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Why 12-Hour Intermittent Fasting?
As explained in my First Week 12 Hours Intermittent Fasting Results, I had outstanding success with intermittent fasting 16/8 in May of 2018, when I lost 10 pounds that month.
Click here for those results!
I wound up going off the rails at the end of the month, never getting back on track.
Because fasting for 16 hours every day was just too hard.
There, I said it.
During the work week, it was mostly okay, but I struggled on weekends when I couldn’t enjoy breakfast with my family.
And sometimes I really was a little hungry after my cutoff at 8 pm.
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Fasting 16 hours a day every day just wasn’t something I felt was sustainable for my life forever. I knew I’d always regain the weight after my target number of days or weeks ended.
That cycle of yo-yo weight gain and loss seemed pointless to me.
But I did learn a lot about appetite suppression, hunger cues and diet overall and thought “hmmm… I wonder if fasting for just 12 hours each day would still work”?
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Is 12 Hours Intermittent Fasting Enough?
If you’ve tried to find the answer to this question online, you’ll find results are mixed.
Some books and articles say you can reap all the benefits of a 16 hour fast in just 12 hours.
Others say 12 hours isn’t enough.
I believe we’re all different, and the only way to see if something works for you is to try it yourself.
So, for the month or so leading up to my birthday, I’ve chosen to take everything I learned fasting 16 hours a day and apply it to a shorter time window of just 12 hours!
Here are the results of my second week running this experiment.
Week 2 Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Fasting Plan
I went into week two with a similar mindset and plan as week one. The main focus was just the 12 hours of fasting.
Dieting too strictly ends poorly for me in all situations.
So, though I did try to keep it clean (and failed miserably, but more on that later), I really just wanted to stick to the 12-hour fasting window.
That’s what this whole experiment is really about.
Consistency IS Key But I Didn’t Stay Consistent
I think in general it’s a good idea to be as consistent and stable as you can with your intermittent fasting window.
If you initially to fast from 8 pm to 8 am, for example, I believe sticking to that is best.
While I did complete the 12-hour fasting window 100% of the time, I was not consistent with when I fasted.
Granted, on two occasions I fasted far longer, even up to 16 hours (I’m generally not super hungry in the morning so it’s easy for me to make it until 11 am or noon many days).
But this had the effect of making me go “ah well, it’s 9 pm and I have until midnight to eat soooo… snacktime!”.
As a result, my fasting and feeding windows were all over the place.
I don’t like this and plan to cut it out as the experiment progresses.
But it’s what I did this week and I want to report results based on exactly what I did.
Week 2 Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Diet Plan
As previously stated, for the second week of my intermittent fasting 12 hours weight loss experiment, I wanted to eat as clean as possible, though that wasn’t my main focus.
I went completely off the rails on this one, lol.
I had eaten home-cooked foods for about 10 straight days and was doing well until the weekend hit.
The weekend is always my undoing.
Friday night I had Pad Thai. Saturday hubby and I went on an amazing date and had all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ.
Sunday, we ordered Mexican food delivery.
I did pull it back together after the weekend and am happy to be back on track now.
But I did not do well at all this week.
Keep that in mind!
Week 2 Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Exercise Plan
Holding true to the promise I made to myself, I am continuing to make sure I move my body in some fashion for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Most = 4 or more.
The type of exercise I do is not as important to me as doing something.
I succeeded here!
While I normally dislike lifting weights, I found it to be quite pleasurable during my first week.
The time went by much more quickly than when I was focused on cardio alone.
So I enjoyed four resistance training sessions this week as well!
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I’m also a fan of daily yoga and added that most nights just before bed.
Usually for about 15 minutes or so.
While yoga isn’t aerobic, it’s great for strength and flexibility.
I do tend to work up a light sweat when I practice, so I add that 15 minutes of activity to my “daily exercise”.
This means I got 45 minutes of exercise on 4 days of the week.
And another 45 minutes to an hour of yoga total throughout the rest of the week.
Just so you know exactly how much total exercise I did to achieve my result.
12 Hours Intermittent Fasting Results
So here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Here are the results from my second week of intermittent fasting just 12 hours per day!
Week 1 to Week 2 Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Results
Starting weight: 173.7 | Ending weight: 172.7 | Weight lost: 1 pound
Starting body fat %: 37.9% | Ending body fat %: 37.6% | Body fat % lost: 0.3%
As you can see, I lost 1 pound, 0.3% body fat and 0.5 inches during my second week of intermittent fasting for 12 hours each day.
Total Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Results So Far
Starting weight: 178.9 | Ending weight: 172.7| Total weight lost: 6.2 pounds
Starting body fat %: 39% | Ending body fat %: 37.6% | Total body fat % lost: 1.4%
I lost 6.2 pounds, 1.4% body fat and 2.5 inches in two weeks of fasting for 12 hours each day.
How Does This Compare To Intermittent Fasting 16 Hours?
I lost 1.4 more pounds in two weeks of fasting for 16 hours daily than I did for fasting 12 hours daily.
I also lost almost 1% more body fat fasting 16 hours than 12 hours.
Unfortunately, I did not keep track of inches lost on a weekly basis with my 16/8 experiment, so I can’t compare inches lost until the very end.
12 Hours Intermittent Fasting Results Interpretation
Obviously, the difference this week is pretty dramatic.
And not in a positive direction.
This is quite a bummer to me.
Week one was pretty close, so I was hoping that path would continue!
However, in reviewing my second week of intermittent fasting for 16 hours update post, I see clearly that my diet was SUPER clean!
A big thing about a brand new diet program is that it’s fresh and exciting for the first couple weeks.
That held true for my first try at intermittent fasting 16/8.
I see in that post I was still riding that wave and I literally said:
“Diet: Whole foods, mostly vegetables with a few lean types of meat were still mostly my diet. I did introduce bread into the mix with a wheat burger bun but felt bloated and gross after, so I won’t be doing that again.”
This time around I’m not excited at ALL.
I know intermittent fasting works already.
It’s not new or fresh.
So, I don’t have that initial “zing”.
There’s no motivation to get me going.
I also notice in my 16/8 intermittent fasting week 2 that I bragged about how I had NO sugar at all the entire two weeks and how I felt my sugar addiction was cured by intermittent fasting. Ha!
In stark contrast, I ate a cupcake and a churro this past weekend (which I totally forgot about until now actually).
THAT SAID… it’s to be expected that I didn’t see such great results.
My diet was completely different.
It’s a shock I lost anything at all the way I was rolling!
I’m actually very pleased as I see this as a slight vote in favor of intermittent fasting for 12 hours.
I think without at least the bare minimum 12-hour fasting window (and the 4 hours of exercise), my poor dietary habits would certainly have gotten the better of me.
Week 3 Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours Weight Loss Plan
Phew. That was eye-opening!
Now I think I can go into week 3 armed with more knowledge and motivation to get a much better result.
I don’t intend to change the exercise too much.
I’m going to stick with weight lifting and yoga. I’m getting stronger pretty rapidly and I dare say it’s pretty enjoyable too!
As far as the fasting window is concerned, definitely keeping it to the 12-hour minimum BUT I’m going to be super consistent this time.
I think a 9 am to 9 pm feeding window is reasonable.
Though I “feel” hungry sometimes after 9 pm I won’t fall apart and die if I use some self-control.
It’s probably the easiest change to make at this point.
So… diet. This is the big one
While I shockingly did still lose some weight eating all crazy, I know for a fact that this must change if I want better for myself and my life.
Ultimately yes this is to test whether 12 hours is good enough at all, and it does seem so, but I do want the best result for my time!
So, I’m going to tighten my diet up a bit and do much, much better than I did during week 2.
“It’s the weekend”! Is not an excuse to act a fool!
I know I can do better than that.
Seeing how iron clad my diet was during the first weeks of my intermittent fasting 16/8 experiment reminds me that yes, intermittent fasting works. But if I want great results, so must I.
It’s easier, but not totally effortless. I have to do the work.
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