Health Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Adopting this eating style may seem difficult if youve never tried it before, but once you get used to it, its easy to follow. Plus, the research-backed benefits make it an excellent tool to improve your health.
Intermittent fasting 16/8 has been researched for its ability to improve multiple aspects of your health.
Benefits To Gut Health
Short periods of fasting, such as skipping breakfast , may benefit your gut microbes, explains Professor Tim Spector of Kings College London in his book Spoon-Fed. Although research in the field is in its early stages, accumulating evidence suggests that during fasting, certain species of microbes replicate and feed off carbohydrates in the gut lining. This makes the gut barrier healthier and more efficient.
One explanation for this could be that gut microbes follow a circadian rhythm like you do. Microbe communities, like us, may also need to rest and recuperate as part of a daily circadian rhythm which could be important for our gut health, writes Spector.
Everyones body responds differently to skipping meals, so Spector suggests experimenting by giving breakfast or another meal a miss to see how you feel. Leaving a minimum of 12 hours between eating, even if its only occasionally, could improve your mood and energy levels in the short term , he argues.
/8you’re Not Drinking Enough Water
When you’re on an intermittent fasting diet, there is no restriction on staying hydrated. Drinking water is the key factor that keeps your energy levels high when you’re fasting. If you do not drink enough water, you may not be able to keep up with the diet plan. It may lead to fatigue, cramps, headache and more.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Some studies suggest that adopting an intermittent fasting practice may help with weight loss, improve memory and mental performance, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments .
While much of this research comes from animal studies, emerging human data has offered promising results – especially related to the potential for helping with weight loss and improving some aspects of nutrition-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease .
It’s important to note that the long-term effects of intermittent fasting have not been fully established, but current research shows some promising short-term benefits that we’ve outlined in our list below. Additionally, while the potential benefits of fasting are exciting, there is not enough research to proclaim it is more effective for weight loss or improving health than a basic healthy eating approach.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist , has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive and thrive for long periods without eating. They had to: It took a lot of time and energy to hunt game and gather nuts and berries.
Even 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight. Johns Hopkins dietitian Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N., explains: There were no computers, and TV shows turned off at 11 p.m. people stopped eating because they went to bed. Portions were much smaller. More people worked and played outside and, in general, got more exercise.
Nowadays, TV, the internet and other entertainment are available 24/7. We stay awake for longer hours to catch our favorite shows, play games and chat online. Were sitting and snacking all day and most of the night.
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Improves Insulin Resistance Which Can Help Diabetes Prevention And Management
Intermittent fasting and weight loss may help reduce fasting blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity through lowering concentrations of leptin, the hormone produce by fat cells to regulate hunger, and increasing adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism.
In some studies where fasting was used as a weight-loss intervention and strategy for maintaining a healthy weight, people who intermittently fast had lower levels of blood glucose which happens to be a central goal in the prevention and treatment of diabetes .
These possible benefits may be driven more by reductions in body weight and body fat percent stemmed from caloric restriction influenced by intermittent fasting, but research still shows an overall positive effect on blood sugar levels when intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting may help improve glycemic control and insulin resistance with a reduction in weight in those with diabetes and those without.
How Do I Try Intermittent Fasting
There are four popular fasting approaches: periodic fasting, time-restricted feeding, alternate-day fasting and the 5:2 diet. Time-restricted feeding, sometimes called daily intermittent fasting, is perhaps the easiest and most popular fasting method. Daily intermittent fasters restrict eating to certain time periods each day, say 11 in the morning to 7 at night. The fasting period is usually around 12 or more hours that, helpfully, includes time spent sleeping overnight. Periodic fasting will feel most familiar: no food or drinks with calories for 24-hour periods. Another type of fast, alternate-day fasting requires severe calorie reduction every other day. Lastly, the 5:2 method was popularized by author Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet” and requires fasting on two nonconsecutive days a week.
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What Types Of Intermittent Fasting Plans Lead To Weight Loss
The review included studies on three types of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate day fasting , which typically involves a day of unrestricted eating alternated with a fasting day where 500 calories consumed in one meal account for the total daily calorie intake
- The 5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate day fasting that involves five feasting days and two fasting days per week.
- Time-restricted eating , which limits eating to a specified number of hours per day , followed by 16 hours of fasting
Its worth noting that the review wasnt designed to compare the effectiveness of different types of intermittent fasting plans because the studies were done in different groups of people and using different parameters. But the results did indicate that individuals who followed either the alternate-day diet or the 5:2 plan both averaged a loss of around 7 percent of their body weight , and were able to maintain that loss for a year. Despite fasting much less frequently than alternate-day fasters, subjects who participated in the 5:2 diet lost an equivalent amount of weight, a finding that surprised researchers.
While all plans led to some weight loss, following a time-restricted eating plan was the least effective plan for shedding pounds. In total, participants with obesity who followed a time-restricted eating plan lost an average of 3 percent of their body weight.
Reduced Inflammation By Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can help reduce your bodys overall inflammation. This is done through enhanced detoxification.
12 Hour Intermittent Fasting turns on the NRF2 gene pathway, which not only produces a dramatic increase in antioxidant protection and enhanced detoxification, but also decreases inflammation.
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Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced, well-rounded diet rich in whole foods. Not to mention, you can still be healthy even if intermittent fasting doesnt work for you.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for most healthy adults, you should talk to your doctor before giving it a try, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure or a history of disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting is also not recommended for women who are trying to conceive or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have any concerns or experience any adverse side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
16/8 intermittent fasting involves eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
It may support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function and longevity.
Eat a healthy diet during your eating period and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.
Its best to talk to your doctor before trying intermittent fasting, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
The most effective diet is the one you can stick to while still living your best life. Its hard to know which will work best before trying, but doctors and recent studies offer some guidance. Dr. Peterson said that complete, zero-calorie fasts generally prove to be too difficult to maintain. People stick with them maybe for the short-term, but they get quite hungry in the long-term, she said.
Time-restricted feeding fasting overnight and into the next morning is likely the easiest form of fasting to comply with. A longer than normal fasting period each night allows you to burn through some of your sugar stores, called glycogen. That does a couple things. It gives your body a little bit more time to burn fat. It also may help your body get rid of any extra salt in your diet, which would lower your blood pressure, Dr. Peterson said.
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How Long Until Autophagy
A lot of people are doing intermittent fasting in hopes of activating autophagy, boosting stem cells, and reversing aging. However, whether or not its going to work depends on how long youre going to fast.
Its said that it takes about 48-72 hours of fasting to activate autophagy.This rationale is based on how long it takes for someone eating the standardwestern diet to get into ketosis.
Nutrient and growthfactors that regulate autophagy are glucose, amino acids, and insulin becausethey affect the anabolic-catabolic balance of your body. The fuel sensorsthat monitor this are mTOR and AMPK.
How long until autophagy kicks in for you specifically depends on the nutrient status of your body and the presence of these nutrients, such as amino acids, glucose, and ketones.
What Is 16/8 Fastingand How Does It Work
Even if you havent tried 16/8 fasting, theres a good chance youve heard of this trendy eating approach. Many fans swear by its supposed weight-loss powers: The idea is that you can eat whatever you want and still drop poundsas long as you squeeze all your meals and snacks into an 8-hour window every day. For the days remaining 16 hours, you purposefully go without food. This recurring practice is a form of intermittent fasting.
Despite the buzz surrounding 16/8sometimes called 16:8 fasting, or the eight-hour dietintermittent fasting has been around in various forms for centuries. The 16/8 method is just one example of time-restricted eating, which confines calorie intake to certain hours. Other intermittent fasting approaches alternate entire days of fasting with days of normal eating the 5:2 diet is a popular example. Many people fast for spiritual and religious reasons, as well.
Along with weight loss, some proponents of the 16/8 method point to potential health perks such as improved blood sugar and healthier cholesterol levels. But can swearing off calories for 16 hours a day actually be healthy, and how do you know if its the right approach for you? Keep reading for a breakdown of how 16/8 fasting works, an evidence-based look at the pros, cons, and unresolved questions concerning this method, and expert advice for trying 16/8 intermittent fasting if you decide it makes sense for you.
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May Increase Your Life Span
There are several reasons that intermittent fasting may positively impact our life span weight loss, decreased blood pressure, and most of the benefits we listed above may all contribute to prolonging our life while also increase our quality of life at the same time.
Intermittent fasting has been found to affect longevity in animal studies, having beneficial effects on life span and markets for health, stress, metabolic response, and age-related diseases .
These findings are hard to confirm in human trials as there are many factors that affect epidemiological studies and many different types of fasting. But at the end of the day, some of the benefits of intermittent fasting may increase our quality of life overall and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Following The 1: 8 Diet
While the 16:8 diet seems like a great way to drop weight fast, it does have some cons. Sarah Mirkin, RD, author of Fill Your Plate, Lose the Weight, a 21-day meal plan designed to help women over 40 lose weight, says, “I think that it limits food intake to such a small window of time that it’s difficult for someone to meet their nutritional needs.”
Indeed, fasting for a long period of time probably means you’re not able to enjoy three full meals with snacks each day. Whether you’re skipping breakfast or dinner, missing a meal always results in not receiving adequate nutrients. And since the 16:8 diet gives you license to eat whatever you want, you might be tempted to fill up only on fatty, processed foods, especially if you’re feeling ravenous. Hunger can also clout your better judgment and lead you to binge eat as well. “Studies show that the majority of people are not able to sustain it for very long and oftentimes end up binging on unhealthy foods, causing weight gain,” Mirkin says. Other drawbacks of 16: 8 fasting include poor sleep, muscle mass loss , disordered/binge eating, weakness, nausea, and fatigue, Mirkin says.
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Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan: The Reality
I set my eating window from 10am to 6pm. Even though I didnt change my diet , only consuming food between set hours came as a shock.
Despite snacking on fruit and chocolate and upping my water intake to three litres, my stomach frequently growled and I got crippling headaches.
But within a couple of weeks, my body had adapted and I felt less bloated and more energised. Plus, its pretty hard to overeat when you only have eight hours, so the inches gradually fell away.
Weekends were tough. All that extra time to notice youre not eating, and the antisocial aspect of not being able to make it to brunch and dinner.
The pay-off is that youre only restricting when, not what youre eating. And fasting for 16 hours isnt as daunting as it sounds when you factor in sleep.
But Ravenshear stresses the importance of not taking the eat-whatever-you-like approach too literally. Fill up with protein-rich ingredients and healthy fats and avoid the empty calories in sugars and refined carbs if you want real long-term results.
Is Fasting 16 Hours A Day Healthy
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.
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What Is The 1: 8 Diet
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. Most people do this by starting a fast at night, skipping breakfast, and eating their first meal in the middle of the day. No foods are inherently off limits during that time, but some people will follow the keto diet at mealtimes to supercharge their weight loss.
While the term intermittent fasting may be new to many of us, the practice isnt all that different from the way our ancestors likely lived: Hunt, gather, and eat during daylight sleep and fast during darkness.
Examples Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting involves going for extended periods of time without eating, or eating very little, followed by a period of eating normally.
- Alternate day fasting is when you fast on alternate days and eat ad libitum on eating days.
- The 5:2 involves severely reducing your calorie intake on two days of the week and eating a healthy, balanced diet on the other five days.
- 16:8 intermittent fasting involves eating only during an eight-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you may eat between 10am and 6pm, then refrain from eating until the next day at 10am again.
- Some people do a 24-hour fast, which involves consuming no calories on one day of the week or month.
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