasting Method
close up of woman in restaurant eating

You can still drink coffee, water, or zero-calorie beverages while fasting if you decide to skip breakfast to do this intermittent fasting technique. Drinking “no calorie” drinks can help reduce hunger pangs during the fasting period.

But, it’s still crucial to fill your plate with healthy options during your eating period, especially if you’re doing intermittent fasting to achieve a lean body. This fasting technique won’t work if you still fill your eating times with junk food and an excessive amount of calories.

The 24-hour Fasting Method

In this intermittent fasting method, you skip two meals per day in two days per week. For example, you can enjoy a regular eating schedule on days one to three of your new eating schedule. Then, you skip breakfast and lunch on the fourth day.

Next, you can return to a regular meal plan for days five through seven. Then, you need to skip two meals on the eighth day. Repeat the process until you want to stop this particular eating schedule.

Take note that you don’t have to limit yourself to skipping lunch or dinner alone. Instead, you can adjust the different eating schedules to see the best way your body responds to your preferred meal plan. For instance, you decide to skip breakfast and lunch on the fourth day. But, you notice that it isn’t working as well as initially intended.  So, on the eighth day of your intermittent fasting plan, you decide to skip breakfast and dinner while allowing yourself to eat lunch. Find the eating-slash-fasting plan that suits your body the best to minimize the risks of adverse effects.

Also, like other intermittent fasting methods, you can drink no-calorie beverages to help reduce hunger during your fasting period. Twenty-four hours might seem a lot of time for newbies in cycling eating and fasting routines. Persevere through this seemingly long period of fasting, and you can gain the benefits you’ve been looking for in this routine.


Different intermittent fasting methods exist, and you can try out the various eating plans mentioned above to see which technique suits you the best. But, you should always consult your doctor before attempting to follow an intermittent fasting schedule. You may choose to follow the 12-hour-a-day or 16/8 method, but you need to follow the advice of a medical professional first. That way, you can minimize the risks of unwanted side effects that may occur.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.