The Upshot: Is 16/8 Fasting Right For You
While far from being a required part of a healthy diet, 16/8 intermittent fasting is a safe and workable eating approach for many adults. Research on the possible health perks of time-restricted eating is still emerging, but early evidence hints at some benefit in areas such as weight loss, blood pressure, and cholesterol. If you want to give 16/8 fasting a try, experts recommend using your eating window to enjoy a wide variety of whole, nutritious foods.
Alice Oglethorpe is a freelance journalist in Chicago. Her writing has appeared in Real Simple, O The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Mens Health, Self, Shape, Fitness, Better Homes and Gardens, and many other publications.
Medical Reasons Not To Do Intermittent Fasting:
There are a few reasons intermittent fasting may not be the best method to lose weight. As in any other diet certain individuals do well and others do not. In this diet there are more common reasons to avoid IF including these situations: diabetes, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and women trying to conceive or breast feeding.
The diaphragm below shows the blood ketones during a fast and the elevation in ketones by adding MCT oils compared to no MCT oils. Note below the minimal ketosis without fasting, the increasing Ketosis with overnight fasting and the elevated and prolongation of the ketosis when adding MCT oil at night and in the morning.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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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.
What Foods To Avoid During 14/10 Intermittent Fasting
Sometimes weight loss depends not as much on what you consume, but on what you should avoid. Its not a secret that certain types of food can make you put on weight and harm your health. To avoid that and to reach your goal more effectively, you should decrease to the minimum your consumption of the following foods and components:
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The Ketogenic Diet Keeps You Satisfied
Another great perk of the keto diet is its high level of satiety.
Not only does ketosis itself tend to stifle hunger, but the high level of healthy fat in the keto diet also makes it much easier to stay satisfied in a fasted state and eliminates those intense feelings of hunger and cravings throughout the day.
This is perfect for someone doing intermittent fasting.
Is Intermittent Fasting 1: 10 Beneficial
Any type of fasting is more beneficial than eating throughout the day and night.
Availability of food and changing lifestyle has made it possible for us to eat anytime we want. This can cause an excess of calories, which ultimately leads to weight gain.
There are several benefits of intermittent fasting 14:10, such as:
- It is easier to do. If you sleep 7 hours each day, doing intermittent fasting 14:10 requires only 7 extra hours of fasting. This certainly looks more attainable, as it has little impact on your daily schedule and social life.
- Nightly fasting for 13 hours or more reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
- If you want to level up to the 16:8 method or 24-fasts, intermittent fasting 14:10 can be an excellent starting point.
- Because it has an eating window of 10 hours, you will be less likely to experience common side effects, such as hunger pangs, headaches, and increased irritability. Even if you experience some, they will be less severe and more manageable.
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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.
The Realities Of A Fasting Diet
In the first six weeks, Samantha finds it’s sometimes hard to incorporate the changes into her grocery shop, even though she has meal plans and expert advice.
“I’m just trying to manage everything,” she says.
“To make sure I’ve shopped, to make sure I’ve got enough vegetables, to make sure I’ve got enough plant-based stuff.
” to be really organised I have never spent this much time in my kitchen. I’m always cleaning the kitchen ’cause I’m making so much stuff.
“It’s a whole lifestyle change.”
On the 16:8, another challenge Samantha faces is waiting until midday to eat.
“There’s no talk about food, it’s banned. Till 12 o’clock,” she says.
“It’s quite hard hitting I think, more than I thought it would be. If I’m up at 5.30, it’s six-and-a-half hours with no food. It’s a long time.
“From 12, I’ll try and have some eggs. And then at like 1, I’ll try to have lunch, and then I’ll have fruit a lot more.”
One thing she has to watch is “panic eating” in the minutes before 8:00pm.
“I think I have a personality, if somebody says you can’t have that water, then I want it even more. I think my personality is like that, but I think it’s a sense of panic,” Samantha says.
“, ‘What else am I going to cram in before 8 o’clock?’.
“The worst thing is, I actually don’t feel like I need something else to eat, but I’m eating it because if I don’t, I’m not going to eat until tomorrow again.”
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What Is Intermittent Fasting And Why Would You Do It
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesnt change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
Why is it worthwhile to change when youre eating?
Well, most notably, its a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.
With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment.
Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.
How I Feel After 2 Years Of Intermittent Fasting
1. The biggest benefit of intermittent fasting is simplicity.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, President Obama described an interesting strategy he uses to make his life simpler. Youll see I wear only gray or blue suits, he said. Im trying to pare down decisions. I dont want to make decisions about what Im eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.
What President Obama is referring to is a concept called decision fatigue and it can drastically impact your ability to make decisions throughout the day. I explained the science of decision fatigue in this article.
For the President, simplifying his clothing choices is a way to make life simpler and improve his decision making abilities. For me, intermittent fasting provides the same benefit. Eliminating breakfast and not thinking about food until 12pm each day has allowed me to reduce the number of decisions I make in the morning, thus reducing decision fatigue and increasing the willpower I have for the rest of the day. That means I have more energy to put toward doing work that is important to me.
One of the best ways to find happiness and success in life is to strip away the unnecessary things and focus only on what is needed.
2. Intermittent fasting is an excellent travel strategy.
The solution? Treat your travel days as a fasting day and then eat twice as much good food the following day.
3. So far, intermittent fasting has not hurt my long-term health.
Foods List And Meal Plan
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 helps round out your diet and supports a healthy weight. Try balancing each meal with a wide variety of whole foods, such as:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, etc.
- Veggies: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, etc.
- Whole grains: barley, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, oats, etc.
- Healthy fats: olive oil and avocados
- Protein sources: eggs, fish, legumes, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, also helps control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Its best to avoid ultra-processed foods like packaged snacks, deep-fried items, sugary drinks, and most frozen meals. These negate the positive effects of 16/8 intermittent fasting and may harm your health.
To begin 16/8 intermittent fasting, choose an 8-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span. Be sure to follow a balanced diet based in whole foods.
Animal and human studies suggest that intermittent fasting may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, and extend longevity.
How To Get Started
For starters, Greaves says she does not recommend IF to women who aren’t sleeping enough, don’t eat enough or don’t eat consistently, have irregular or absent cycles, experience thyroid issues, have a history of current or past disordered eating, are under a lot of stress or have blood sugar issues. “I’m an advocate for eating consistently which is a really supportive way to reduce stress on the body and balance blood sugar.” Studies are lacking on long-term adherence to intermittent fasting.
If you have the go ahead from your doctor or dietitian, start slow. “Some studies have shown that fasting for just 12 to 14 hours overnight can yield metabolic benefits, so it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to fast for 16 or 18 hours to experience the benefits,” emphasizes Greaves.
We recommend starting with the time-restricted method versus the 5:2, which restricts calories two days per week, and sets people up to overeat the other days.
First, count how many hours you currently go from when you stop eating at night to when you start eating the next day. Consider extending your fast by one hour to start, then increase by two hours, etc. Time-restricted IF has no calorie restrictions. We recommend eating three balanced meals with protein, high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fats, spaced evenly throughout the eating window .
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What Exactly Is The 1: 8 Diet
Its pretty simple. Basically, during your 16-hour “fasting” period, you limit yourself to black tea, coffee, or diet soda. Then, for the next eight hours, you can eat whatever you want . That’s it.
Scientifically, at least, the 16:8 diet seems to check out. In a recent study published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging, 23 obese men and women followed the 16:8 diet for 12 weeks. Compared to a group that ate normally, those on the 16:8 diet took in 350 fewer calories per day, lost a modest amount of weight , and lowered their blood pressure.
But, keep in mind: This was a small study and few others have examined the 16:8 diet specifically, so its tough to draw any firm conclusions just yet. More research needs to be conducted before we can see if and how it can be implemented into an actual plan effectively, confirms Beth Warren, RDN, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl.
Still, other types of intermittent fasting show promise. The 5:2 diet, for example , resulted in more weight and fat loss compared to day-to-day calorie restriction in a 2017 study in the International Journal of Obesity.
Does Skipping Meals And Intermittent Fasting Lead To Lower Metabolism Intermittent Fasting Vs Breakfast Skippers
Older research suggested that IF leads to decreases in metabolism and frequent smaller meals could increase metabolism. However, this has not proven to be true. The research on metabolic rate is remarkably conclusive: Energy expenditure is dependent on the total intake of calories over the day and very little is due to macro-nutrient changes and frequency of meals. Webber and Macdonald studied the metabolic effects of fasting for 12, 36 and 72 h in 29 participants and found no changes in their metabolic rate. Indeed, the weight gain often observed in regular breakfast skippers is due the fact that these individual often consume more calories latter in the day and thus overall food intake is actually increased.
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When Can I Eat On The 1: 8 Diet
You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day. So, for example it could be between 10am 6pm or 11am 8pm and so on. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, although because of the benefits of drinking water you are also encouraged to stay as hydrated as possible.
Most people choose to fast through the night, and opt to eat their first meal at about 11am or in the middle of the day.
Tom says, The most common hours adopted for the eating period is 12 till 8pm. The reason for this is because people arent normally that hungry in the morning, you dont want to be consuming too many calories during the evening and this allows us to eat our lunch and dinner as well as a healthy snack.
The 16/8 Fasting Meal Plan
The 16/8 method involves skipping breakfast and restricting eating to 8 hours, so you can eat from noon-8 pm and fast for the next 16 hours.
If you usually skip breakfast, this will be the easiest method. Another example is to stop eating at 9 pm and start again at 1 pm the following day.
During that 8-hour window is when you may eat 2-3 meals .
If youre new to IF, it’s recommended that you start with the 16/8. Your 8-hour eating window can be 9 am-5 pm, or 10-am-6pm, or 11 am-7 pm. You can always experiment with different timeslots to see which one fits your biology, schedule, and lifestyle.
16/8 Fasting Schedule
- 7:30 AM – drink lemon water
- Skip breakfast
- 3:00 PM have a snack
- 8:00 PM– have dinner
- Fast for 16 hours
Ideas for Meal Options During the 16/8 Fasting Plan
Sprouts, Chicken, Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Teriyaki Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
Hummus and Raw Veggie Sticks
Asian Fried “Noodles”
Source: 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Plan from Fitwirr
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Choosing A Time Window
To get started, begin by picking an 8-hour window and limiting your food intake to that time span.
Popular 16/8 time windows include:
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., since you need to fast only overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.
Others opt to eat between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., which allows plenty of time for a healthy breakfast around 9 a.m., a standard lunch around noon, and a light, early dinner or large snack around 4:30 p.m. before starting your fast.
However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.
It may help to set timers at both the beginning and the end of your eating window to remind you when to start and stop eating.