Beginners guide to 14/10 intermittent fasting
14/10 intermittent fasting could help you lose weight.
It could improve your health.
It could bring both freedom and discipline to your eating habits.
All without the long, restrictive fasts of 16/8, 18/6, or 20/4.
It’s quite possibly the perfect way to get started.
Could 14/10 intermittent fasting be the happy medium you’ve been looking for?
- Intermittent fasting 14/10 involves fasting for 14 hours and eating within a 10-hour window.
- It’s effective for weight loss by creating a calorie deficit and promoting ketosis.
- 14/10 may offer health benefits, but it also poses some risks.
- Meal planning and prep are essential for success with 14/10 intermittent fasting.
- 14/10 is a great entry-level fasting method for beginners.
What is the 14/10 intermittent fasting method?
When you follow the 14/10 intermittent fasting method, your day splits into two windows. A 10-hour window when you eat and a 14-hour window when you fast.
No rules about what you can and can’t eat.
No rules about how long you need to follow this plan for.
No rules of any kind except to follow that 14/10 split.
As such, when you follow an intermittent fasting plan, you get way more freedom than with traditional diets. Because IF isn’t actually a diet — it’s simply a way of structuring your eating that could bring a ton of health benefits.
And 14/10 intermittent fasting is an easy, entry-level option — perfect for getting started.
How does 14/10 intermittent fasting work?
Going for 14 hours without food might sound pretty tough.
But bear in mind that you’ll most likely be asleep for a good chunk of those hours, and actually, eating on a 14/10 intermittent fasting schedule won’t feel all that different from what you’re doing now.
You just gotta pull in the edges. Take breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and squash them a little closer together. It’s completely up to you where you place your 10-hour eating window in your day, and you can change it to suit you if your schedule shifts around.
For instance, maybe during the work week, 10 AM till 8 PM works great. But on the weekend, you like to have breakfast later and hit some tacos with friends for dinner, so 11 AM till 9 PM is a better fit.
So long as you hit that 14-hour fast, it’s all good.
What to eat on a 14/10 intermittent fasting diet meal plan
What to eat during 14/10 intermittent fasting is completely up to you. That can feel both freeing … and terrifying. Knowing what the best food choices are to support your goals is no small thing.
We’re here to give you some ideas.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or optimize your health, if your meal plan contains predominantly foods like this:
- lean protein
- whole grains
- veggies and fruits
- healthy fats
- calcium-rich foods
and doesn’t contain too many foods like this:
- ultra-processed foods
- refined carbohydrates
- unhealthy fats
you’ll get results.
We can help you put a meal plan together that’s both full of foods you like and supportive of your goals. Go check out our intermittent fasting meal planning guide for everything you need to know and the next steps you can take.
There are no calorie counts to nail or macros to hit with 14/10. Instead, we’d encourage you to listen to your body and follow your appetite cues. In other words, during your eating window, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. This does take practice, no doubt. But it’s a skill well worth getting good at.
The foods above will help. Nutrient-dense foods curb hunger, keep you fuller for longer, and don’t trigger cravings. When you want to work in tandem with your appetite and eat what your body needs (as opposed to, say, eating with your emotions), lean proteins, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats are a sure bet.
Once you’re out of your eating window and into your fasting period, you’re in the calorie-free zone. Here, stick to water plus unsweetened tea / coffee without milk.
If you’re curious about whether you can drink things like bone broth or you’ve heard MCT oil is fast-friendly, check out what you can drink while you’re fasting for the definitive SIMPLE guide.
14/10 intermittent fasting and weight loss
14/10 intermittent fasting can lead to good results for those looking for weight loss, as studies show.[1,2]
And in this review, every study found that intermittent fasting resulted in participants losing between 0.8% and 13% of their starting body weight.
As with all lifestyle changes, the impact of intermittent fasting on health and weight will depend on many factors, like age, activity levels, dietary choices, and so on. But many people have seen success with intermittent fasting on a 14/10 split. That success is likely down to a couple of key IF-related happenings.
The first is that shrinking your eating window naturally creates a calorie deficit. When you eat less than you burn, you lose weight.
The second is that fasting puts the body into ketosis. When you don’t eat for a prolonged period, you don’t give your body any glucose with which to fuel your activities. So, it turns to your glycogen stores and, when they’re used up, to your fat stores. This is ketosis, the metabolic shift caused by IF that helps you lose body fat.
14/10 intermittent fasting diet results
“When I started IF last fall, I had been trying to get off some medications. Trying to keep up with what to eat & how often to exercise started discouraging me. I began to wonder if I could ever lose the weight and stop taking medications I didn’t want to take.
Then I discovered IF.
I started seeing losses and haven’t looked back since. I started out on a 14/10 protocol and now do 17/7.”
This is a great example of how 14-hour intermittent fasting can both generate results and open up the world of longer fasts (should you want it to!).
If you’ve heard enough and are feeling kinda into this fasting vibe, why not take our SIMPLE quiz? You can choose 14/10 as your IF protocol, and as easy as pie, you’re off and running!
Health benefits of 14/10 intermittent fasting
14/10 intermittent fasting hasn’t been studied as much as other IF protocols.
That said, one study, where people with metabolic syndrome followed a 14/10 intermittent fasting plan for 12 weeks, showed some promising health benefits.
Reduced cholesterol levels
Participants’ total and LDL cholesterol levels dropped.
Lower blood pressure
Decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed.
Decreased body weight and body fat
There were significant reductions in body weight, and waist circumference decreased.
Improved blood sugar
Participants who had high HbA1c and fasting glucose levels experienced a drop in their HbA1c.
Lower risk of metabolic syndrome
Taken together, these effects lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, as well as other health conditions, like heart disease.
Health risks of 14/10 intermittent fasting
As an intermittent fasting protocol with a longer eating window, 14/10 hasn’t got as many risks as some others, though there are still some to be aware of.
One of the temptations with intermittent fasting is to get sucked into the “eat whatever you want!” freedom of it. With that approach, it’s really easy to gain weight.
What you eat is completely your call. You’re the boss here. Just be mindful of whether the food choices you’re making align with the goals that are important to you.
Hunger and crankiness
Initially, you may feel pretty hungry and cranky, especially if you’re a habitual evening snacker and your fasting period cuts that off. Drink lots of water, and make friends with new kinds of herbal teas to give you something flavorful for the evenings. You will adjust.
Food provides a significant proportion of your daily fluid intake, so although it might seem weird, you can actually get dehydrated through fasting. Again, drink lots of water, and be sure to schedule a bunch of vegetables and fruits into your meal plan.
Is 14/10 intermittent fasting safe?
14/10 is considered one of the easiest and safest fasting methods, so it’s on the table for most people to try.
That said, there are some people who should avoid fasting, no matter how gentle the protocol seems. Don’t try intermittent fasting — unless you have your doctor’s full blessing and support — if you:
- are extremely active
- are under 18 or over 65 yrs. old
- have (or are at risk of having) an eating disorder, or have a history of one
- have a Body Mass Index (BMI) < 18.5
- take prescription medications
- have a medical condition
- are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive
Pros and cons of the 14/10 intermittent fasting method
|Shorter (mostly overnight) fasting periods||You might not reach ketosis|
|You write the meal plan||You write the meal plan!|
|You could lose weight||Results might be slow|
|It could benefit your health||It might feel hard (at first)|
On a 14/10 intermittent fasting schedule, the shorter fasts are easier (relatively speaking), and most of your fasting will take place overnight.
You get to call the shots on what you eat and when, and your weight may decrease while your metabolic health increases.
With a shorter fast, it’s not a done deal that you will reach ketosis, or if you do, you won’t spend as much time there as with longer fasts. So results may be slower than you had hoped.
Any new approach to eating will feel hard at first, and you’ll need to adjust to new habits, like meal planning, to really feel the benefits of this method.
Is 14/10 intermittent fasting right for you?
If you’re just getting started with intermittent fasting, 14/10 is an excellent place to begin.
(We have more tips on intermittent fasting for beginners here, so check them out if this is your first IF rodeo.)
If you don’t jive well with rule-heavy, restrictive diets, and you’re looking for something to give your food choices a bit more nutritional oomph, why not give 14/10 a go?
That extra bit of structure around when you eat could be just the catalyst you’re looking for to improve your eating habits.
14/10 can also be the perfect route into other, more advanced fasting methods.
Maybe you’ve read about 16/8 intermittent fasting. You’re sold on the benefits, but it sounds kinda hard going. Get your feet wet with 14/10, and start building your fasting stamina.
Or maybe you’re curious about trying the 5:2 diet or alternate day fasting, but they feel out of reach. 14/10 is a perfect jumping-off point.
Thing is, you can’t really know if something is right for you until you’ve tried it. If it’s safe for you to do so, and you’re even a little bit interested to see how it could work for you, go for it.
5 pro tips for 14/10 intermittent fasting
Let us help you get the most from 14/10 with some pro tips.
- Start slowly
You don’t have to start with 14 hours. You could start with 12. Or by simply adding one hour to your existing overnight fast.
Practice makes progress, so don’t be afraid of starting out wherever you feel most comfortable.
- Exercise for better results
If you want speedier results, throw some exercise into the mix. Whether it’s walking, steady-state cardio, weight lifting, or yoga — whatever floats your boat will bring some extra power to your ability to reach your goals.
- Listen to your body
Notice how you feel when you practice 14/10.
Do you feel full of energy and clear? Or do you feel kind of slumpy and fogged up? That will give you some guidance on whether 14/10 is working for you.
- Become a ninja at meal prep
Meal planning is key to success with intermittent fasting. Hand in hand with that is meal prep.
Making sure you have the food you need when you need it is a HUGE factor in eating the food you planned!
So whether you need to find time for regular grocery shopping, get comfy with chopping veggies, or break out the crock pot that’s been languishing in the back of the cupboard for years, put “get good at meal prep” on your to-do list.
- Practice wiping the slate clean
There will be days where your hunger will have you fast-breaking too early, you snuggle down with Netflix rather than knocking out a workout, or your meal prep hits the wall.
No problem. Simply wipe the slate clean and keep going. Days like that are par for the course.
SIMPLE’s expert opinion and final thoughts
While 14 hours is not the longest fast in the intermittent fasting family, it’s still a smart choice for losing weight and improving your health.
Even smarter if you’re an intermittent fasting rookie.
You can still get plenty (if not all) of the benefits of fasting without the restrictions of the more extreme forms, like 18/6 or 20/4.
If you’re looking for a new way to improve your health habits and/or lose weight, give 14/10 a whirl and see how you feel.
Why not start out with us by your side? Take our SIMPLE quiz, and we’ll set you up with a fasting timer, plus a food log and a hydration tracker, so all you need to do is practice fasting and eating on a 14/10 cadence!
Frequently asked questions about 14/10 intermittent fasting
How long does it take to see results from 14/10 intermittent fasting?
It typically takes a few weeks to see results from 14/10 intermittent fasting.
Is 14/10 fasting as good as 16/8?
Both fasting methods can lead to health benefits, such as weight loss and improved metabolic health, but 14/10 fasting may not be quite as good as 16/8 in terms of the speed and depth of results you can get.
What happens to your body when you fast for 14 hours?
What happens to your body when you fast for 14 hours is a switch from burning glucose from the food you’re eating to burning glycogen and fat stores.
Does 14-hour fasting help with weight loss?
Yes, 14-hour fasting can help with weight loss by reducing calorie intake and increasing fat burning.
What can I eat on a 14/10 fast?
During the fasting period, what you can eat on a 14/10 fast is nothing containing calories.
During the eating window, you can eat whatever you like, but for best results, eat a balanced diet of predominantly whole, nutrient-dense foods.
How does 14/10 compare to Eat Stop Eat?
14/10 is a lot gentler than Eat Stop Eat, which has two 24-hour zero-calorie fasts a week.
Eat Stop Eat, like water fasting and dry fasting, are not IF protocols we recommend at SIMPLE.
14/10 and other TRE fasting methods are safer, well researched, more supportive of your body’s needs, and plenty effective. Our advice: stick with TRE.
Does 14/10 intermittent fasting slow metabolism?
It’s not been studied specifically with 14/10, but intermittent fasting generally does not slow metabolism.
- Patterson RE, Sears DD. Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21;37:371–93.
- Gill S, Panda S. A Smartphone App Reveals Erratic Diurnal Eating Patterns in Humans that Can Be Modulated for Health Benefits. Cell Metab. 2015 Nov 3;22(5):789–98.
- Wilkinson MJ, Manoogian ENC, Zadourian A, Lo H, Fakhouri S, Shoghi A, et al. Ten-Hour Time-Restricted Eating Reduces Weight, Blood Pressure, and Atherogenic Lipids in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Cell Metab. 2020 Jan 7;31(1):92–104.e5.