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A Quick Guide to 18/6 Intermittent Fasting: Pros and Cons

food covering a third of a plate with the word fast underneath

Intermittent fasting has many pros and a few cons. In this quick guide we will discuss the most practical things about intermittent fasting. I think you’ll be excited to explore what this type of eating can do for you and your health.

As with all of our quick guides (bite sized articles), we say…you may not be able to do all the things, but you can do one thing. Welcome to the Do One Thing Today version of this post

If you would like to read the COMPLETE INTERMITTENT FASTING GUIDE, click here!

Intermittent fasting guide:

Picture of plate with a pink clock on it to represent time restricted eating with intermittent fasting

By now you know you will be utilizing time-restricted feeding. You can choose to skip breakfast and have your first meal around noon. If however, you wake up starving every morning, then choose a time window that works better for you. You may be a person that does better skipping dinner.

Choose the hours of the day for eating that work best for you and your physiology.

I will say that not eating a night will boost the positive effects tremendously! Make sure to have your last meal at least 3 hours before bed. When you extend your fasting window into this time period you’ll enjoy less inflammation, fat storage, and sluggishness. I know from experience. I love having a midnight snack but feel and look tremendously better when I don’t. One thing I can recommend is having a piece of xylitol gum at night if you are fighting a craving. It works tremendously well.

What’s the best number of hours to fast?

Black clock in center with lots of numbers all around

As I mentioned before, the most common is an 18-hour fast with a six-hour window for eating. 

If that amount of time feels overwhelming to you try longer eating window. Start with an 8-hour window and work from there.

The next day after your fast, try to break the fast with a small meal. If you go all in too quickly you may not feel well. No one wants that! Yuck!

Intermittent fasting guide: How many days should I do?

colorful dates on small notes to represent how many days to do intermittent fasting

I’ve had patients and friends that have done SO many variations here! Here are some ideas…

  • Once a month (choose the same day if you are trying to build a habit over a period of time)
  • Once a week (like every other Thursday)
  • 5:2 Schedule (normal meal plan 5 days/week and intermittent fasting protocol 2 days/week).
  • Alternate day fasting
  • Daily (hardcore…lol)

I feel like this is a very individualized process long term. Try something for a month or two and see how it works. You may have to adjust your days of the week or transition from alternate-day fasting to the 5:2 schedule.

An easy way to approach this is to try and set yourself up for a 6 month journey. Most things we do take 6 months to show rewards/results. I love the occasional instant transformation but that isn’t the norm. If we really want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle we should be mentally prepared to settle in for a while, as much as I hate to accept that!

With all joking aside, it really has been a healthy mental shift for me to accept this. 10 years ago, I would just give up on whatever my new plan was after a month because I wasn’t seeing the wanted shift yet. When I started doing things for 6 months at a time I didn’t obsess about it. Looking at pictures from one holiday to the next is such a pleasant surprise!

Click here to read about some health benefits that come from using an intermittent fasting guide to direct your wellness journey.

Final thoughts:

It’s my sincere hope that you found something here that helped you and decreased your stress levels! Please let me know how I can help you further along your journey. And, please subscribe to my email list if you would like more content like this. I would also LOVE it if you would share this with someone that you think would benefit from it. 

I’m so proud of you for seeking out answers and getting better than you were yesterday! Talk to you again soon. 

Dr. Bri


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bri, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of its authors. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. 

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