The Beginner’s Guide to Circadian Rhythm Fasting: Answers to All of Your Important Questions

woman drinking coffee at Sunrise

Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Lori Geurin

Circadian rhythm fasting has been gaining a lot of attention in the last few years for good reason. It can be done by anyone, anywhere! This fasting schedule aligns with your circadian rhythms or your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This article will teach you everything you need to know about circadian rhythm Fasting, including what it is, how it works when to do it, and how long to fast for.

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What is a circadian rhythm?

It’s the natural sleep-wake cycle of your body. They’re also called biorhythms, and control a person’s mood, hormone levels, blood pressure, and much more!

Your circadian rhythm is controlled by your circadian clock, which is located in your brain. This clock regulates the release of hormones like cortisol and melatonin that help regulate sleep patterns.

What is circadian rhythm fasting, and how does it work?

Circadian rhythm fasting, or the circadian rhythm diet, is an intermittent fasting schedule that aligns with your circadian rhythms or body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This fasting plan allows you to eat within a 12-hour window.

Here’s a quick video for more info on circadian rhythm fasting.

Who can do it?

Anyone can do circadian fasting! It may be easier for people who work during the day and sleep at night because they have an already established pattern.

However, circadian rhythms are usually aligned with your schedule, so you should be able to find a time that works just fine.

It doesn’t require you to eat anything unusual or buy special foods.

Get our FREE Intermittent Fasting eBook

free intermittent fasting ebook

The only people who should not do fasting are:

  • Children and teenagers
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding moms
  • People with diabetes
  • People with a chronic medical condition

Check with your doctor to see if fasting is right for you.

circadian rhythm fasting / woman jumping rope

What fasting schedule can I follow?

A few different schedules work for people with different lifestyles and needs.

The primary type of circadian rhythm fast has 12-hour windows between eating periods, making it easier for those who have to work during the day.

An example of this schedule would be fasting from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am and then eating your meals between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Another intriguing detail of this type of intermittent fasting is that you’re sleeping most of the time.

A fasting schedule that is more in tune with your natural rhythms has an eating window from just before sundown until breakfast the following day. This fast can be done on weekends or any other day of the week.

How to get started?

For it to work for you, it requires some commitment and dedication. It doesn’t work unless you put in a little effort.

Fasting has the power to simplify your life and give you more time and money for family and friends and the activities you love doing.

Simply set a time window for your meals. The easiest way to lose weight is to stop eating at 6 or 7 pm. Then fast for 12 hours during the night. When you wake up after a 12-hour break from food, you can open your eating window and start eating healthy meals again.

Check out 6 Benefits Of Fasting To Improve Your Health And Simplify Your Life.


When should I start my Circadian fast?

This type of fasting is typically best from sundown to sunup. Feel free to give yourself a little flexibility though.

It can be helpful to start fasting on the same day every week so your circadian rhythms get used to eating at that time and sleeping when you fast. This will help ease the transition into the routine.

circadian rhythm fasting / woman running

What are the benefits?

Circadian rhythms are directly connected to your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which makes it an excellent way for people with busy lifestyles to have better control over their eating habits.

This type of fasting is also suitable for people who want to lose weight because it helps control appetite and hunger, which makes dieting easier.

Plus, it can be done anytime, so there’s no need to take breaks from your regular work schedule or make any other major changes.

It can boost your metabolism by increasing fat consumption and decreasing insulin levels.

Circadian fasting can help reduce inflammation which is why it is good for people who suffer from chronic conditions like arthritis, cancer, and Crohn’s Disease.

It can also help people with central nervous system conditions, like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

*If you are considering any form of fasting as a means of treating or managing chronic symptoms, please consult with your doctor to make sure it is appropriate for you.*

What are some surprising benefits?

Circadian rhythm fasting may affect many parts of your body, including hormonal regulation and brain activity.

It changes how your body produces insulin and affects hormone levels, which can have a big effect on your weight. And it also impacts brain activity by increasing memory formation in the hippocampus.

What’s the difference between intermittent fasting and the circadian diet?

Intermittent fasting allows you to choose your feeding window (when you eat) and uses a broader timeframe (usually 12-24 hours) without food.

Circadian fasting is generally 12 hours. In fasting terms, a 12:12.

A circadian schedule is one in which you eat during a 12-hour window and fast for the remaining 12 hours.

You may want to read more about the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Can Circadian fasting help with weight loss?

Yes, many people find it a helpful weight loss tool! Circadian rhythms impact your hunger and appetite, which is why it’s good for weight loss.

This type of fast also helps control eating out of boredom or stress, so you’re less likely to overeat.

RELATED: Intermittent Fasting Plateau: 9 Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss

Can women or moms with busy lifestyles do it?

Absolutely! Circadian rhythms can help you manage your eating habits, and the fasts are flexible so it’s easy for anyone with a hectic schedule, especially mothers who do not get enough time to rest while caring for their children.

It’s also a great way to get healthy while still getting enough sleep, something we could all use more of.

RELATED: Would You Rather Fitness Questions

Resources For More Information On Fasting:


Can you have coffee when fasting?

Yes, you can have black coffee without cream or sugar. Caffeine may even boost your metabolism, which can help with weight loss. Just don’t overdo it.

Can you have other liquids on circadian rhythm fasting?

In addition to coffee, you can also have unsweetened tea, water, and sparkling water.

You may want to learn more about clean fasting to maximize your fasting success.

Printable Intermittent Fasting Tracker

Many people are concerned about weight reduction, especially women who are moms or balancing a career. Intermittent fasting may reduce weight without making you feel hungry or restricted, which benefits many. Not every plan works for everyone, however. The most crucial detail is to use the correct method! That’s where an intermittent fasting tracker comes in handy.

Here are six benefits of using an IF tracker:

  1. Provides motivation and support when you’re having difficulties sticking to a plan
  2. Keeps track of your progress so that you can evaluate what works best for YOU
  3. Keeps you organized
  4. It motivates you to continue when you want to give up.

We created an easy-to-use printable intermittent fasting tracker to help you get the most out of your fasting lifestyle. Click the photo below to go directly to our Thrive Berry Etsy shop and see it.

intermittent fasting tracker

Summary – Circadian Rhythm Fasting For Weight Loss And Better Health

If you want to lose weight, feel more energized, and have better mental clarity, then circadian rhythm fasting might be a good option. The science behind this type of fast is that it’s easier on your body because the cycle starts when we naturally wake up in the morning.

It also doesn’t require calorie counting or food logging, which can take away from time spent with family or friends.

So if you want to give yourself an energy boost without making considerable changes to what you eat, consider trying a little circadian rhythm fasting!

As we wrap up this blog post, I hope you’ve learned a little more about the benefits of circadian rhythm fasting. If you want to try it or know someone who might benefit from these tips, be sure to share this blog post with them! 

Have you tried circadian rhythm fasting? Share below!

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