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16/8 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan

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How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work

Intermittent Fasting and 5 TIPS to SUCCEED | 16:8 diet made enjoyable

The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis, so each day you eat within an 8-hour time frame and then fast for the remaining 16 hours. This works for weight loss as it “helps you eat fewer calories while boosting metabolism slightly,” clinical nutritionist at Alive! Suzie Sawyer says. “It’s a very effective tool to lose weight and visceral fat. After hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat, sometimes referred to as ‘metabolic switching’.”

This switch is a natural process that happens when the body runs out of energy from food, research published in Nature explains. The body changes its energy source from glucose that’s stored in the liver to ketones, which are stored in fat cells. While the body is getting its energy from glucose, it’s maintaining or gaining weight and when the switch happens, it beings to lose weight.

However, calorie-restricted diets like Fast 800 work in a similar way. They push the body into a calorie deficit, forcing it to take its energy stores from fat cells rather than glucose. Research from the University of Illinois also suggests that when it comes to losing fat, the two are equally as effective as each other. So what’s special about the 16:8 diet?

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What Is Intermittent Fasting

You have probably heard about intermittent fasting in talks about dieting. However, it is actually not much of a diet at all. In fact, it focuses on when you eat, not necessarily what you eat.

This doesnt mean that you should down a tray of cookies with each meal, but you can definitely enjoy a couple during feast hours. Speaking of feasting, your eating timeframe is customizable, but it is best to limit this period to eight hours so that you wont give yourself too much time to eat your progress away.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Book

Industrial Vegetable Oil And Trans Fats

When processing vegetable oils, the fragile omega-6 fatty acids oxidize through heat, light, air, and pressure.

As a result, these processes change fats that serve as building blocks for your body chemically. Therefore, they promote inflammation, cardiovascular disease, mortality, and weight gain .

Besides the following oils, it is essential to avoid fried dishes and hydrogenated trans fats :

  • Safflower oil
  • Preservatives and other chemical additives

Another reason why I advise against any kind of sweeteners during intermittent fasting is the craving.

When sweet taste stimulates the brains reward center, but glucose does not arrive due to calorie-free sweeteners, cravings increase .

As with sweeteners, plant-based does not always mean healthy, as we will learn in the next section.

Does Fasting Benefit People Who Don’t Need To Lose Weight Or Who Have Reached Their Goal Weight

Intermittent Fasting 16/8 sample schedule meal plan

Yes, Varady said, citing one of her studies that found fasting helps maintain a healthy body weight lowers triglycerides, which is important for heart health helps decrease blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation.

A review of research in humans and animals, published in 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found intermittent fasting has “broad-spectrum benefits” for health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and neurologic disorders.

The powerful health effects appear to come from the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting or shifting away from using sugar as its main source of energy and instead converting fat for fuel when a person’s stomach is empty.

Also Check: How Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy

Fast For 12 Hours A Day

The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.

According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.

This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.

The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.

For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.

How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose On An Intermittent Fast

According to a 2014 review article, intermittent fasting was found to reduce body weight by 3 to 8% over 3 to 24 weeks.

This study also determined that participants had a 4 to 7% reduction in waist circumference, meaning that they lost belly fat .

A different review study found that intermittent fasting may cause a weight loss of 11 to 16% after 12 weeks.

Furthermore, researchers noted that intermittent fasting resulted in a lower loss of muscle tissue when compared to typical calorie restriction diets .

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How To Go About 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting

The best approach to stick to the 16:8 diet is to pick a 16-hour fasting window that includes sleep time. Some experts recommend finishing your meal in the early evening because your metabolism slows down after that. This is not, however, practicable for everyone. Some folks may not be able to eat until 7 p.m. or later in the evening. Even so, its preferable to fast for 23 hours before going to bed. People can consume their meals and snacks at their leisure within this interval. Its critical to eat on a regular basis to minimize blood sugar peaks and troughs, as well as excessive hunger. For some people, experimenting to determine the ideal eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle may be necessary.

People can eat during one of the following eight-hour periods:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., noon to 8 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., noon to 8 p.m.

Youll Likely Feel Hungry

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss 16/8 Meal Plan

Even an 8- or 12-hour fast might feel like a long time when youre not used to fasting.

You may go to bed hungry several times per week. That may naturally feel unpleasant and unsustainable in the long term .

Plus, at times, it might be necessary to override your natural hunger and fullness cues in order to not break your fast earlier than planned.

This doesnt mean that fasting isnt a schedule you can get used to. Once youve adjusted to intermittent fasting, you might even find it makes you feel less hungry (

Recommended Reading: How Long Should You Do Intermittent Fasting 16 8

Intermittent Fasting 20/4 Aka Warrior Diet

How: Fast for 20 h and Eat for 4h

In contrast to other methods, while following the 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Schedule, you are allowed to eat some raw fruits and vegetables, and some lean protein during the 20 hr fast period.

This fasting schedule is based on the idea that our ancestors spent their days hunting and gathering and would then feast at night. Therefore the 4-hour eating window shall be in the evening and you should follow a special order of eating specific food groups: starting with vegetables, proteins and fat, and eating carbs only if you are still hungry.

To read more about this type of fasting take a look at The Warrior Diet: All About Intermittent Fasting 20/4.

Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Method

The classic 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol has just two rules:

  • No breakfast
  • No snacks

Thats it. Health can be that simple.

There is no eating during the fasting period. If you feel hungry or thirsty, you may consume the following beverages at any time:

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Coffee

However, you must avoid any additives such as milk, sugar, or sweeteners in these drinks not to break the fast.

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Eat Plenty Of Healthy Plant Foods

Consuming a wide variety of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans, may decrease disease risk and promote longevity.

For example, many studies link a plant-rich diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as a reduced risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, and brain deterioration .

These effects are attributed to plant foods nutrients and antioxidants, which include polyphenols, carotenoids, folate, and vitamin C .

Accordingly, several studies link vegetarian and vegan diets, which are naturally higher in plant foods, to a 1215% lower risk of premature death (

37 ).

However, other studies report either nonexistent or much weaker links with the negative effects seeming specifically linked to processed meat .

Vegetarians and vegans also generally tend to be more health-conscious than meat eaters, which could at least partly explain these findings.

Overall, eating plenty of plant foods is likely to benefit health and longevity.

SUMMARYEating plenty of plant foods is likely to help you live longer and lower your risk of various common diseases.

How Can You Start The 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule

16/8 Fasting: 7

There are so many ways to jump on this fast, but one of the most popular and most effective schedules is the 16:8 version. Dont give up hope so soon, nighttime snackers.

Put simply, on this plan, you will fast for 16 hours, leaving you with 8 hours to get your meals in. And while that might sound terrifying at first glance, it actually isnt nearly as dreadful as you think.

In fact, a 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule provides the perfect window to get in all of your much-needed nutrients while still giving your body a break to properly digest it all.

And to put you at further ease, you will actually be sleeping through half of your fasting period anyways.

So, say goodbye to those Tum Tums and that 24-pack of ginger ale because most of your bellyaches and digestive issues will cease to exist in just a couple of weeks or so.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Free Fasting App

Whens The Best Time To Exercise On If

Honestly, the best workout is one that gets done. Work out when it works best for you and youll still reap the benefits.

However, there are two other schools of thought on working out while fasting.

The first is that working out while fasted helps you to burn more of your stored body fat. Some small studies support this theory, while others have found that fasting doesnt make a difference in fat burning.

If weight loss is your goal, this may be an approach you want to try out.

Alternatively, trying to work out on a totally empty stomach may leave you feeling yucky.

Working out during your eating window may provide more energy to help you power through your workout. If youre doing endurance exercise, its probably better to go with this approach and have a balanced meal before you get after it.

Beverages You Can Consume While Fasting:

  • Water Carbonated or plain water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar Drinking 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into the water can help you stay hydrated and prevent cravings during a fast.
  • Coffee and tea You can consume them without adding milk, sugar, or cream.

Some people drink coffee with MCT oil, ghee, or coconut oil during their fast. Oil breaks a fast but it wont break ketosis and can tide you over meals.

Also, some people drink bone broth that is a rich source of nutrients and can help replenish electrolytes lost during long periods of drinking only water.

Drinks that contain any calories like bone broth or coffee with MCT oil will technically break your fast. However small amounts of these drinks wont throw your body out of ketosis.

Recommended Reading: Does Intermittent Fasting Target Belly Fat

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Is Fasting 16 Hours A Day Healthy

Forms of intermittent fasting like the 16:8 diet rely on the concept that fasting reduces oxidative stress on the body, which can decrease inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases.

Its also theorized that fasting gives your vital organs, digestive and absorptive hormones, and metabolic functions a break, according to a recent study published in Cell Metabolism. Since our bodies secrete insulin to help our cells absorb sugar, fasting is linked to reducing our susceptibility to insulin resistance over time.

However, research has also linked fasting to increases in LDL cholesterol . Intermittent fasting can make you feel dizzy and nauseated and cause periods of low-blood sugar and dehydration. Despite the fact that most 16:8 enthusiasts drink water during fasting periods, it may not be enough .

I also have a much deeper concern about the disordered eating behaviors that may arise from intermittent fasting. Research shows that fasting for a period of time followed by a limited window for eating primes you to overeat. It’s a cycle that can be difficult to get out of because it impairs our body’s natural hunger cues and metabolism. Restricted eating may also lead to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Can You Give Me An Example Of A Good Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan For 1500 1700 Or 1800 Calories


Of course!

I could tell you exact things to eat, but I think you can take any foods you love and make them fit into your intermittent fasting lifestyle.

A good rule of thumb is to take your daily calorie goal and split it up like this:

  • 20% of calories to break the fast
  • 60% of calories for dinner
  • 20% of calories for dessert or before-bed snack

Remember, since youre skipping breakfast, you only have to make it a few hours after breaking the fast until its time for a big dinner feast.

You can alter the percentages a little bit as needed.

For example, I prefer to have a few more calories at lunch so I can eat a respectable meal with my wife and daughter, and fewer calories before bed.

Some people prefer a bigger dinner, or more snacks throughout the day.

Do what works for you. But in general, the goal is to have a large and filling dinner and split the rest of your calories as you see fit.

Recommended Reading: How To Do Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss

How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Month With Intermittent Fasting

How much will you lose? It depends on how much fasting reduces your average weekly calorie count.

For fun, lets do some an example and see whats possible. Well call this example Compliant Charlie.

Example 1 Complaint Charlie

Charlie loves setting goals and hits them every time. Lets see what he can do with 16:8 and a little meal plan.

Lets say right now he eats about 2100 calories a day on average. He weighs 180 pounds. Friday and Saturday are higher but he eats a bit less on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday naturally to balance it out.

His goal is to get to 165, ready for summer.

He decides to try 16:8. He finds 4-6 meals he really likes that he can cook fast

Each meal is only 500 calories each. Charlie follows the meal plan below.

  • Wakeup Black coffee or plain tea
  • 9 Am Breakfast 500 calories
  • 12 noon Lunch 500 calories
  • 4 PM Dinner 500 calories
  • 5 PM to 9 AM Fasting

Thats 1500 calories for the day.

Charlie, of course, is compliant all week. So his average calories is 1500 calories a day or 10,500 calories for the week.

Math Time, Beware! Charlie is 600 calories under the usual daily intake. 600 over 7 days is 4200 calories. At 3500 calories per pound of fat thats 4200/3500 or 1.2 pounds of fat lost per week.

He did this for three weeks and felt great. Every Friday morning at exactly 6 AM he weighed himself before drinking any water and after using the bathroom. Over 3 weeks he lost 3.6 pounds. He dropped from 180 lbs to 176.4 pounds.

Example 2 Jump Around Jill

How To Schedule Intermittent Fasting Meals

While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you havent done it before, intermittent fasting can be much easier than many other types of meal plans.

Once you start your intermittent fasting journey, you will most likely feel full longer and can keep the meals you eat very simple. Here are some different ways to fast and a typical meal plan for each day.

The combination of nutrients will give you the energy you need to enhance the benefits of fasting. Just be sure to take individual food intolerances into account and use it as a guide for your particular health care, and adjust the menu from there.

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What Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting

The practice of 16/8 intermittent fasting involves limiting your intake of foods and calorie-containing beverages to a set window of 8 hours per day. You abstain from food for the remaining 16 hours, though youre still allowed to drink water and other no-calorie beverages, like plain coffee or tea.

You can repeat this cycle as frequently as youd like from just once or twice per week to every day, depending on your preference.

The popularity of this fasting method has grown widely among those looking to lose weight and burn fat. 16/8 intermittent fasting is also believed to improve blood sugar control and enhance longevity.

While other diets often set strict rules, 16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow and may provide measurable results with minimal disruption to your diet. Its generally considered less restrictive and more flexible than many other diets and works with most lifestyles.


With 16/8 intermittent fasting, you restrict your food intake to an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. This practice may support weight loss, improve blood sugar, and increase longevity.

It is simple, safe, and sustainable to do 16/8 intermittent fasting.

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