Benefits Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting is a popular diet because its easy to follow, flexible and sustainable in the long term.
Its also convenient, as it can cut down on the amount of time and money you need to spend on cooking and preparing food each week.
In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting has been associated with a long list of benefits, including:
- Increased weight loss: Not only does restricting your intake to a few hours per day help cut calories over the course of the day, but studies also show that fasting could boost metabolism and increase weight loss (
16/8 intermittent fasting is easy to follow, flexible and convenient. Animal and human studies suggest that it may increase weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, enhance brain function and extend longevity.
What Is The : 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a type of intermittent fasting where you break each day into two parts a 16 hour stretch and an 8 hour period. For 16 hours every day, you consume nothing but water, coffee, tea and other unsweetened drinks. Then for the other eight hours of the day, you can eat all your meals and snacks.
The 16 hour stretch sounds like a long time, but if youre getting enough sleep, you should be asleep for about half of that time.
Sports Scientist Harry Aitken tells GoodtoKnow, Intermittent fasting is a dietary technique in which all food is consumed within a relatively small window of time. Fasting is going for a significant period of time without eating, and intermittent fasting simply brings in a small window of time where you are able to eat.
Intermittent fasting has been popularised and studies have gone on to confirm that it leads to weight loss and fat loss.
The 16:8 diet stems from the book 8 Hour Diet by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who suggested that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away extra fat.
Organic Chicken With Skin
It is no secret that chicken is suitable for most people.
If you eat it with skin, it also provides collagen, which the body needs for skin, hair, muscles, and joints.
In addition to a proven protein source, it can also be used as chicken soup, ideal for breaking more extended periods of therapeutic fasting.
Furthermore, chicken provides vitamins and minerals such as :
- Vitamin B6
Also Check: What Can I Drink While Fasting
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.
S Man: Pick Your Wait Class
Weve given you the lowdown on IF before, but heres a little refresher for the new students in class.
While the foods above will give you the most obvious benefits from the diet, its the fasting part of IF that provides the oomph.
There are loads of IF plans, but most focus on fasting for a certain number of hours in the day or days of the week.
Heres a breakdown of the most popular IF models:
- The 12:12 method: Fast for 12 hours a day and eat within a 12-hour window. If you eat your last meal at 7 p.m. and have breakfast the next morning at 7 a.m., congratulations, youre already an IF pro.
- The 20:4 method: Fast for a full 20 hours and allow yourself one 4-hour window to eat.
- The 16:8 method: Eat your daily food within an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
- The 5:2 method: Eat whatever you want for 5 days out of the week. For the other 2 days, men can consume 600 calories, while women can consume 500 calories.
IF isnt the only way to lose weight, and like any other method, it comes with some risks and downsides.
There are risks to IF, such as tiredness, irritability, and headaches. Dehydration is also possible if you dont drink enough water during fasting periods.
The fasting/feasting routine is also potentially unrealistic in the long term and may lead to binge eating during feasting periods, which wont support any weight management goals.
Its best to talk to a dietitian or nutritionist before embarking on IF its not for everyone.
Stress Reduction As The Cure To Mindless Snacking
Snacking, which is often mindless, is one example of how eating can get out of control when youre not paying attention. Snacking is more often than not a result of boredom, stress or emotional eating, versus real hunger.
While healthy short-term responses to stress actually shut down your appetite by releasing epinephrine, a stress response adrenaline hormone, long-term stress does the opposite. Stress over time releases the hormone cortisol, which triggers eating. These days, its all too easy to remain in a state of long-term cortisol elevation, as stress accumulates and remains persistent.
Both mindfulness and exercise help discharge and release stress, preventing the hunger response from occurring. When you find yourself in a stressed-out state, mindfulness can prevent you from reaching for the worst of the comfort foods.
Studies suggest that when you are stressed, youre far more likely to reach for food thats high in sugars. Of course, stress also causes you to lose sleep, skip your workout and drink more, each of which contributes to even greater weight gain.
If youre wondering how to deal with hunger while fasting, reducing the stress in your life is a good place to start.
Tips Hints And Things To Keep In Mind
When you are on a fasting diet for religious, spiritual or health reasons, there is usually some leeway allowed. This is not true if you are required to fast before a medical procedure. According to the anesthesia experts at the University of California, Irvine, the reason you must fast before any procedure involving an anesthetic is to keep you from aspirating the contents of your stomach. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to undergo the procedure with a completely empty stomach.
Avoid all solid foods for at least eight hours before your procedure and all clear liquids for at least two. If you are pregnant, have diabetes or any other issues with blood sugar, consult your physician before starting any type of fast.
If you are fasting for weight loss, keep in mind that your initial loss will be mostly water. This is especially true if your normal diet involves a lot of simple carbohydrates and salt. Starchy carbs bind with water when they are stored in your body. Salt also causes you to retain water, so keep an eye on how much salt you take in during and after your fast.
It is best to avoid alcohol when you’re on any type of fast. Not only is alcohol pure sugar, but because it suppresses inhibitions, impairs your judgment and encourages cravings for salty, fatty foods, you might find yourself fasting successfully for one day and then eating everything in the refrigerator with extra cheese on top after a cocktail or two.
Read Also: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Window
Coffee During Intermittent Fasting
While black coffee is permitted during IF, a popular way to break the fast is with Bulletproof Coffee. Its made with high-quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil for a brain-boosting beverage that gives you energy and an excellent source of healthy fats.
You may be thinking- hold up! Whats MCT oil?? Butter in coffee?? Yes, its not your typical first cup, so lets discuss the benefits of Bullet Proof Coffee:
First, MCT oil, better known as brain octane oil, is a caprylic fatty acid-containing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find it in coconut oil, but Brain Octane oil is 18 times stronger!
When it comes to butter, grass-fed is the best choice. Its higher in Omega-3s, beta carotene, vitamins, and it tastes better. It also gives the coffee a creamy, golden texture and taste after my first sip, I was sold.
In it, youll get a full 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what foods to enjoy during your eating windows, every day of the week. Learn more here and purchase the book here.
How Cooking Methods May Affect Meats Carcinogenic Effects
Meat may be detrimental to your health if you cook and prepare it in certain ways.
High temperatures used to cook meat, especially red meat, have been linked to the formation of cancer-causing compounds.
As meats cook at scorching temperatures, their fats seep out and accumulate on the hot cooking surface. In the process, toxic compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed. PAHs may collect in the meat and build up over time (
Don’t Miss: Does Intermittent Fasting Burn Fat
From : 2 To 1: 8 Do Intermittent Fasting Diets Work And What Are The Challenges
By Kate Midena for Catalyst
Samantha Roberts is three weeks in to a six-week fasting experiment, and she’s tired.
She’s hungry, she hasn’t been sleeping well, and she hasn’t lost any weight.
“I feel like I’m trying to change, but I don’t think I’m changing for the better,” she says.
“I think I’m meaner. I think I’m shorter with people. I’m not as happy as I used to be.”
Samantha’s experience is not uncommon many diets bring with them moments of hopelessness and frustration, especially when you’re required to overhaul ingrained habits.
Under the guidance of dietitian Joanna McMillan and an expert team, Samantha is one of five people participating in a Catalyst fasting experiment, looking at intermittent fasting’s impact on weight loss, ageing, gut bacteria, and metabolic health.
She is doing the 16:8 plan.
“I don’t eat from 8 o’clock at night till 12 midday the day after, so I fast for 16 hours,” Samantha explains.
“Mornings I have black coffee, I’m allowed black coffee, black tea. But just no food.
“I’m getting there maybe I didn’t realise what I was getting myself in for.”
Top 6 Questions About Intermittent Fasting
1) Wont I get really hungry if I start skipping meals?
As explained above, this can be a result of the habits you have built for your body. If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.
After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that its only eating a few times a day. The more overweight you are, and the more often you eat, the more of an initial struggle this might be.
Remember, your bodys physical and cognitive abilities most likley wont be diminished as a result of short term fasting.
2) Where will I get my energy for my workouts? Wont I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?
This was a major concern of mine as well, but the research says otherwise: Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation.
In other words, when you train in a fasted state, your body can get better at burning fat for energy when there are no carbs to pull from!
Ill share some of my experiences, now doing heavy strength training for 3 years in a fasted state:
Here I am pulling 420 lbs. at 172 BW after a 16 hour fast:
A post shared by Steve Kamb on Nov 21, 2018 at 10:43am PST
LeanGains digs into various options here, but here is really what you need to know:
4) Wont fasting cause muscle loss?
Eating Junk While Intermittent Fasting
Since highly processed foods not only raise blood sugar and insulin levels but also have a severe pro-inflammatory effect, you should avoid them during intermittent fasting .
Therefore, this one also applies to intermittent fasting:
Eat real food, such as on the previous list!
Correspondingly inadequate nutrition during the eating periods can destroy the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Thus, do not trust any food in colorful packaging and read the labels thoroughly before you seriously consider eating these garbage foods:
- Ready Meals
- Fast food
If you have one of these foods on your meal plan, you wont get any results, even with intermittent fasting.
Low Calorie Food And Drink
Certain fasting diets, such as the modified fasting plan, allow people to eat a limited amount of calories on fast days, often up to 25% of their usual daily caloric intake.
For example, a person requiring 2,000 calories per day could consume up to 500 calories daily if they follow this method.
Some examples of lower calorie food and drinks include:
Questions About How To Start Intermittent Fasting
Let’s get started with some questions about what intermittent fasting is, common mistakes that people make, and how to get started properly
I’ve been following the Paleo diet for the last 2 months and I am getting interested in trying an intermittent fasting protocol. Should I wait longer before starting a protocol? Or is it advisable to jump into one, being that it’s been a relatively short period of time with the new diet?Chris P.
This is a good question to start with.
As Chris said, there are different styles of intermittent fasting. So, the first step is deciding which one to do. To make it easy for you, I broke down the major types of intermittent fasting and how to do them in the beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
Personally, I do a daily fast where I eat all of my meals in an 8hour window and then spend the rest of the day and night fasting.
That said, it’s important to note that intermittent fasting isn’t a diet. It’s simply a schedule for eating. Or to put it another way, intermittent fasting is about when you eat, not what you eat. Of course, you’ll probably see better results if you’re eating a diet of real, unprocessed foods in addition to intermittent fasting.
This brings me to the second part of Chris’ question. If you feel comfortable with your diet , then I see no reason to wait to start intermittent fasting.
Have you had any experience with skipping breakfast, but still having coffee in the morning?Darius B.
Can I have tea during my fast?My Mom
How To Get Started
16/8 intermittent fasting is simple, safe and sustainable.
To get started, begin by picking an eight-hour window and limit your food intake to that time span.
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., as this means youll only need to fast 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 normal lunch around noon and a light early dinner or snack around 4 p.m. before starting your fast.
However, you can experiment and pick the time frame that best fits your schedule.
Additionally, 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: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, peaches, pears, etc.
- Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc.
- Whole grains: Quinoa, rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados and coconut oil
- Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drinking calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee, even while fasting, can also help control your appetite while keeping you hydrated.
Level Of Effort: Medium
Cooking and shopping: Youll cook or eat as usual on off days, and with a very restricted menu on fasting days. The book provides a months worth of fasting day menus and recipes.
Packaged foods or meals: No.
In-person meetings: No.