Common Obstacles To Eating A Healthier Diet
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, shell opt for alternate day fasting.
The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy, Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
Intermittent Fasting And Weight Loss
Data shows diets dont work. Theyre unsustainable in the long run and not that useful for weight loss. Yes, youll lose a few pounds initially, but research shows those changes dont last. Intermittent fasting is a fantastic alternative. Since IF is a lifestyle transformation, its more sustainable than any fad diet that tempts you.
Many research studies confirm IF is a sustainable weight-loss method and a valid option if weight loss is your goal. One 2018 study shows IF is also beneficial because it can help you lose weight without focusing on calorie counting an added benefit if you dont want to work that hard.
How Many Calories To Eat During Intermittent Fasting 16/8
Now that we understand weight gain as hormonal rather than caloric imbalance, we need to go with the state of science and question the outdated calorie counting regime.
With this in mind, an empirical study from the United Kingdom shows that a whopping 99.5 percent of overweight women and men failed to lose weight successfully through the conventional method .
We are not talking about three people here, but 99,791 women and 76,704 men!
So why is calorie counting still the standard of the fitness industry?
There are probably three main reasons:
- The calorimeter was already invented back in 1892
- Calories are a household word to everyone
- Highly processed foods are way easier to sell when calorie counting
Nonetheless, this does not mean that calorie balance does not affect weight loss. However, proper timing of eating through intermittent fasting 16/8 allows for a significant hormonal benefit.
After insulin levels are low for an extended period during intermittent fasting, you can burn more fat while maintaining your calorie intake.
As long as you dont cheat or reach your target weight, with 16/8 intermittent fasting, your daily calorie requirement will be enough to lose weight. For a woman, this is about 1,900 kcal.
According to studies, people who eat fewer meals also consume fewer calories during the day, but you will usually fall short of the daily requirement .
Finally, 16/8 intermittent fasting is not a conventional diet but rather a time-based eating pattern.
Read Also: What Do You Eat On Intermittent Fasting
Diet Plan: Foods And Tips
In order to maximize the potential health benefits of your diet, its important to stick to nutritious whole foods and beverages during your eating periods.
Filling up on nutrient-rich foods can help round out your diet and allow you to reap the rewards that this regimen has to offer.
Try balancing each meal with a good variety of healthy whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: Oranges, berries, apples, bananas, peaches, pears, etc.
- Vegetables: Leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, , etc.
- Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.
- Protein: Nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Drinking water and unsweetened fruit juice, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
On the other hand, taking junk food can negate the positive effects associated with 16/8 intermittent fasting and may end up doing more harm than good to your health.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
Read Also: How Quick Can You Lose Weight Fasting
Try Sticking To The Following Foods On The 1: 8 Diet:
- Whole grains: Ones like rice, oats, barley, wholegrain pasta and quinoa will keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds will keep you full.
- Fruit: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges and pears will offer good vitamin sustenance.
- Vegetables: Broccoli and leafy greens are especially good for making sure youre eating enough fibre.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados.
What Is 16 8 Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that alternates between periods of fasting and eating.
Unlike other diets, fasting plans do not specify what or how much you should eat per day.
Instead, they primarily focus on when you should eat.
Due to this distinction, intermittent fasting is not considered a diet in the conventional sense.
Instead, it may be better described as an eating pattern.
The 16:8 diet is a popular version of intermittent fasting.
It involves consuming your meals during an 8-hour eating window while fasting or abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours a day.
Recommended Reading: Is Fasting Bad For You
How Does The 1: 8 Diet Work
The 16:8 diet works on an hourly basis. So each day you can eat within an 8 hour time frame and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The best part? You dont have to restrict your calories when eating during the 8 hour window. As long as you eat healthily in your 8 hour time frame, youll see the weight drop off.
Experts say that the 16.8 diet restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burns away calories. Plus, you wont go hungry like you do on those two fasting days on the 5:2 either.
As Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert explains, The 16:8 diet is a brilliant form of intermittent fasting that has proven results in a number of cases.
Jennifer Aniston is a famous fan of intermittent fasting.
As well as Jennifer Aniston, other Hollywood names who have seen success after following the 16:8 diet include Hugh Jackman, who reportedly used the diet to get in shape for his Wolverine films and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Potential Drawback: High Stress Hormones
With the shift from carbohydrate to fat metabolism comes another type of shift: a hormonal one.
As your body gets used to burning fat for fuel, it may utilize stress hormones like cortisol to liberate amino acids and fats from your reserves. This process can feel stressful until your body becomes efficient at fat burning, at which point cortisol levels return to normal.
Read Also: Is Intermittent Fasting For Me
Do I Have To Skip Breakfast
You may have heard or read that a 16:8 plan means you cant eat breakfast. But when it comes to intermittent fasting, a 16:8 schedule is extremely flexible and simple. You decide when your 16-hour fast begins and ends, so if youre someone who simply cant live without breakfast, dont deprive yourself.
Or, maybe you prefer to skip breakfast. Thats ok too. Whatevers comfortable for you. You could also eat breakfast an hour or two later and eat dinner an hour or so earlier. Just make sure that your eating window closes eight hours after you first break your fast. All that matters is you have 16 consecutive hours during which you abstain from food and drink only calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
Intermittent Fasting Is Not Enough To Keep You In Ketosis
The 16/8 fasting window may not be enough to get you into or keep you in ketosis. Even if you do end up in ketosis, if you continue to eat a diet with even a moderate amount of carbs itll probably kick you out of ketosis each time.
This can result in unpleasant side effects such as the keto flu and being overly hungry each time you start fasting again.
Also Check: How To Start Intermittent Fasting For Beginners
How Often Should You Do 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Unlike other diets where you must eat strict types of foods at a strict time of the day, each day of the 16/8 works independently from the other days.
This means you can practice 16/8 intermittent fasting from one day to seven days a week. It all depends on your goals and the advice from your doctor.
Dont change your eating pattern right away, listen to your body, you can start with one day weekly with 16/8 fasting and see how it affects your body.
You can go for two days weekly after a while but again consult with your doctor before going 16 hours without eating.
Experts suggest that a person needs to follow the basic rules for at least ten weeks to witness some positive results. Following the diet properly will help you to shed 7 to 11 pounds depending on your BMR .
Hour Fast Benefit #: A More Youthful Appearance
In more recent times fasting has become known for its ability to turn back the biological clock. Many people who take up intermittent fasting notice dark under-eye circles disappearing and fine lines smoothing out.
These benefits may sound too good to be true, but theyre backed by science. Recent studies have shown that intermittent fasting boosts human growth hormone or HGH. Fasting for just 24 hours can boost HGH levels by 1300-2000%!
HGH is an essential hormone that helps build and repair tissues as diverse as your skin, brain, and other organs. By improving cellular turnover, HGH may help your skin look fresher and more youthful. It may also increase your bodys muscle mass, in turn making fat loss even easier.
Recommended Reading: What Can You Eat Or Drink During Intermittent Fasting
Should You Try The 1: 8 Diet
The best diet is one that you can stick with, and that means finding a plan that fits into your daily routine. If you already tend to eat dinner on the early side, the 16:8 diet could be great. But for some people, stopping eating by 6 p.m. could have a negative impact on their social livesdinner or drinks with friends could get trickier. It might impact things at home too, if your family tends to eat on the later side. People should choose the diet that best fits with their lifestyle and weight loss goals, Varady says.
On the other hand, an intermittent fasting-style diet just might feel simpler than trying to follow a more complicated eating planand that can count for a lot.The idea of having a simple rule to follow may make it easier for people to avoid any mindless eating, Peterson says. I have had some people tell me that intermittent fasting made it easier for them to eat healthfully.
Just remember: While you dont have to track your calories during your eating window, you shouldnt let things turn into a free for all. Its smarter to still eat moderately, Peterson says. Stick with mostly healthy, minimally processed foods like lean proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. As for portions? Eat until youre satisfied, not stuffed.
Botton line: Just because you don’t have to track your calories, it doesn’t mean you should let things turn into a free fall diet.
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.
Also Check: Does Fasting Cause Weight Loss
Tip #: Adjust The Length Of Your Fasting Window
- Sometimes jumping right into fasting for 16 hours straight can be too much, too fast. Thats ok! Were only human, and sometimes a gradual change works better.
- Scale back your fasting ratio to 14:10, or even 12:12. The whole point is to limit the normal number of hours youre eating food. So even cutting your usual eating window down by 2 or 3 hours at first can help pave the way for a more prolonged fasting period down the road. Make the diet work for you!
How To Get Started 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe, and surprisingly easy to get started with.
Just pick an 8-hour feeding window, eat 1-3 nourishing meals within that window, and abstain from anything except coffee and water the rest of the time.
The most popular 8-hour window is 12 pm to 8 pm. That said, 16/8 fasting is highly flexible.
You can structure it around your work schedule, workout schedule, or family time. You can eat from 12-8 on weekdays and switch things up to 8-4 or 2-10 on the weekends.
Others opt to eat between 9 am and 5 pm, which allows them to have a more standard breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. This type of circadian eating is thought to be good for digestion.
IF becomes even easier if you already skip breakfast. Youll just need to refrain from snacking or drinking calorie-containing beverages outside of your preferred 8-hour window.
Most people find that their body adjusts to 16/8 fasting within a few days, after which the fast becomes surprisingly hunger-free.
What Is 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting
Let’s start with the name “16:8 Intermittent Fasting,” which comes from how you’ll be dividing the day between a window of eight hours per day when you can eat and 16 hours per day when you’ll be fasting. During the 16-hour fast, you won’t just be abstaining from food you’ll also have to stay away from beverages that have a lot of calories, like carbonated or sugary drinks.
You can repeat the 16:8 cycle as often as you want – whether it’s once or twice a week or every day. It all depends on how intensely you want to go through with the program – a matter of personal preference.
Unlike most diets, which have stringent rules to follow, 16:8 Intermittent Fasting isn’t a nightmare to follow. It also helps that this diet can provide concrete results, even with minimal effort. The general lack of restrictions allows you to have a lot of flexibility relative to other diet plans, which is why it also works well with most, if not all, lifestyles.
On top of weight loss, 16:8 Intermittent Fasting can also help you improve your blood sugar control while developing brain functions and enhancing longevity.
When Should I Exercise
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
Also Check: What Do I Eat When Intermittent Fasting
Should I Try The 1: 8 Dietand How Do I Start
For a generally healthy person, there seems to be no harm in only eating for eight hours each day, says Hunnes.
And while more research is needed on the 16:8 diet, overall, intermittent fasting could improve cholesterol levels and brain function, and lower your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Still, youre probably best off getting a clean bill of health from your doc before embarking on this diet, Hunnes notes.
So, how can you get started with the 16:8 diet? It might be wise to gradually ease into longer periods of fasting, says Hunnes. However, she points out, the long-term weight loss benefits from the 16:8 diet werent that much greater than those youd reap if you just ate less throughout the day or switched to a more plant-based dietso you could try simply cutting back on how much youre eating or adding in more plant-based foods, too.
Its a personal choice, and everyone needs to make these choices based on their own lifestyles and ability, Hunnes says.
Some people who should not do the 16:8 diet? People with diabetes, kidney disease, or certain metabolic disorders. These conditions can alter your bodys balance, storage, and use of insulin and glucose, making the 16:8 diet a possibly unsafe choice, says Hunnes.
The bottom line: The 16:8 diet may help with weight loss, but more research is needed to draw any solid conclusions.