Intermittent fasting: how to go from 12 to 16 hours of fasting effortlessly

Intermittent fasting: how to go from 12 to 16 hours of fasting effortlessly

If you are starting intermittent fasting or have considered following it, surely you will want to do the 16/8 fast. We give you the keys to achieve it step by step without starving or putting your health at risk.

Nutritionist doctor, expert in the treatment of obesity and overweight. Member of SEEDO (Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity).

The intermittent fasting , as the name suggests, is based on fasting intermittently so that between the last meal and the first elapsed a certain number of hours. The most popular fasting period, and the most effective one, is the 16/8 fast, that is, 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours in which you can eat. The problem is that going from never having fasted to doing it for 16 hours is complicated a priori, so you can start with an intermediate step: the 12/12 fast.


The 12/12 fast is the most recommended option for those who want to start intermittent fasting. It is based on fasting 12 hours each day. For example, eat dinner at 9:00 p.m. and have breakfast (break the fast) at 9:00 a.m. As the 12 hours of fasting also includes the hours in which you sleep, this type of fast is much easier to implement. It is enough to advance dinner time a little or delay breakfast time. This way of eating has many benefits for your health and silhouette, but it does not have the same advantages as the 16/8 fast.

Do you want to try fasting? Well, we have prepared the best ebook on intermittent fasting that you will find, with all the information from experts, tips, tricks, 10 weekly menus, shopping lists, recipes … For € 7.95.


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It has a lot to do with the functioning of our metabolism. When we eat, our body turns food into its “gasoline”: glucose. This is essential for us but it is also a danger because if there is too much it can burn the tissues. That is why our body always tries to keep the glucose level stable: not too low, not too high. When it is low, the systems that cause us hunger are triggered; When it is high, our body secretes insulin, which makes it easier for glucose to be stored in the form of fat and does not harm us.

When you eat, your body uses this gasoline and also stores it in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. When both “stores” are full of glycogen, and there is still glucose circulating in the blood, the body stores the excess glucose in fat stores. It is when we get fat.

When we do intermittent fasting, we “force” our body to use up the reserves of its deposits and to burn the fat it has accumulated. And this is where the hours that pass are important:

  • Between 0 and 6 hours after the last meal: the body consumes the glucose that is circulating.
  • Between 6 and 12 hours after the last meal: the body no longer has circulating glucose and uses the glucose stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.
  • Between 12 and 16 hours after the last meal: there is no glycogen left and the body resorts to fat deposits. Weight is lost efficiently.


The 16/8 fast is more complicated but that does not mean it is impossible. Take note of these tricks and in a week you will be more than used to:

  1. It’s only 4 more hours. Add 2 in front and 2 behind, that is, take the last meal of the day 2 hours before what you did (for example, if you had dinner at 9, do it at 7) and delay breakfast for two hours (for example, If you had breakfast at 9, do it now at 11).
  2. Drinks “removes-hunger”. To endure those 2 more hours before breakfast, drink black tea, black coffee … They will help you spend the morning with energy and less appetite (you can sweeten them with cinnamon). In the afternoon or evening (depending on your schedule) take teine-free herbal teas or vegetable broth so you don’t fall into the temptation to snack before going to bed. Remember that during the fast you can drink liquids but not food. And that it is better not to use sweeteners.
  3. Start by taking care of yourself. On the 16/8 intermittent fasting it is not worth eating anything anyway. This method is a success if you take yourself into account, if you put yourself at the top of your list and take care of yourself. If you throw ultra – processed or eat very little and badly, you will not only have deficiencies, but you will abandon this method at the first change.
  4. Balanced menus. With 16/8 intermittent fasting, one meal of the day (dinner or breakfast) is eliminated and that is why weight is lost as well as because it forces the body to burn its fat deposits. And precisely because one intake of the day is missing, the rest of the meals must provide all the nutrients that the body needs: vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, healthy fats, carbohydrates. Getting all those nutrients is easier if you set weekly menus.
  5. Plan your week. The diet is not only what you eat today, but what you eat as a whole and therefore having a global vision is very important. Hence, stopping one day a week and planning the next 7 days will not only help you make your shopping list better and save money, but your diet will improve. If you need help creating them, check out our downloadable weekly menus and downloadable template. They will come in handy.
  6. Break the fast by indulging yourself. Most of us eat anything for breakfast (by the way, having breakfast is breaking the fast, as the name suggests: to break). Be it at the time of your breakfast (or when you break the fast, whatever you want to call it), do it with conscience, giving yourself your time and eating a balanced, healthy and complete dish that you are passionate about. Why? If during the fast you get hungry, visualizing what you will eat the next meal will help you, since our brain enjoys the anticipation and that will allow you to wait during a moment of hunger or craving.
  7. Enjoy your food more. You have managed to wait, you have not taken anything for 16 hours, are you going to let that longed-for moment pass in two fleeting seconds gobbling down or better in 20 glorious minutes savoring each bite?
  8. Try new recipes. You are changing your diet, you are introducing new things in your life, you keep taking risks and experimenting with new recipes. The fact of choosing the recipes, buying the ingredients, cooking them … you are putting off the gratification and when it finally arrives, it will be better. Check out this downloadable eBook on light dinners.
  9. Don’t be picky. Here it is not worth all or nothing. The intermittent fasting method works because everyone takes the schedule they want, and this can change. It is a very flexible method. And for the same reason, if you skip it one day, absolutely nothing happens, you start over. No drama.
  10. Eyes that do not see … Take the temptations out of your house. When you set up your weekly menus, include a whim (dark chocolate after lunch, for example) but banish the rest. And when you go shopping, avoid buying something “just in case” and stick to what your menu includes. If you have children or people in charge at home who do take “those things that you already know”, remember that it does not suit them either and if you still want to bring them something that you know they love, do it like this, buy something that they love , not that you love it.

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