What Is The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a form of intermittent fasting where you break the day into two parts: a 16-hour fasting period and an 8-hour period where you consume all your calories.
The 16:8 stems from the 8-Hour Diet book by author David Zinczenko and Peter Moore , former editor-in-chief of Men’s Health. The two created the plan off the back of the popular 5:2 diet, with the main difference being the longer fasting time between eating sessions. This, they say, gives the body the time it needs to process food and burn away extra fat.
The 8-Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore –
Suzie Sawyer , founder of Nutrition Lifestyle, says, “There are no restrictions on the types or amounts of food that a person can eat during the 8-hour window. This flexibility makes the plan relatively easy to follow.”
Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting: Next Steps
Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.
Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results. The ONLY way to find out is through a conversation with your doctor and self-experimentation.
There are multiple ways to do an Intermittent Fasting Plan:
- Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
- Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then dont eat again until dinner the following day.
- Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work. Simply skip a meal whenever its convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast. Busy day at work? Skip lunch. Eat poorly all day Saturday? Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.
After that, get started! Take photos, step on the scale, and track your progress for the next month.
See how your body responds.
See how your physique changes. See how your workouts change.
And then decide if its something you want to keep doing!
4 years later, I have no plans on going back to eating breakfast. Sorry General Mills and Dr. Kellogg!
If youre worried about all of this stuff, or arent sure when to eat and stop eating, try out our new app!
How To Get Started
Getting started is simple.
In fact, chances are youve already done many intermittent fasts before. Many people instinctively eat this way, skipping morning or evening meals.
The easiest way to get started is to choose one of the intermittent fasting methods above and give it a go.
However, you dont need to necessarily follow a structured plan.
An alternative is to fast whenever it suits you. Skipping meals from time to time when you dont feel hungry or dont have time to cook can work for some people.
At the end of the day, it doesnt matter which type of fast you choose. The most important thing is to find a method that works best for you and your lifestyle.
The easy way to get started is to choose one of the methods above and give it a go. Stop immediately if you experience any adverse effects.
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Tips And Tricks About Fasting
#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.
If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!
Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.
#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.
Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?
#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.
And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.
#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.
#7) Track your results, listen to your body:
This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.
Figure Out A Meal Plan
A person interested in losing or gaining weight may find it helpful to plan what they are going to eat during the day or week.
Meal planning does not need to be overly restrictive. It considers calorie intake and incorporating proper nutrients into the diet. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the MyPlatePlan, which focuses on showing a person food group targets for each day.
Meal planning offers many benefits, such as helping a person stick to their calorie count and ensuring they have the necessary ingredients on hand for recipes, quick meals, and snacks. As a potential bonus, meal planning could save money if it helps people waste less food.
Not all calories are the same. Although these fasting methods do not limit the number of calories a person consumes during eating periods, it is essential to consider the nutritional value of the food.
In general, a person should aim to consume nutrient-dense foods, or foods with a
- 2018 review of studies , calorie restriction and intermittent fasting can help the body activate a healing process called 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 because obtaining food was difficult. The human body adapted to this style of eating, allowing extended periods to pass between food intake times.
Research also suggests that fasting has a variety of other benefits.
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How Can I Fast If I Work The Night Shift
We recommend fasting through your shift and having your meals at home. Eat at home before you go to your night shift. While you work, use bone broth or coffee while you adjust. When you get off in the morning, have your breakfast at home and go to sleep. This way you get in 12 hours of fasting and avoid eating during the night when digestion is slowest. Another alternative is going to sleep immediately after you get home. When you wake up, have your first meal and eat again before your night shift.
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.
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Intermittent Fasting May Affect Men And Women Differently
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men.
One study showed that blood sugar control actually worsened in women after three weeks of intermittent fasting, which was not the case in men .
There are also many anecdotal stories of women who have experienced changes to their menstrual cycles after starting intermittent fasting.
Such shifts occur because female bodies are extremely sensitive to calorie restriction.
When calorie intake is low such as from fasting for too long or too frequently a small part of the brain called the hypothalamus is affected.
This can disrupt the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone , a hormone that helps release two reproductive hormones: luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone (
For these reasons, women should consider a modified approach to intermittent fasting, such as shorter fasting periods and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. To reduce any adverse effects, women should take a mild approach to fasting: shorter fasts and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting not only benefits your waistline but may also lower your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases.
You Cant Exercise Your Way Out Of An Unhealthy Diet
- New research finds you cant outrun the effect of a poor diet by simply exercising more.
- Regular physical activity and good dietary habits go hand in hand when it comes to your long-term health and longevity.
- Physical activity and diet also play a major role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
Youve likely heard the phrase You cant out-train a bad diet.
This phrase suggests that, when it comes to calories, its difficult if not impossible to create a calorie deficit through exercise when youre eating poorly.
However, according to a new study, it appears this phrase rings true in another sense too: Your mortality risk.
According to new research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, high levels of physical activity do not counteract the detrimental effects of a poor diet on mortality risk.
A study conducted at The University of Sydney found that participants who had both high levels of physical activity and a high-quality diet had the lowest risk of death.
Compared to physically inactive participants with poor diets, those who had the highest physical activity and a high-quality diet had a mortality risk that was reduced by 17% from all causes.
They also had a 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and 27% percent from certain cancers.
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Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Its true that 16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe, and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced diet rich in whole foods. Plus, you can still be perfectly healthy if you dont follow intermittent fasting.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for healthy adults, you should talk with your doctor 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 likewise discouraged if youre trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing.
If you have any concerns or experience any side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
What Happens During Intermittent Fasting
Dr Nirusa Kumaran, Medical Director and Founder of Elemental Health Clinic , told Live Science: One main method by which intermittent fasting can help is by driving a process called ketosis. Ketosis is where our body burns ketones instead of glucose for energy. There have been reported health benefits of going into ketosis such as improving metabolism and reducing inflammation.
Ketosis has been shown to have a positive trend in weight loss and reversal of cardiometabolic syndrome, according to one study in Current Nutritional Reports . As well as fasting, the state of ketosis can be triggered by the keto diet a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.
Ketosis is just one of the changes that happens to the body while intermittent fasting. Kumaran adds: Other changes that occur in the body include increased levels of growth hormone which can help with fat loss and muscle gain, improved insulin sensitivity, meaning your blood sugar gets processed quickly and stored fat can be burned for energy, and cell repair mitochondria and cells are shown to repair themselves through a process called autophagy, where effectively damaged cells are removed and replaced with new cells.
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Works Well With A Nutritious Whole Foods Diet
Because intermittent fasting is focused more on when rather than what you eat, its generally easy to implement in conjunction with your current diet.
You wont necessarily need to buy any special foods or diverge much from what you typically eat.
If youre already content with the state of your current diet but looking for other ways to continue boosting your overall health, fasting might be something you want to explore.
For example, intermittent fasting might work particularly well for someone who wants to pair it with a resistance training program and a high protein diet .
Still, this isnt meant to imply that what you eat doesnt matter. Theres no doubt that youll reap the most benefits from intermittent fasting by eating a variety of nutritious foods and limiting ultra-processed foods during your eating window.
Intermittent fasting is often used to manage weight and metabolic health. The eating routine might help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood fat levels. For some people, it also works as part of a healthy long-term diet pattern.
What To Eat On An Intermittent Fasting Plan
Now that you know how to do intermittent fasting, its time to talk about what you should eat on your fasting days. Whats important is that you keep your calorie intake low but still eat healthily.
Calorie restriction is going to be part of any weight loss plan that actually works. Even on your nonfasting days, you still need to maintain a balanced diet.
Some good options include:
lean protein such as fish, chicken, or tofu
fruits and vegetables
whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice
low-fat dairy products
nuts and seeds
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Find Ways To Fill Up That Still Keep You In A Fasted State
The Spruce / Cara Cormack
On the days when I am feeling a bit hungry first thing I turn to coconut MCT oil. Its a fractionated coconut oil that I add to my otherwise black coffee, and while it is high in calories , it is full of special kinds of fatty acids, which means my body can still do its insulin regulating magic. MCT oils or keto coffee turns my fast into a fat fast.
After I drink my butterball coffee, I continue my water consumption, and log into work to look at pretty pictures of food all day. I have even gone until 1pm without realizing its lunch time. My energy level and mood is fantastic and my brain is clear. This fatty fast hack is my go-to for busy work days.
Tips For The Best Results
There are many ways you can boost your results with intermittent fasting. Depending on which method you choose, here are the top tips for excelling your results:
- Avoid sugars and grains: Instead of sugary foods and grains, eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Avoid snacking by pre-occupying your mind: Snacking is best to avoid. Try and be active during periods you feel you want a snack to build muscle tone and keep your mind active.
- Start with an easy intermittent fasting method: Test out the more simple, less restrictive and easy to follow fasting methods before easing into the longer fasts.
- Avoid eating at night time: The digestive system has to work extra hard to burn food overnight whilst its resting. Try to avoid eating after 8.p.m to let your gut rest and not overwork.
With those tips in mind to achieve the best results, lets take a look at the pros and cons of intermittent fasting:
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Whats Important Is That You Find A Way That Works Best For You
It can be difficult to schedule your eating window when youre intermittent fasting, but there are a few times of day that work well for most people:
in the afternoon
These are just general guidelines, though. You may find that you prefer to eat later in the evening or earlier in the morning.
Whats important is that you find a time of day that works best for you and stick to it as much as possible.
How Quickly Will I Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
The amount and rate of weight loss people achieve with intermittent fasting depends on various factors, including their eating habits and current weight. With alternate day water fasting and the 5:2 overweight and obese individuals typically lose up to 8% of their body weight in 12 weeks.
You may experience slower weight loss with daily time-restricted eating , but if you increase your protein, fruit, vegetable, fiber, and plant fat intake and reduce your carbohydrate intake, even just at some meals, youll probably see more rapid weight loss. Some people also find that early time-restricted eating stops their late-night empty calorie intake, which can help a lot with both weight loss and metabolic health.
The important thing to remember is that fasting has benefits beyond weight loss, including better sleep, better blood glucose control, lowered insulin levels and greater cellular recycling. Learn more about the weight loss and other benefits of fasting here.
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