Is It Better To Skip Breakfast Or Dinner When Doing An 18 Hour Intermittent Fasting Window?

Is It Better To Skip Breakfast Or Dinner When Doing An 18 Hour Intermittent Fasting Window?

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

Is It Better To Skip Breakfast Or Dinner When Doing An 18 Hour Intermittent Fasting Window?

Intermittent fasting can have an incredible impact on your life. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll also improve your overall health and well-being. An 18:6 intermittent fasting plan is advanced, but you’ll see great benefits when you adhere to one, including improved gut health and digestion, increased memory, focus, and mood, and lowered risk of diseases.

As you look to create your intermittent fasting plan, you may be wondering if it’s better to skip breakfast or dinner. There’s limited research to support a measured difference in weight loss if you skip breakfast vs. dinner, so it’s really up to you and your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Intermittent fasting, specifically the 18:6 fasting plan, can have a significant positive impact on weight loss, overall health, and well-being. It offers benefits such as improved gut health and digestion, enhanced memory, focus, and mood, and reduced risk of diseases.
  • When deciding whether to skip breakfast or dinner during intermittent fasting, there is limited research to support a significant difference in weight loss. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and lifestyle.
  • 18:6 intermittent fasting involves fasting for 18 hours and having an eating window of six hours. It is considered an advanced form of intermittent fasting and typically requires skipping two meals, either breakfast or dinner based on personal timing preferences.
  • Skipping breakfast can be convenient and relatively easy to stick with, but recent small-scale research suggests that skipping breakfast and eating a late dinner may lead to increased hunger and reduced calorie burn throughout the day. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.
  • Skipping dinner can be more challenging due to social commitments and the tendency for dinner to be the largest meal of the day. However, studies indicate that once the body adjusts, appetite may decrease over time, and more fat may be burned. Additional research is required to validate these findings.

What is 18:6 Intermittent Fasting?

Before we dig into which meals are better to skip, let’s take a step back and discuss what 18:6 intermittent fasting is. 18:6 is an advanced form of intermittent fasting when you fast for 18 hours and have an eating window of six hours. This type of intermittent fasting is not for beginners.

Your eating window can be timed over a traditional meal time, and those adhering to this intermittent fasting plan typically will need to skip two meals. Based on your timing, it will most likely be breakfast or dinner. There are pros and cons to skipping each.

Skipping Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is fairly common, even if you’re not intermittent fasting. Once thought to be the most important meal of the day, it is often the most convenient meal to skip. You won’t have to change your schedule very much if you choose to skip breakfast, making it a little easier to stick with.

However, there was a small study conducted recently in Cell Metabolism that suggested that if you skip breakfast and eat a late dinner, you may feel hungrier while reducing the number of calories you burn in a day. More research is needed to determine if these findings can be replicated on a bigger scale; however, it’s something to keep in mind when you’re picking which meal to skip.

Skipping Dinner

Skipping dinner when you’re doing an 18-hour intermittent fast will likely be more difficult. Many social commitments revolve around dinner, so you will have to demonstrate more self-control or change your patterns more if you plan to skip dinner.

For most people, dinner tends to be the largest meal of the day. If you skip it, you may feel more hunger cues throughout the day. You may feel more tired and have less energy in the evening. If you plan to skip dinner, you may need to train your body to get used to it.

Once you do, small studies suggest that your appetite will decrease over time while burning more fat. Again, more research is needed to verify these results, but it’s promising if you are looking to skip dinner as part of your 18-hour intermittent fasting plan.

Which is Better to Skip While Intermittent Fasting: Breakfast or Dinner?

It’s up to you which will be better for your lifestyle to skip. Both have research that suggests that skipping them will help boost weight loss goals, impacting your overall health and well-being.

To pick which will be best for you, take a look at your lifestyle and see if one will fit more seamlessly. If you’re a morning person, you may want to kick off the day with your meals. If you’re more sociable, dinner may be a better meal window for you.

Just as important as when you eat is what you eat during these windows. Make sure they are high-value foods packed with nutrients to help fuel you through your fasting window.


  • What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It has gained popularity for its potential benefits in weight loss, improved health, and overall well-being.

  • What is the 18:6 intermittent fasting plan?

The 18:6 intermittent fasting plan refers to fasting for 18 hours and having an eating window of six hours. This means you would abstain from eating for 18 hours and restrict your meals to a specific six-hour period each day.

  • Should I skip breakfast or dinner if I choose the 18:6 intermittent fasting plan?

The decision to skip breakfast or dinner during intermittent fasting depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Research suggests that there is no significant difference in weight loss between skipping breakfast or dinner. Consider your schedule, social commitments, and meal preferences to determine which option is more feasible for you.

  • Is it easier to skip breakfast or dinner?

Skipping breakfast is often considered more convenient as it may require fewer adjustments to your daily routine. However, it may lead to increased hunger if you choose to eat a late dinner. Skipping dinner, on the other hand, can be more challenging due to social engagements and the habit of having a substantial evening meal. Choose the option that aligns better with your lifestyle and preferences.

  • Are there any potential drawbacks to skipping breakfast or dinner?

While intermittent fasting can offer various benefits, skipping meals may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may experience increased hunger or changes in energy levels when adjusting to a new eating pattern. It’s important to listen to your body and ensure you consume nutritious foods during your eating window to support overall health.

  • Can intermittent fasting help with weight loss?

Intermittent fasting has been associated with weight loss due to calorie restriction and potential improvements in metabolism. However, individual results may vary, and maintaining a balanced diet during the eating window is crucial for achieving sustainable weight loss.

  • Are there any health risks associated with intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for most healthy individuals. However, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Additionally, certain populations such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and individuals with eating disorders should avoid intermittent fasting or seek medical guidance before starting any fasting regimen.

  • What should I eat during the eating window of intermittent fasting?

During your eating window, it is important to focus on consuming nutrient-dense, high-quality foods. Include a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, and snacks that may undermine the potential benefits of intermittent fasting.

  • Can intermittent fasting be combined with other diets or eating plans?

Intermittent fasting can be combined with various dietary approaches, such as the ketogenic diet, Mediterranean diet, or plant-based diet. However, it is important to ensure that the combined approach aligns with your nutritional needs and goals. Consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can provide personalized guidance in combining intermittent fasting with specific eating plans.

  • How long should I follow intermittent fasting to see results?

Results may vary depending on individual factors such as metabolism, body composition, and adherence to the fasting plan. Some individuals may experience noticeable changes in weight and health markers within a few weeks, while others may require more time. Consistency and long-term adherence to a healthy lifestyle, including intermittent fasting, are key to achieving and maintaining desired results.

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!