18/6 Intermittent Fasting

18/6 intermittent fasting Diet & Nutrition
December 30, 2022
6 minutes Read
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Fasting has been practiced for centuries worldwide by various religions and cultures. 

However, intermittent fasting (IF) skyrocketed as a popular tool for weight management. 

18/6 intermittent fasting, in particular, has sprung up as a favored trend with lasting power. 

The question is, does intermittent fasting 18/6 help you shape up, and is it healthy?

This blog will cover the effectiveness of this particular diet regimen, its pros and cons, and much more.

What does intermittent fasting mean?

Many diets focus on what you’re eating, zeroing in on your carb, fat, and protein intake. 

Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, concentrates more on when to eat, alternating between a set schedule of eating and fasting. 

Furthermore, 18/6 intermittent fasting has taken the health world by storm, being touted as a convenient, easy, and sustainable way to lose weight while maintaining results.

How does intermittent fasting 18/6 work? 

On this regime, you limit your intake of food and caloric beverages to a window of six hours. 

For the other 18 hours, you don’t eat and only drink calorie-free bevies, like water, tea, or coffee.

A medically reviewed article in Healthline reveals that this practice may boost weight loss, improve blood sugar, and increase life span. 

Typical 18/6 eating hours include the following:

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m
  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
  • 2 p.m. to 8 p.m
  • 4 p.m. to 10 p.m

Take some time to consider what times work best for you and allow yourself some wiggle room to fine-tune the most practical hours.

How does 18/6 intermittent fasting help with weight loss?

In an interview for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist who studied intermittent fasting for over twenty years, explains that not eating for a certain amount of time can help your body burn fat, among other benefits.

More specifically, 18/6 intermittent fasting results can be effective for weight loss because of something Mattson calls metabolic switching. 

According to Mattson, metabolic switching occurs when your body exhausts its sugar stores during the hours without food. As a result, the body begins to burn fat, promoting weight loss.  

Food for thought: Loading up on unhealthy processed, sugary, or fatty feasts will likely work against you. So what’s the best 18/6 intermittent fasting meal plan to shed pounds?

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that you should make a point to enjoy your meals. But concentrate on filling your tummy with nutrient-rich whole foods. 

Nutritious foods to include in your 18/6 intermittent fasting meal plan could be:

  • Quality protein: fish, eggs, legumes, etc. 
  • Healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, almond butter, etc. 
  • Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa, etc. 
  • Fresh fruits: apples, bananas, berries, watermelon, etc.  
  • Fresh veggies: spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc

Does intermittent fasting really work, though?

Countless real-life examples of intermittent fasting 18/6 before and after can be seen on Youtube. Various individuals tried the eating plan with positive results. 

For example, Cam, creator of Goal Guys, a popular Youtube series, did an 18/6 challenge for 30 days

After one month, he lost six pounds, looked leaner, and felt better overall. 

Nevertheless, anecdotal accounts should never take the place of an informed decision based on a medical provider’s guidance.

Pros of 18/6 intermittent fasting

When done healthily, intermittent fasting has various perks. One appealing aspect is its convenience. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the pros:

  1. Enhanced weight loss: The downtime from calories means your body has time to burn fat instead of working to digest a continual onslaught of snacks and meals, says Mattson. Furthermore, one review showed that 11 of 13 intermittent-focused studies reported significant slimming down in the participants.
  2. Clearer thinking: Studies uncovered that intermittent fasting stimulates animals’ memory while improving verbal recall in adults.
  3. Increased lifespan: It’s believed that fasting impacts metabolic pathways, promotes insulin sensitivity, and sparks behavioral shifts. Together, these results may increase your lifespan. But before you commit to a vampire’s everlasting years, more conclusive evidence is needed.  
  4. Better tissue health: Intermittent fasting reduced animal tissue damage after surgery and improved recovery results. Again, more human-based research is needed. 

Cons of 18/6 intermittent fasting

Discuss intermittent fasting with a healthcare provider before beginning, as it’s only for some. 

Those with a history of eating disorders, who are pregnant, or who have diabetes (among other reasons) should steer clear of fasting. 

Here’s a look into the cons:

  1. Physical symptoms: Some intermittent fasting participants reported initial physical drawbacks, such as fatigue, hunger, and irritability. However, most negative physical symptoms can disappear once the body gets used to the new eating routine. 
  2. Overeating: Because intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, some people may do better by dining or snacking more often. The lack of eating hours may cause an individual to overeat when it’s time to munch, spurring potential weight gain. 
  3. Hormonal changes: Some animal research shows that intermittent fasting can lead to undereating and impact hormone levels. For those with ovaries, these changes might impact menstrual cycles.
To wrap up

Many individuals find intermittent fasting highly beneficial for their lifestyle and fitness goals. There are several reasons one might like this plan, such as convenience, weight loss, and mental focus. 

That said, intermittent fasting can present challenges and be potentially harmful.

A trusted healthcare provider can help determine whether intermittent fasting is right for you. 

Lastly, we’re here to support you on your weight loss journey.

Book an online session with a certified Health and Wellness Coach to get help with diet, exercise, and nutrition, from a knowledgeable professional.

Get started today! 

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