18:6 Intermittent Fasting Schedule: How and What to Eat During a 18:6 Fast

18:6 Intermittent Fasting Schedule: How and What to Eat During a 18:6 Fast
Cordelia Tan

Cordelia Tan | Author

Cordelia Tan, is a passionate advocate for women's health and well-being. Known as Fasty's number one fan, she expertly blends Eastern and Western health practices, offering a holistic approach to diet and wellness. Her work focuses on empowering women with knowledge and practical strategies for a healthier life.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is known for its intense eating restrictions, but is it actually as harsh as it sounds? You’ll be glad to know that 18:6 IF is not as extreme as you thought. The 18:6 fast can easily adapt to your daily routine, eating habits, and goals.

Let’s get into it and explore what an 18:6 fasting schedule and diet are all about.

How Does the 16:8 Fast Work?

The 18:6 fast involves fasting for 18 hours and eating during a 6-hour eating window. The 18:6 fast schedule can be organized in whatever way suits your day-to-day routine best, where you have complete control of what and when to eat. Try out the Fastic quiz to get personalized fasting meal plans that adjust specifically to you.

What Are the Health Benefits of the 18:6 Fast?

You heard about that one particular benefit of the 18:6 fast that caught your interest. Conveniently, this type of fast offers more than one benefit besides the one you seek — a healthier eating lifestyle. 

The health benefits intermittent fasting 18:6 can potentially offer are:

Before and After 18:6 Intermittent Fasting Results

A study evaluating the effects of intermittent fasting during Ramadan showed promising weight loss results. After 1 month of intermittent fasting following an 18:6 fasting schedule, both males and females experienced a decrease in body weight, body mass index, and fat-free mass. Important to note that there were no significant changes in dietary energy and nutrient intake before and after the fasting study. 

Establishing an 18:6 Intermittent Fasting Schedule: What to Consider Beforehand?

When creating your 18:6 fasting schedule, there are various factors you must take into account. Let’s go over them so you have a better idea of what you must be aware of.

  • Define your goals: There are various reasons why people choose to undergo a fast. Whether it’s to lose weight, improve health markers, or simply start a healthier lifestyle, setting clear objectives is paramount when starting any IF plan.

  • Determine your commitment level: Fasting is not for the weak, a fast requires you to make sacrifices and submit your mind and body to all kinds of challenges. Strong willpower and commitment are key to sustaining an IF regimen and long-term benefits.

  • Follow a nutrient-rich diet: When compromising to a fast you must also change your diet. Since you are limiting food intake, your body needs more nutrients during the eating window to compensate for nutrients it is not getting during fasting hours. The Fastic app offers a variety of nutrient-rich recipes to choose from, all fasting-friendly and each explaining how it positively impacts your body.

  • Start slow and steady: Easing into a fasting routine is necessary to prevent any harm to your body. Getting your body and mind used to a new eating routine and diet can take a toll. Don’t force yourself into a fast abruptly. Start with gentle changes in your eating hours and gradually increase the fasting hours over time. 

  • Complement your fasting with exercise and meditation: Decide which other activities you want to complement your IF regimen. Working out during fasting has proven to promote fasting effects. If you are not into exercising during fasting, then opt for mindful practices such as meditation or yoga. Meditation can help you throughout your fasting experience by bringing calming effects and helping ease hunger cues.

intermittent fasting 18 6 before and after

18:6 Fasting Schedule: What Does It Look Like?

What is convenient about the 18:6 fast is that you can decide when to have your eating window. Ideally, you want to schedule it early during the day when you most need energy to perform your everyday activities.

The following is a typical 18:6 fasting schedule:

  • 12:00 PM: Break fast with a bountiful nutrient-dense meal.

  • 2:00 PM: Have a light snack.

  • 3:00 PM: Eat a light meal (optional).

  • 5:00 PM: Enjoy an abundant meal to prepare for the fasting hours.

  • 6:00 PM: Start fasting hours.

Regardless of the number of meals you have during eating hours, it is crucial to ensure you consume nutrient-rich foods.

Crafting Your 18:6 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

Designing the meal plan is where you can get the most creative. Remember, a nutrient-rich diet is crucial to give your body the nutrients required to perform its natural and necessary physiological processes. The amount of snacks and meals you have during the eating window depends on your preferences. The following are different meal options for an 18:6 fast.


  • Scrambled eggs with tomatoes and spinach, served with whole-grain toast.

  • Oatmeal with almond milk and sliced bananas or blueberries, finish it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 


  • Quinoa and black bean bowl mixed with roasted vegetables, and a drop of Greek yogurt.

  • Grilled chicken with a green salad, preferably spinach with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado.


  • Zucchini noodles with lean ground turkey, and steamed vegetables.

  • Baked salmon fillet with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Snack ideas

  • Avocado on whole grain crackers

  • Vegetable sticks with hummus (celery, carrots, or cucumber)

  • Mixed nuts with Greek yogurt and berries

  • Rice cakes with smoked salmon with lemon juice

Sample  18:6 Fasting Meal Plan

  • 12:00 PM: Grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette). Fresh fruit salad with berries and chia seeds.

  • 2:00 PM: Handful of mixed nuts (almonds, nuts, and cashews)

  • 3:00 PM: Whole grain wrap with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced turkey breast (optional snack).

  • 5:00 PM: Baked salmon fillet seasoned with herbs and lemon juice. Steamed asparagus spears drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Greek yogurt with granola seeds and raspberries.

  • 6:00 PM: Start fast.

It could be (we won’t judge) that getting creative in the kitchen is not your forte. Fortunately, the Fastic app has a variety of intermittent fasting recipes. Simply, browse the meal options, choose the most appetizing one, and follow the step-by-step cooking instructions to enjoy a fasting-certified meal every time.  An 18:6 intermittent fasting meal plan can be as simple or complex as you want. By downloading the Fastic app you’ll be 100% sure you are following a proper 18:6 intermittent fasting diet.

When to Workout During an 18:6 Fast?

Studies suggest doing low to medium-intensity exercises during your eating hours and replenishing lost electrolytes after exercise. There is no specific time during the eating window to do exercise, the important thing to keep in mind is that your body will require energy before and after undergoing physical activity. 

Monitor Your Progress for Long-Term Success

Monitoring your progress is great to assess your commitment level and determine potential areas of improvement. Keeping track of your fasting and eating times, meals, calorie intake, hydration habits, and more can be a bit overwhelming while fasting. Your body and mind are already being subjected to drastic changes, and on top of that, you also need to continue with your usual daily routine. 

The Fastic app can help you monitor all these parameters, weight loss progress, and more. It sends you timely reminders so you stay on top of your fasting schedule at all times. Knowing these parameters will show you exactly what you can improve on to effectively achieve your goals.

Tips for a Successful 18:6 Fast

Maintaining a strong commitment to your IF schedule is crucial. However, nobody is immune to normal human instincts like hunger and cravings.

Hunger will knock on the door, especially during the first weeks. An effective way to combat hunger is by chewing gum. Sugar-free gum is an infallible method to tackle hunger and cravings. 

Additionally, any zero-calorie drink during fasting is an efficient way to distract and calm your stomach. Moreover, staying well hydrated is a must when fasting. There are various fasting-friendly beverages, such as herbal teas, lemon water, and black coffee to enjoy during a fast. Ensure they are sugar and calorie-free to avoid interrupting your body’s fasting state.

Now that you understand the 18:6 fasting schedule, why not give fasting a try? Stay committed, and Fastic will take care of the rest.

Disclaimer: It is advised to speak with a health professional before beginning intermittent fasting or a diet program. There may be side effects for people with certain medical conditions.

With Fastic, millions of people have achieved their desired weight, overcome disease and regained their quality of life.

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