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Updated: Feb 2, 2022


The 12-Hour "Fasting" Window

The natural healing force within each one of us is

the greatest force in getting well


The 12-hour window is essentially intermittent fasting but made easy! There are many credible studies supporting many health benefits of intermittent fasting and the easiest way to fast without cutting out food for days on end is through the application of the 12-hour window!


When we eat, glucose levels rise, and insulin is released into the bloodstream where it is used as an energy source. By eating regularly, especially carbohydrates, throughout the day insulin levels are always elevated and the body is denied the opportunity to bring the levels back down to zero. Constant elevated insulin levels lead to insulin intolerances and the onset of several diseases including Diabetes.

To maintain optimum health the body needs to bring insulin levels to zero within a 24-hour period. It is important to allow the body to have a break from producing insulin for a large portion of the day to allow the cells to use up the fatty acids instead.

Diets that are written for our health and wellbeing seem to concentrate on the amount and the type of food we eat but they overlook the time frame factor between our last meal of the day and the first meal of the day, the 12-hour “fasting” window.


1. Weight Loss & Management

It takes between 6 to 8 hours for the body to fully digest its last meal and burn through its glycogen supply. Applying the 12-hour window will force your body to tap into stored fat reserves because when glycogen is completely depleted the body will turn to the energy stored in fat cells. Eating throughout the day makes it much harder for the body to burn fat!

2. Detoxification

The process of the 12-hour window can significantly optimise detoxification because when your body is not busy digesting food it can focus its energy on eliminating toxins from your body and even help with healing. Your body is constantly trying to detoxify itself 24 hours a day, therefore the 12-hour window allows 8 hours to digest the food followed by a further 4 hours to naturally detoxify

3. Reduced Inflammation

Fasting “turns on” the Nrf2 gene pathway (the master regulator of antioxidant, detoxification and cell survival) Nrf2 activation plays a protective, beneficial role which not only produces a dramatic increase in antioxidant protection and enhanced detoxification, but also decreases inflammation. Inflammation in the body can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer.

4. Improved Brain Health

One sure way to improve brain health is to support our mitochondrial health. The mitochondria are the power houses located in every cell of our body and fasting has been shown to significantly support mitochondrial health. There is even new evidence that suggests intermittent fasting may reverse progressive brain disorders.


The easiest way to incorporate the 12-hour window into your everyday lifestyle is to make it part of your evening routine because most of the fasting will happen whilst you sleep!

You will need to do the following:

  • You must leave at least 12 hours between your evening meal and your morning meal. For example, if you typically eat your last meal at 8 pm then you wait until 8 am before having anything else to eat

  • You can drink water during the 12-hour window

  • After 12 hours, before eating anything, you drink warm water with a fresh squeeze of ¼ lemon

  • After the lemon water you wait 15 minutes before you consume any food or drink. This allows the lemon water to take effect. It will neutralise your body’s Ph levels and increase nutrient absorption in your digestive system

The 12-hour window is very straight forward to apply every day. The main difficulty in its application is usually down to not being used to clean eating. An unhealthy diet makes it challenging to go for a long period of not eating or snacking between meals. Therefore, to avoid waking up in the morning hungry it is really important to ensure that your last meal/snack of the day is nutrient-dense. A healthy last meal of the day will keep your blood sugar levels stable, this in turn will help you manage the long stretch without eating and feel comfortable during the 12-hour “fasting” window.

  • Buschemeyer III, W. C., Klink, J. C., Mavropoulos, J. C., Poulton, S. H., Demark‐Wahnefried, W., Hursting, S. D., ... & Freedland, S. J. (2010). Effect of intermittent fasting with or without caloric restriction on prostate cancer growth and survival in SCID mice. The Prostate, 70(10), 1037-1043.

  • Horne, B. D., Muhlestein, J. B., & Anderson, J. L. (2015). Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 102(2), 464-470.

  • Longo, V. D., & Panda, S. (2016). Fasting, circadian rhythms, and time-restricted feeding in healthy lifespan. Cell metabolism, 23(6), 1048-1059.

  • Martin, B., Mattson, M. P., & Maudsley, S. (2006). Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: two potential diets for successful brain aging. Ageing research reviews, 5(3), 332-353.

  • Mattson, M. P., Longo, V. D., & Harvie, M. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing research reviews, 39, 46-58.

  • Varady, K. A. (2016). Impact of intermittent fasting on glucose homeostasis. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 19(4), 300-302.

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