We’ve talked about a lot of different fasting strategies on this blog, but all of them have to do with duration. We’ve never actually considered when to do your fasts. In this post, I’ll show you why fasting at night for a 16/8 fast can be quite beneficial.
First, let’s do some recap. In terms of popularity and research, there are two main intermittent fasting schedules: 16/8 and 5/2. 16/8 is based on a daily schedule (fast for 16 hours, eat for 8) whereas 5/2 is based on a weekly schedule (fast for 2 days, eat for 5). This post will assume you’re using the daily schedule, or 16/8.
Now, there’s two main sets of time you can have your 8 hours of eating -- either in the morning, or at night. I would recommend the night, for two major reasons:
First, the food you eat in the morning energizes the rest of your day. Energy reserves tend to work off daily schedules, and so the food you’ll eat during your fast will also determine when you have the most energy. This, of course, will mean you’ll run out of energy in the later hours -- but you’d rather run out of energy after the work day ends, instead of before it begins.
Consequently, my next reason is that eating at night can cause problems with sleeping and weight loss. Really, you don’t want energy at night -- having an overload of it will generate problems in your sleeping schedule, another big part of the longevity puzzle. Not only that, but food introduced at night tends to be processed over sleep. Since you aren’t working during sleep, the food is instantly put into fat reserves -- thus causing a problem for fat loss as well!
Hopefully this has provided you with some reasons to fast at night. Want to learn more about intermittent fasting and caloric restriction? Try out Shanah’s coaching guide.