Intermittent Fasting for 12 Hours | Will That Be Enough?

Are you curious about Intermittent Fasting? If so, you might also be curious to know if fasting for just 12hours can be enough. Well, lucky you, you are reading the right article and I have the answer to that question.

Long story short, YES – 12 hours can actually be enough time to see some of the benefits that come with intermittent fasting. Continue reading to learn more – or watch the embedded video if you prefer to listen.

Don’t Fast With Ego

I personally enjoy intermittent fasting and I always tell people, when asked about it, to try not to overthink the timing lengths. I say that because, believe or not, many people think its “status” thing or badge of honor to say that they fast for 16 hours or 23 hours regularly. That said, they make the mistake of jumping right into intermittent fasting regardless of how they feel or how long they have been fasting in general.

As an example, have you heard or seen those men/women who just began working out, but they go to the gym and lift with ego? Think of that person in the gym that lifts super heavy weight – but with bad form. People who fall into that category are causing unnecessary strain along with potential damage/harm, not knowing that they can accomplish more in the long-term if they establish a solid foundation and start off with a lighter weight.  In other words, do not start off with 70lbs dumbbells as a beginner just because you see that other person lifting that same weight. That other person is likely more experienced. Instead, start off with 35lbs dumbbells and work your up. Do not get caught up in the numbers. This same idea applies when intermittent fasting, again, don’t get caught up in the numbers!


Truth this, eating for 12 hours and then fasting for 12 hours is actually a great way to begin intermittent fasting for most people. Especially, if you are that person who is terrified of feeling hungry and cannot stand the thought of abstaining from food for longer hours. As an entry way to get your feet wet, start with 12 hours. And Yes, fasting for longer periods of time can help bring on additional health benefits. But keep in mind, you must start somewhere. Plus, according to an article published in the NIH News and Health –  a 12/12 pattern of eating is common amongst people who have record lifespans” (1), aka live longer than the average person. Plus, you still get some great weight loss benefits.


There was an article in the men’s journal about a test that was done on groups of mice. Their diets consisted of normal foods in today’s time or foods high in sugar/fat.  The subjects were split into two groups. Group 1 consisted of mice that could eat any time they wanted throughout the day. Group 2 consisted of mice that were forced to fast for exactly 12 hours. Guess what happened?

The mice that fasted for 12 hours gained less weight overall than the mice that ate regularly around the clock.  Too add to this, even after they gave the fasted mice free “weekend passes” to eat anytime throughout the day, the mice that fasted still gained less weight than the other mice that ate regularly each week.  And when the overweight mice were put on the 12-hour fast, they dropped 5% of their body weight—even when they were eating the same number of calories as the other mice that didn’t lose body weight at all (2)!


Here is another reason why 12 hours is fine – many respected fitness trainers and health professionals recommend it. As an example, have you heard of Jillian Michaels? She is a well-known personal fitness and health trainer. You might have seen on as the trainer from THE BIGGEST LOSER show. 

Well, Jillian Michaels encourages a 12hr fast, specifically if you schedule your fast while you sleep overnight.  Think 8pm to 8am, or 6pm to 6am. Her advice is Fast for 12 hours and eat only one snack a day. To clarify, if you break that down, you’ll be able to eat about every 3-4 hours. “That is just enough time for breakfast, lunch, ONE snack, and then dinner” (3). Following that schedule fits better with traditional eating habits and serves as a great entry way into intermittent fasting for longer periods of time. And as I mentioned earlier, you have to start somewhere – so, start at 12 hours.


For final words, and to get back to my original point, YES 12 hours of fasting is definitely enough. And I personally believe that 12 hours is a great way to begin your intermittent fasting journey. Plus, if you want to increase the amount of time you fast, you can simply decide to extend your fasting window as you’d like overtime.

So, just because you see people on YouTube saying they fast for 16 or 24 hours regularly, do not immediately think you have to fast for that long of a window to get results.  When you get that feeling, I recommend that you take step back and relax. Take a breather and remember to go at your own pace. Then, as you become more accustomed to intermittent fasting, you can fast for longer periods. It is simply about establishing a solid foundation and getting that experience. Do not make the mistake of fasting with ego!

Also, Remember This

Intermittent fasting can be hard to understand and there is no absolute right or wrong way to do it. You can fast for long periods or shorter periods of time. But regardless, you should always do what is best for you. So, keep doing research and learn the various intermittent fasting approaches. I encourage you to explore and test things out to truly get a feel for the type of intermittent fasting style you prefer. You can always mix things up, but remember, you must always start somewhere – I say start with 12 hour, it is enough!

I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our email list to keep up with future posts from


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