The 11 Types Of Intermittent Fasting + Everything You Need To Know About Them

Did you know that there are different types of intermittent fasting? In this article we will break down all the different types of fasting so you can get started!

types of intermittent fasting

You’ve heard about intermittent fasting and you’re ready to get started! But where do you start? What type of fasting schedule should you follow? What are the different types of intermittent fasting? In this article, we will walk you through the different types of fasting schedules and everything you need to know about each of them. Keep reading to learn more.

11 Types Of Intermittent Fasting

  • Circadian Rhythm Fast
  • 16:8
  • 18:6
  • 20:4
  • 36 hour fast
  • One Meal A Day (OMAD)
  • Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)
  • 5:2
  • 4:3
  • Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)
  • Eat Stop Eat

Everything You Need To Know About Each Intermittent Fasting Type

Circadian Rhythm Fast

The circadian rhythm fast is based on the research of Dr. Satchin Panda. This fasting method follows the body’s natural clock by fasting from after the sun sets until morning. Usually, this is about a 12-13 hour fast for most people.

Benefits of Circadian Rhythm Fast

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion

16:8

The 16:8 method is 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour eating window. Many people who follow 16:8, fast from after dinner until lunch the next day. But you can adjust the schedule to fit your lifestyle.

Benefits of 16:8

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels

18:6

The 18:6 method is 18 hours of fasting and a 6-hour eating window. 18:6 helps the liver to get rid of more glycogen, allows the body to start using ketones for fuel and can start autophagy to clean out damaged cells and regenerate newer cells.

Benefits of 18:6

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy

20:4

The 20:4 method is 20 hours of fasting and a 4-hour eating window. 20:4 helps your body work toward becoming fat adapted.

Benefits of 20:4

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy

36 Hour Fast

The 36 hour fast is known as the Monk Fast. This fast promotes cellular cleansing benefits and can help to reset the metabolism.

Benefits of 36 Hour Fast

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy 300% increase

48 Hour Fast

The 48 hour fast helps improve gut bacteria, improve dopamine receptor sites and open up dopamine pathways. This fast is often referred to as the dopamine reset fast. This fast is great for mental health.

Benefits of 48 Hour Fast

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy increases 30% more
  • Improve dopamine receptors and open dopamine pathways
  • Increased reduction in inflammation

72 Hour Fast

The 72 hour fast is a 3 day fast that resets your immune system, accelerates healing, and repairs neurons in the brain. This fast was made popular by Dr. Valter Longo.

Benefits of 72 Hour Fast

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy maxes out
  • Increased reduction in inflammation
  • Accelerated healing
  • Immune system reset

One Meal A Day (OMAD)

One meal a day, often called OMAD, is fasting for 20+ hours and then eating one meal. While different people have different opinions about OMAD, OMAD does not mean only a 1-hour eating window or just one plate of food. If you are fasting for most of the day and have one meal, you are following OMAD. You get to make OMAD work for you! Some people choose to have a snack and a meal for OMAD, others include dessert too!

Benefits of OMAD

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy

Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)

Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) is a method where you alternate between fasting days and eating days. When following ADF, eating days are often called up days and fasting days are often called down days. The ADF schedule is one up day, followed up one down day.

It is important to note that more fasting and longer fasting windows are not better. When you have a fasted day, it is recommended that you follow it by a full up day to properly follow ADF. After a down day of 36-42 hours of fasting, you need more than one meal, which is why a full up day is recommended.

Benefits of ADF

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy 300% increase

5:2

5:2 is a method of alternate day fasting. The “5” and the “2” refer to days, not hours like time restricted eating. The 5:2 method means 5 days of the week you eat normally and 2 days of the week you fast. The two days of fasting should not be consecutive and should range from 36-42 hours of fasting.

Benefits of 5:2

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy 300% increase

4:3

4:3 is a method of alternate day fasting. In this method, you have 4 up days (full eating days) and 3 fasting days. A fasting day or down day is anywhere from 36-42 hours of fasting.

Benefits of 4:3

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy 300% increase

Fasting Mimicking Diet

The fasting mimicking diet was developed by Valter Longo. This method is meant to be followed 5 days per month. The rest of the month you eat normally. During those 5 days, calories are restricted for a set period of time to mimic a fast. Longo developed a program called ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet which sends you a kit with everything to eat for the 5 days.

Benefits of Fasting Mimicking Diet

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Enhances autophagy
  • Reduces blood sugar
  • Better sleep
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduces inflammation

Eat Stop Eat

Eat Stop Eat is a method created by Brad Pilon. This method involves two 24-hour fasts per week, on non-consequtive days. The remaining 5 days of the week you eat normally.

Benefits of Eat Stop Eat

  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved metabolic health
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Disease prevention
  • Extended life span
  • Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
  • Cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Reduces stress
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Autophagy

How To Choose Which Fasting Type Is Best For You

If you are just getting started with intermittent fasting, I would start with a 12 hour fast and work your way up. To determine which fast is best for you, you need to look at your health goals.

If you are fasting to lose weight, you can pick any fast that you can stick with. The fast that you can be consistent with is the best choice. Many people follow 16:8 and achieve weight loss. Typically, the shorter your eating window, the quicker you will see weight loss results.

If you are fasting for longevity, alternate day fasting (ADF) or quarterly extended fasts are best.

If you are fasting to maintain your weight, you just need to maintain a fasting regimen. Again, pick the best choice for you. If you are fasting clean and not spiking your insulin levels during your fast, you will be able to maintain your weight effortlessly.

Related: Intermittent Fasting Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most popular types of intermittent fasting is 16:8.

What type of intermittent fasting is best for weight loss?

This depends on the individual and how much weight they have to lose. Any type of intermittent fasting will help in weight loss. Typically a shorter eating window results in quicker weight loss.

What are the different types of fasting?

There are many types of intermittent fasting including Circadian Rhythm, time-restricted eating (16:8, 20:4, etc.), OMAD, ADF, 5:2, Fasting Mimicking Diet, and Eat Stop Eat.

Bottom Line

Now that you know the different types of intermittent fasting, you are ready to get started! Keep in mind, you can always switch up the fasting schedule that you follow. Some days 16:8 may work well and other days a Circadian Rhythm fast might feel better. The beauty of fasting is that you get to choose what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to switch it up! What questions do you have about the types of intermittent fasting? Leave your questions below and we will help you out.

Related: Best Electrolytes For Fasting