Intermittent Fasting 12/12 vs 16/8

Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.

Intermittent Fasting 12 12 Vs 16 8

Intermittent fasting has many different plans, allowing you to pick one that works best for you and your lifestyle. 12/12 fasting allows you to eat for 12 hours and fast for 12 hours, which is a great entry point. You can get the majority of your fasting done while you sleep, helping you start your day off on the right foot.

16:8 is the next step up, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. This is one of the most popular and effective types of fasting, helping you maximize your results while still eating every day. 

Key Takeaways

  • Intermittent fasting can offer several benefits, including weight loss, improved gut health, and reduced inflammation.

  • Two popular intermittent fasting plans are 12/12 and 16/8, with the main difference being the fasting and eating windows.

  • 12/12 is a great entry point for beginners, as it is more flexible and easier to stick to. 16/8 is more challenging but may offer faster weight loss results and additional health benefits.

  • Hormone levels may be impacted by intermittent fasting, and women should be cautious with longer fasts as they may affect menstrual cycles and fertility.

  • Before starting any new diet or exercise plan, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it's safe for you.


12/12 fasting is one of the most flexible intermittent fasting plans, and if you time it right - you can sleep through the worst of the hunger pains. You may even do 12/12 fasting without noticing, which is why it's often the plan used to ease into intermittent fasting

12/12 fasting can improve your brain health, and early research suggests that it may reverse progressive brain disorders, as well as autoimmune diseases. It will help you lose weight, though your results will be slower. You may even realize you have food intolerances when you rest your gut health.

Benefits of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

With 16/8, you get all the benefits of 12/12 plus more. 16/8 fasting helps you burn fat, so you’ll lose more weight on this plan. It will also help improve your gut health, resting to restore balance and promote healing, which is great if you’re struggling with digestion issues. 16/8 intermittent fasting can help with inflammation, particularly if you suffer from arthritis. 

Intermittent fasting can help boost your natural production of HGH or human growth hormone. This hormone helps repair and regenerate your tissues, including your skin, which will make you look and feel younger.

What are the Differences?

Let’s explore some of the key differences between 12/12 and 16/8.

  • Fasting Time 

The most obvious difference between the two is the fasting time and the difficulty level. 12/12 allows you to eat for 12 hours during the day and fast for 12, while 16/8 has you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. 12/12 is easier for the beginner intermittent faster because you can sleep through a majority of your fasting window and wake up and eat.

  • Weight Loss

You will lose weight while intermittent fasting; however, the speed at which you do will vary based on the plan. If you’re looking for quicker results, try 16/8. It’s thought to help you burn fat. The longer you fast, the more fat stores your body will burn to power its daily activities. You will still see results during 12/12; it just may take longer for you to notice them.

  • Hormone Impact 

Intermittent fasting can impact your body’s hormone levels, both in men and women. For women, longer fasting may have an impact on their menstrual cycles and fertility, whereas 12/12 may have no impact. The longer your fast, the more likely it is that you will start to have irregular periods. If you are trying to get pregnant and have regular periods, you may want to skip intermittent fasting. The opposite is true too. If you have irregular periods, intermittent fasting could help regulate your cycles and improve fertility. 

How to Choose?

If you’re just starting out, try 12/12 intermittent fasting. Many of us naturally do 12/12 fasting, so if you’re ready to up your game, 16/8 fasting is the next step. You may even get results faster. Both are powerful weight loss tools, and which is best for you depends on your comfort level. 

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  • What is 12/12 intermittent fasting?

12/12 intermittent fasting involves a daily fasting period of 12 hours and an eating window of 12 hours. For example, you could eat from 8 am to 8 pm and fast from 8 pm to 8 am.

  • What is 16/8 intermittent fasting?

16/8 intermittent fasting involves a daily fasting period of 16 hours and an eating window of 8 hours. So, for example, you could eat from 12 pm to 8 pm and fast from 8 pm to 12 pm the next day.

  • Which is better: 12/12 or 16/8 intermittent fasting?

Both 12/12 and 16/8 intermittent fasting can be effective for weight loss, improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing inflammation. The best one for you depends on your lifestyle, schedule, and personal preferences.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at are here with you every step of the way!