Difference in Fasting Times: Which One is Right for You?}

Difference in Fasting Times: Which One is Right for You?

Intermittent Fasting is gaining popularity in the health and wellness communities, especially as a weight-loss tool. But there are many other types of fasts with varying fasting times, and a lot more to it than just skipping breakfast!  

At Olive My Pickle, we want you to have the Best Gut Ever! That’s why in addition to making delicious, probiotic fermented foods, we love sharing information that supports you on your gut health journey. Fasting is a powerful tool with some mind-blowing benefits on overall health. Stay tuned to see why you may want to experiment with fasting and how to choose which fasting times are best for you. 

In this article, we’ll explain what happens when you fast, the different fasting methods, and outline the health benefits of fasting. Once you’ve finished, be sure to check out part two which gives you all our tips and tricks to be successful and maximize the benefits of fasting.  

Related: How to Maximize the Benefits of Fasting and Fact or Fiction: Learn the truth about pickle juice and electrolyte drinks

Graphic showing different fasting times and their benefits to help you find the fasting method that aligns with your health and wellness goals.

Metabolic Changes with Fasting Times: Ketones & Ketosis 

Before we get into the details of the different fasting times and their benefits, it’s important to understand that basics of what happens in your body when fasting. 

Your amazing body has two types of fuel it can run on: sugar (glucose) and fat. Most of the food you eat is broken down into glucose and used to create energy that fuels everything your body does. If the body doesn’t have access to glucose (because you are fasting), it will switch over to fat reserves as a source of fuel.  

When the liver breaks down fat, it creates ketones which are then used as a fuel source to keep everything running smoothly. This process of burning fat to make ketones for energy is called ketosis. 

So, what’s the big deal?  

Ketones do wonders with repairing and regenerating tissue in the body! The energy produced in ketosis is more stable than the energy that comes from glucose and doesn’t have ups and downs, or the infamous “sugar crash” that most know all too well. When your body is burning ketones for energy, you feel on top of your game, surprised by your own stamina to get things done with energy left over for fun and family! 

These ketones also send signals to your brain to turn off hunger hormones, which is why after the initial feelings of hunger pass, you can stay in a fasted state longer without feeling uncomfortable or getting hangry! 

Now that you understand what happens in the body when fasting, let’s cover the various fasting times and their benefits. 

quote about feeling energized while fasting

Understanding the Difference in Fasting Times 

While Intermittent Fasting is by far the most well-known of the various fasting methods, there are several methods (fasting times) that provide their own unique benefits. We’ve broken these out into three main categories and cover what each type of fast is known to support so you can choose which one makes sense for your own health goals! 

Intermittent Fasting Times From 12 – 16 Hours 

Ideal for beginners and busy lifestyles, intermittent fasting typically involves consuming all daily calories within an 8 to 12-hour window, meaning fasting times anywhere from 12 to 16 hours. This method supports weight management, balances blood sugar, and can easily integrate into daily life. 

The body starts making ketones around 8 hours from the last food intake, and when fasting times reach somewhere between 12 and 15 hours the body starts burning fat for energy which is where the 16:8 terminology has become popular (16 hours fasting with an 8-hour eating window). 

Anyone can do intermittent fasting! For example, you finish dinner by 8pm and don’t eat anything else that night. When you wake up the next morning, postpone your breakfast until 11am and you’ve just completed your first intermittent fast! 

Clock showing 16:8 intermittent fasting window


Longer Fasting Times From 17 – 72 Hours 

There are several types of longer fasting times that range from 17 to 72 hours and each one addresses different health goals: 

  • Autophagy Fasting is anything greater than 16 hours, where the body initiates a process called autophagy, where cells begin to clean out damaged components.  
  • A Fat-Burner Fast is anything over 36 hours, where the body increasingly turns fat stores for energy, enhancing fat loss and increasing ketone levels.  
  • Dopamine – Reset Fast is a 48 hour fast that can reset dopamine levels, which helps to improve mental clarity, reduce cravings, and increase motivation and satisfaction with life. 
  • Immune-Rest Fast is a prolonged fast of 72 hours that can lead to significant regeneration of the immune cells, enhancing the body’s immune response. 

Fasting Times for Gut-Reset (24+ hours) 

We’re slightly obsessed with gut health, so we saved the best for last! 

One of the benefits of fasting at least 24-hours is it gives the digestive system a break, which can help restore and balance gut microbiota (good bacteria vs. bad bacteria). If you’re thinking, Yikes! 24 hours without food, I could never do that! – let us reassure you.  

During fasting times of 24+ hours you can fuel your body with fluids, electrolytes, and sometimes even healthy fat-based snacks. You also have those ketones sending signals to your brain to quiet the hunger hormone, meaning you won’t feel hungry all day. This fast is completely doable and has major positive impacts on your gut health! 

This type of fast is particularly beneficial after periods of consuming excess gut health villains or after antibiotic use, which kills both good and bad bacteria and really wipes out the microbiome. Combine a few 24-hour fasting times with the natural probiotics in our fermented foods and you’re well on your way to having a healthy gut again! 

six pack box of Olive My Pickle ferments

Benefits of Fasting: More Than a Weight-loss Tool 

Fasting is more than a dietary discipline — it's a rejuvenation ritual for your body. When we skip meals, our bodies aren't just taking a break from digestion; they're shifting into a powerful state of repair and rejuvenation that fuels fat burning and supports overall health. 

Understanding the Healing Powers of Fasting 

Fasting ignites a remarkable transformation within your body, characterized by four major healing effects: 

  • Autophagy and mTOR Alternation: This process rejuvenates your cells by removing old cellular debris and enhancing cellular function. It's like giving your body a mini detox, which not only slows down the aging process but also fortifies your body’s defenses against diseases, including cancer. 
  • Hormetic Stress: Just like muscles that grow stronger under physical stress, fasting imposes a beneficial stress on your body, boosting resilience and promoting longevity. 
  • Mitochondrial Health: The powerhouses of your cells, mitochondria, get a boost. Improved mitochondrial function means more energy, clearer thinking, and a stronger, more vibrant body. 
  • Neuronal Regeneration: Fasting can regenerate neurons, enhancing your brain function and mental clarity, making you feel as sharp in your 50s as you did in your 30s. 

The Spectrum of Fasting Benefits 

Whether you're an active mom needing more energy to chase the little ones or an athlete pushing for peak performance, the benefits of increased fasting times are quite impressive.  

Health benefits of fasting including gut health and immune system


Some quick wins from fasting include saying goodbye to brain fog, getting better sleep, and feeling more energized. And although we can’t get into all the benefits of fasting in this article, here’s a few we think deserve a callout: 
 

  • Weight and Metabolism Management: Intermittent fasting has been used as a first-line treatment for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Over time this can lower blood pressure and help blood sugar balance more efficiently. By condensing your eating window and increasing fasting times, you can significantly reduce body fat, waist circumference, and even improve your cholesterol levels. 
  • Gut Health Revolution: Fasting doesn't just reset your digestive system; it enriches it. It promotes diversity in good gut bacteria and distributes them evenly throughout the gut. The good bacteria help the body absorb vitamins and minerals, create serotonin (the happiness hormone), and keep inflammation in check.  
  • Immune System Powerup: Over 70% of the immune system lives in your gut, making it the key place to start when dealing with an autoimmune condition. Promoting a healthy microbiome full of good bacteria can improve many autoimmune related illnesses. The benefits of fasting for gut health also boosts your immune system to defend against colds and viruses. 
  • Cancer Defense: By reducing inflammation and lowering blood glucose levels, fasting not only helps in cancer prevention but also reduces the recurrence of this formidable disease. 

Happy Fasting Times Ahead 

Thanks for sticking with us this far, that was a lot to cover! Hopefully we’ve sparked your interest with the various fasting times and their benefits! When it comes to choosing which method to try, we recommend starting small with intermittent fasting and working your way up.  

Our personal favorite is the 24-hour gut reset because it yields the best results for minimal effort! Unlike a 3-day fast, which may feel unobtainable, you can really start to see some impressive health benefits with this fast early on in your fasting journey.  

Integrating different fasting strategies can significantly enhance your health by tailoring your approach to fasting based on your lifestyle and health goals. From weight loss and improved metabolic health to enhanced immune function and better digestive health, the benefits of fasting are profound and well-supported by research.  

If you couldn’t tell, we’re big fans of fasting here at OMP, and our fermented foods are the perfect match to make your fasting experience comfortable and to maximize the benefits of fasting. We recommend grabbing a 3-pack of our LiveBrine Pickle Juice to help kickstart your first fasting experience.  

six livebrine pickle juice flavors

 

Don’t forget to check out part two of our fasting series where we cover all of our tips and tricks to help you have a successful experience: How to Maximize the Benefits of Fasting 

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE 

The content on this website is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.