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Is a 16 Hour Fast Long Enough To See Results? [+ 5 Simple Tips To Accelerate Your Results]

If you're not new to the space of Intermittent Fasting, you've probably heard of all different types of fasts ~ 12 hour, alternate day fasting, OMAD, extended fasts. But what about a 16 hour fast? Is a 16 hour fast long enough to see results?

Let's dive into it.

16 hour intermittent fasting

Benefits of a 16 Hour Intermittent Fast

It's important to note that when you're following a 16 hour daily Intermittent Fast, you're likely fasting double the length of a time you had in the past. Most people eat something right when they wake up and snack all day until right before bed. This leaves at most an 8 hour daily "fast". So when you're following a 16 hour daily fast, you're making the conscious effort to prioritize your gut health and the various other Intermittent Fasting benefits for an extra 8 hours a day.

Benefits of a 16 hour fast include:

  • Balance cortisol: When you get the timing of your 16 hour fast down the right way, it's been found to help balance cortisol (our stress hormone) levels to our natural circadian rhythm.(1)

  • Helps reduce blood pressure: Studies have found that Intermittent Fasting (between 12 hours to 20 hours per day) can help to significantly lower blood pressure.(2)

  • Weight loss: Multiple studies have found that Intermittent Fasting (between 12-20 hours per day) helps promote weight loss.(2)

  • Decreased blood glucose levels: Multiple trials have also found benefits on fasting blood sugar levels while Intermittent Fasting.(2)

  • Periods of lower insulin: Insulin is our storing hormone and it gets raised every time we eat. So by fasting for 16 hours a day, you get 16 hours of lower insulin so that they body can shift into a state of fat burning (aka lipolysis).

  • Increased gut cleaning: When we fast, the gut turns on the cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). This flushes out left behind food and bacteria that could otherwise lead to fermentation, bloating and inflammation. In fact, with a 16 hour fast, you can technically get two full cleaning cycles with the MMC.

Downsides of Longer Fasts

Just because Intermittent Fasting is a great tool, it doesn't mean that longer fasts are always better, especially if your goal is weight loss. When looking to achieve a weight loss goal, it's crucial to balance the fast with the nutrients that support a weight loss goal ~ the most important being protein. Protein is crucial for preventing muscle loss and maintaining metabolic rate. Without enough protein, it's possible to initially experience weight loss, but then gain the weight back (or plateau) due to a loss of muscle and a decreased metabolic rate.

Because protein is so satiating (makes you feel full), it can be difficult to fit enough protein in for the day within a very small eating window. This is why I personally don't usually recommend fasts longer than 20 hours per day. You can take my free quiz below to help determine your ideal fasting length.

Psssst... curious how long YOUR Intermittent Fast should be? Take my FREE Intermittent Fasting Schedule Quiz by clicking the button below!

5 Tips to Accelerate Your Results With A 16 Hour Fast

If you're currently Intermittent Fasting but not seeing results, here are 5 tips to help you break through your plateau.

  1. Cut out all snacks: Ideally, you shouldn't be snacking the entire time throughout your designated eating window. Instead, it's important to focus on 2-3 full, satiating meals that are evenly split with adequate protein. You can learn more about how to structure your meals while Intermittent Fasting with my Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle HERE.

  2. Add 2000-3000 steps per day: Walking is a low intensity exercise that primarily burns fat as fuel. Try adding in an extra 2000-3000 steps per day with a 15-20 minute walk at lunch or after dinner.

  3. Don't eat too late: This comes down to when you break and start your fast. Early time restricted feeding (eTRF) has been found to be more beneficial than breaking the fast later in the day.(1) Instead of having your first meal at 12 and last meal at 8, try having your first meal at 10 and last meal end by 6.

  4. Remove all sugary drinks: This includes fruit juice, soda, sugary lattes, sports drinks and cocktails. These highly concentrated sugary drinks can massively spike the storing hormone insulin and work against a weight loss goal.

  5. Focus on protein, fat and fiber with every meal: This combination helps to stabilize blood sugar and minimize the insulin spike during the eating window. This is the format we teach in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle with over 100 recipes designed for Intermittent Fasting. You can check it out HERE.

Unlock the Intermittent Fasting tips, meal plans and recipes that have helped thousands of men and women around the world with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle!

100+ recipes, 8 weeks of meal planning, science-backed Intermittent Fasting tips and so much more!

Head over HERE to get started!

❤️ Autumn

Autumn Elle Nutrition

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