Diet Plan: What Can You Eat And What Are The Benefits
The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans weve seen in years and with good reason.
The 16:8 plan also called the 8-hour diet is an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids heavily calorie restricted days found in other popular intermittent fasting plans like the 5:2 diet or Fast 800 calorie diet.
A famous fan of the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan is Hollywood icon Jennifer Aniston. In an interview with the Radio Times, Jennifer revealed that shes a big fan of intermittent fasting in general but specifically this plan. I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. She said, I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.
Make The Calories Count
Not all calories are the same. Although these fasting methods do not set restrictions on how many calories a person should consume when fasting, it is essential to consider the nutritional value of the food.
In general, a person should aim to consume nutrient-dense food, or food with a high number of nutrients per calorie. Though a person may not have to abandon junk food entirely, they should still practice moderation and focus on more healthful options to gain the most benefits.
Fasting has several effects on a persons body. These effects include:
- Reducing levels of insulin, which makes it easier for the body to use stored fat.
- Lowering blood sugars, blood pressure, and inflammation levels.
- Changing the expression of certain genes, which helps the body protect itself from disease as well as promoting longevity.
- Dramatically increases human growth hormone, or HGH, which helps the body utilize body fat and grow muscle.
- The body activates a healing process doctors call autophagy, which essentially means that the body digests or recycles old or damaged cell components.
Fasting dates back to ancient humans who often went hours or days between meals as obtaining food was difficult. The human body adapted to this style of eating, allowing extended periods to pass between food intake times.
Research also shows fasting to be beneficial for the management of metabolic syndrome and diabetes,
Reduce Stress And Improve Mental Health
The 16:8 diet help reduce cortisol levels and help reduce inflammation. Plus, since you wont be dealing with hunger for two days a week, its better for your mental health.
Those whove tried the 16:8 diet say how much more productive they are during fasting hours, spending less time stressing over food and more time channelling their energy into other beneficial tasks throughout the day.
Read Also: Why Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy
How Much Weight Can You Lose On : 8 Diet
To lose weight on the 16:8 diet, its important to match the fasting with healthy eating and exercise. If done so correctly, theres a typical weight loss of around seven to 11 pounds over a ten week period. This is according to a review of 40 different studies published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrincology who found that on average, someone weighing just over 90kg would lose 5% of their total body weight in the ten week period.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Healthy Eating revealed that the 16:8 diet plan can help people lose weight, without having to count calories as the 8-hour fast produces the same kind of calorific restriction and weight loss.
However, whether theres a distinct weight loss advantage achieved on the 16:8 diet compared to other diets remains to be seen. Some studies have demonstrated that theres almost no difference between people who do intermittent fasting compared those who count calories and cut back on unhealthy food.
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What Should You Eat To Break Your Fast
Once youve hit your intermittent fasting goal , its time to break your fast. Since you don’t want to eat a ton of food on an empty stomach, you’ll want to make sure you choose easy to digest foods that won’t upset your stomach. If youre trying to lose weight, you should also be mindful of your food choices.
Focusing on choosing nutritious, whole foods after your fast will provide you with the most health benefits, says Rodriquez. But you can and should enjoy as many non-starchy vegetables as youd like!
Depending on when you end your fast, you might be in the mood for breakfast or lunch so choose what foods sound best to you. Here are a few examples of healthy meal ideas:
Sauté a mix of your favorite vegetables over medium heat with a little olive oil spray: bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms are just a few of our favorites. Then scramble two eggs in a bowl and add them to your veggies. Season with garlic, pepper and any of your other favorite seasonings. Add ¼ of avocado as a garnish for a serving of healthy fat that will keep you feeling satisfied.
Are you a Jenny Craig member? Try our delicious Frittata Egg White Sandwich.
Loaded baked sweet potato
Vegetable and chicken stir fry
Are you a Jenny Craig member? Try our Cauliflower Fried Rice with Chicken & Vegetables.
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How To Get Started With Intermittent Fasting
There are two schools of thought with regard to how to structure your fasts. The first is fairly different from whatâs described above itâs commonly known as 5:2, meaning you eat normally for five days of the week and fast for two. That may work for some, but two days of virtual starvation doesnât sound very appealing.
I prefer the daily method: Fast for at least 16 hours per day. The aforementioned New England Journal of Medicine study was based on an 18:6 structure: 18-hour fast, six-hour window.
â16:8 is a great place to start,â Stephens says, âbut it may not be a weight-loss window for many people. Thatâs because fat-burning ramps up between hours 18 and 24 of the fast. 19:5 was a great weight-loss sweet spot for me, and I lost at about a pound per week when doing it. With 19:5, you fast for 19 hours a day and have an eating window of five hours. Your sweet spot may be different from mine, of course. Maybe it will be 18:6 or 20:4.â Experimentation is key, she adds.
Before you embark on this journey, I recommend reading CNET writer Caroline Robertsâguide to doing intermittent fasting safely.
If your eating window doesnât include breakfast, you can still drink coffee as long as itâs black and unsweetened.
Also Check: How To Get Started On Intermittent Fasting
Most Common Questions When It Comes To Eating Junk Food On Intermittent Fasting
Can I Eat Pizza While Intermittent Fasting?
Pizza can be a quick and easy way to get some calories in when you are hungry. However, it might not be ideal for intermittent fasting because of the high carb content. That being said, if your diet is pretty low-carb anyway then eating pizza during an IF meal shouldnt affect things too much.
Keep in mind that pizza is often pretty high in calories, which can slow down your weight loss if you are trying to lose fat. If you want a cheat meal then fast food might be better because it will have fewer calories and less carbs than most pizzas.
Youll probably want to eat something other than just plain cheese pizza as well since the fat content will be low. Some good toppings to add are mushrooms, peppers, and various kinds of meat. This isnt necessary but it can help make your meal more filling so youll eat less overall plus most fast food places have plenty of choices for these types of meats .
Eating pizza during intermittent fasting can be a good idea if you are doing low-carb anyway, but keep in mind that it is high in carbs and not very filling. Try to eat some protein with your meal or get something like chicken wings so you dont go overboard on the calories. Pizza should also probably only be a once-in-a-while cheat meal because of the high-calorie content and not being very filling.
Can I Eat Cake During Intermittent Fasting?
Can I Eat Rice During Intermittent Fasting?
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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.
What To Eat When Fasting
Fasting and food dont seem to go together but surprisingly there are a couple of snacks and treats you can enjoy and remain in fasting ketosis.
The key is to watch your portion sizes, especially if youre trying to lose weight. Higher fat, quality foods are best. Since your body is already burning fat for fuel at this point, eating a small amount of high-quality fats will not likely disrupt this process, Rodriquez advises.
On the other hand, eating carbs or sugar will raise your insulin levels and blood sugar, ending fasting ketosis.
The Best Part About Intermittent Fasting
No food is “off limits” with IF, you can eat whatever you want during your window.
Gin Stephens is the author of Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. Those first three words of the book are the key to what makes this WOE worthwhile: You’re not denying yourself anything, you’re merely delaying it. You don’t have to give up, say, pizza because of the carbs or ice cream because of the sugar. You just have to wait until your window opens then you can eat what you want to eat. No, not the entire pizza or a whole pint of ice cream you still have to be reasonable. But there are no exclusions. And that’s incredibly liberating.
Think about nearly every other diet in history: Atkins, South Beach, paleo, keto. They all require you to either cut out certain things entirely or eat an excess of something else . The reason these diets typically fail is they’re not sustainable.
Stephens is fond of this saying: “‘Diets are easy in contemplation and hard in execution. Fasting is hard in contemplation but easy in execution.’ I absolutely love that quote, because it’s so true,” she says. “We’ve all started a new diet and we’re all in. Then, as the days go by, the diet gets harder and harder to stick to. Intermittent fasting is the exact opposite. Instead of getting harder and harder, it gets easier and easier.”
What Are The Health Benefits Of Fasting
While research is ongoing, theres a laundry list of pretty amazing health benefits associated with being in a fasting state. Why? When you refrain from the consumption of food and caloric beverages, youre giving your body time to focus on processes other than digestion.
Early research on animals suggests that during a fast, cells regenerate and clean house a process known as autophagy.2 Autophagy is essentially your bodys natural way of detoxing getting rid of damaged cells, bacteria and viruses by breaking them down and regenerating new healthier cells.2
Another exciting thing that happens when you fast for at least 12 hours: You can start to burn fat!1 Its known as the metabolic switch. Once your body has used all of its glucose stores , it switches to using fat for fuel.1
This is a natural process, Rodriquez says, Its also known as fasting ketosis.
When practiced regularly, intermittent fasting has been linked to the following health benefits:3
- Weight loss
- Reducing the risk of certain diseases
Read Also: What Is Water Fasting In Keto
Popular Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has recently become a health trend. Devotees claim it can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, and maybe even extend life span.
Every method can be effective, but figuring out which one works best depends on the individual.
Several methods of this eating pattern exist. But before embarking on an intermittent fast or deciding how often to fast, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Here are 6 popular ways to do intermittent fasting.
Eating Junk While Intermittent Fasting
One of the most common ways people eat junk food is through eating fast food meals. There are many popular chains that have developed and perfected their meal options for those eating on the go. The best way to avoid eating these types of foods would be to plan out your meals ahead of time and eating your meals at home. This will allow you to avoid eating junk food in general, which is especially important when eating junk while intermittent fasting!
Another common way people eat fast foods is during their lunch breaks from work. It can be difficult to find time for a sit-down meal, and you may not have access to healthy options like salads or vegetables. You can avoid eating junk food during this time by packing a lunch for work the night before so that you have something healthy to eat in case of an emergency!
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Jenny Craigs Recharge Bar
One of the best fasting snacks, Jenny Craigs revolutionary Recharge Bar is designed to keep you in fat-burning mode without breaking your fast. Its made with high-quality, great-tasting ingredients like macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans and a touch of honey. The specially formulated bar is designed to help you feel less hungry and maintain your fast while following the Rapid Results Max program.
Can You Eat Whatever You Want Intermittent Fasting
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The 16:8 diet is a type of time-restricted fasting done to achieve better health or lose weight. On the 16:8 diet, you spend 16 hours of each day consuming nothing but unsweetened beverages like water, coffee, and tea. The remaining eight-hour window is when you eat all of your meals and snacks.
Beside above, can I eat sweets while intermittent fasting? The reason is that when you’re fasting, your body is low on sugar and energy. It craves high carbohydrate foods with sugar as well. Whilst you could still achieve your weight loss goals without eating a clean diet, over the long run this may be detrimental to your health.
Furthermore, can I eat whatever I want while intermittent fasting and still lose weight?
If you eat in a calorie surplus, especially of empty calories and processed food, it will undo all the benefits of fasting. Summer Yule, MS, RDN, agrees that while you technically can eat whatever you want during intermittent fasting, that’s not the best way to see results, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
What is allowed during intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little longer. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages. Some forms of intermittent fasting allow small amounts of low-calorie foods during the fasting period.
Also Check: What To Eat When On Intermittent Fasting
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isnt for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting , you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change, she says, and one with benefits.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Overeating And Potential Weight Gain
Restricting your intake to just 8 hours per day may cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting. This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems, and unhealthy eating habits.
Interestingly, current research doesnt suggest that intermittent fasting leads to any more weight loss than typical diets that recommend overall calorie restriction. Both eating patterns may lead to modest weight loss .
If weight loss is your primary goal, you may therefore prefer to lower your calorie intake instead of fasting intermittently to prevent the overeating that may occur when restricting intake to a certain time window.
Read Also: Can You Have Black Coffee When Fasting