Intermittent Fasting 16 8 Vs 20 4

Intermittent Fasting 16/8 vs 20/4

Andrew Brewer - Intermittent Fasting Expert

Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on August 2022.

Medically reviewed and fact checked by our team.

Intermittent Fasting 16 8 Vs 20 4

Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and overhaul your health and wellbeing. Two popular plans are 16/8 and 20/4. These plans still allow you to eat within a single day, which makes them appealing to many fasters. The fasting window shrinks, helping your body rest and recover, triggering a regenerative process that will help you look and feel better.

Let’s break down the benefits of each type, exploring the key differences to help you make the best choice for you. Both are powerful weight loss tools, but they can be so much more.

Benefits of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

16/8 is one of the most popular plans. After 16 hours of fasting, your body will enter autophagy, which is one of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting. Your cells will start to regenerate, purging dead, dying, or damaged cells and replacing them with new ones. You will physically start to look and feel better as your tissues are born anew, including your skin!

You’ll burn more fat, entering into ketosis after your body exhausts its calorie stores. Over time, your blood sugar will lessen, your bad cholesterol levels will drop, and you will start to build resistance against some long-term illnesses.

Benefits of 20/4 Intermittent Fasting

20/4 builds on 16/8 fasting. You get all the good stuff and more when you take part in this extended fast. In addition, you will notice improved cognitive function, meaning you’ll be able to think more clearly. 20/4 intermittent fasting will decrease inflammation throughout your body, especially if you suffer from arthritis and other joint pain.

Your insulin will level out, and you’ll notice reduced sugar cravings, which will help if you’re diabetic. Also called the Warrior Diet, the 20/4 fast will help you feel better once you get over the initial hunger and fatigue hurdles.

What are the Differences?

Let’s explore the key differences between 16/8 and 20/4 intermittent fasting. Both will give you benefits, but you’ll get the most results the longer you fast.

  • Fasting Time

During 16/8 fasting, you can eat for 8 hours, so if you eat your last meal at 6 p.m., you can start to eat again at 10 a.m. the next day. For 20/4, that time is extended. You eat for 4 hours, meaning if you eat at 6 p.m., you can’t eat until 2 p.m. the next day. As you intermittent fast, you’ll learn what times work best for you. You may need to flex times based on your schedule, so don’t get too stuck on specific times. 

  • Sugar

While 16/8 fasting impacts your insulin levels, you’ll really start to kick your sugar cravings when you’re on 20/4. This will be critical, especially if you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic. If you’re on medicine, consult with a doctor before fasting as it could impact your medication. If not, you’ll notice the impact on your insulin. 

  • Hunger

At first, eating will be all you can think about; however, as you fast, your hunger response will change. You will start to notice it during 16:8 fasting, but it will really be apparent with 20:4. You no longer start to feel hungry. Instead, your body has adjusted to fasting. It will conserve its energy stores and burn through fat when it needs to power daily activities.

How to Choose?

Once you know what you’re hoping to achieve, you can start to pick your intermittent fasting plan. Weight loss will come with all plans, but if you’re looking to trigger autophagy, rest your gut, or enter ketosis, you’ll want to consider longer fasts. Your body has more time to repair.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started Fastingapps.com 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 Fastingapps.com are here with you every step of the way!