Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule Using The 16/8 Method
The 16/8 method of fasting relies on following a daily schedule of eating and not eating. There is no ârightâ schedule to receive maximum benefits. The best intermittent fasting schedule is one that fits easily into your life to ensure long-term commitment and success.
The best time to fast is the time of day that best fits into your schedule. It is that simple.
There are many intermittent fasting methods to choose from â Alternate Day Fasting, 5:2, OMAD, Eat Stop Eat, Prolonged Fasting, to name a few. This article will focus on the 16/8 method and choosing a schedule that is best for you.
What Can You Eat On A 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Plan
The wonderful thing about intermittent fasting is that there are no food or calorie restrictions, only time restrictions. Within the 8-hour eating window, you can eat your meals as you please. However, if you want to experience any of the benefits of intermittent fasting, it would be best to avoid junk foods.
Since there are no guidelines on what hours you should eat between when 16:8 intermittent fasting, it would be best to follow the USDAs Dietary Guidelines for Americans and eat a healthy diet. The guidelines suggest that individuals consume a diet that is rich in vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, protein, and whole grains . While also limiting added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium .
16:8 intermittent fasting is not a calorie-restrictive diet, so you should still consume your recommended daily caloric intake while you are following the fasting plan. The USDA suggests that males between the ages of 19 through 30 should eat between 2,400 to 3,000 calories per day, and females in the same age group should eat between 1,800 to 2,400 calories per day, depending on their individual caloric needs .
Dont forget to stay hydrated when you are in the fasting phase of the day. You are allowed to consume zero-calorie beverages such as water, tea, and black coffee when fasting .
Its Inappropriate For Many People
The Warrior Diet is not a way of eating that everyone should follow.
This type of intermittent fasting is inappropriate for many people, including:
Some women may be able to fast intermittently without negative effects. However, some may experience unpleasant side effects like insomnia, anxiety, missed periods and reproductive health disturbances.
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Proposed Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to weight loss, there are two thoughts behind why IF has the potential to work. The first: Periods of fasting produce a net calorie deficit, so you lose weight, explains Rekha Kumar, MD, a specialist in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYorkPresbyterian in New York City.
The other concept is more complex: This approach may prevent whats called the plateau phenomenon from happening, Dr. Kumar says.
Though more research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of IF, one of the touted benefits of this approach is that it may prevent this metabolic sputtering. Most people who try diet and exercise to lose weight tend to fall off the wagon and regain weight, Kumar says. Hormones that promote weight regain, like hunger hormones, are kicked into full gear, and the thought is that IF may be a way to prevent this metabolic adaptation from happening. The idea is that the normal periods of eating in IF trick your body into losing weight before the plateau happens.
Jennifer Aniston Said She Noticed A Big Difference When She Went On The Plan So We Ran It By Nutrition Experts
Let’s face it, we all want the Jennifer Aniston glow. Does this woman ever not look like she’s just walked out of a wellness retreat? Clearly, she knows a thing or two about health and well-being, and she’s finally sharing some of her secrets.
In an interview with UK magazine Radio Times during the promo trail for her Apple TV+ show, The Morning Show, Aniston revealed that she’s a big fan of intermittent fasting, particularly a version called the 16:8 diet.
“I do intermittent fasting, so no food in the morning. I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours,” said Aniston, per CNBC.
Aniston’s preferred way of intermittent fasting limits her eating time window to eight hours per day, while fasting for the other 16 hours, Tanya B. Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, New York-based nutritionist and registered dietitian, told Health. Other types of intermittent fasting diets include the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for two nonconsecutive days each week and eating without restrictions on the other five days. There’s also the OMADor one meal a daydiet.
Intermittent fasting is rather popular, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, there’s no prescribed calorie limit, which means no crunching numbers and relying on calorie counting guides before eating. But what else is involved in the 16:8 eating plan and similar fasts, and are they actually safe? Here’s what nutrition experts have to say.
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Concerns About 16/8 Fasting
Intermittent fasting, especially the 16/8 approach, is completely safe and beneficial. Contrary to common belief, moderate calorie restriction is a healthy practice that improves your metabolic health.
However, if youre using it to get into ketosis, it might not be enough to get you there. If your fasting goal is to enter ketosis, you also need to follow a keto diet.
How Many Calories To Eat During 16/8
Now, knowing how many calories to eat during intermittent fasting 16/8 can be a little tricky because it is going to depend on your sex, age, height, weight, and activity level.
If you need help calculating this, there are many websites available that can help you like this one here. If you have additional questions, you may want to consult your primary care physician or a registered dietitian .
Regardless of you trying the 16/8 for weight loss or to improve your overall health, we recommend you dont decrease your caloric intake to an amount below what your body needs. The reason for this is that you can still lose weight through intermittent fasting and because entering into a calorie deficit for too long can have some negative health consequences.
To elaborate, restricting calories can cause you to lose muscle mass. This will reflect a lower number when you step on the scale, but this isnt good news. Losing muscle mass can hurt your weight loss goals long-term because muscles burn a lot of calories. This means that the less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories you are going to burn each daythis also means you will need to eat less calories each day, which becomes difficult to sustain long-term.
Another reason to not decrease your caloric intake is because when you do this for a long time, your body learns to adapt. This means that your body will actually conserve energy and burn less calories each day. This is why people often plateau when they cut calories.
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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.
How To Successfully Do The : 4 Intermittent Fast
The Warrior Diet plan involves fasting for 20 hours during the day followed by overeating in a 4-hour window at night.
For example, you may set your feeding window at 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. During this time you can eat as much as you want with an emphasis on unprocessed, organic whole foods particularly those high in dietary fats and protein.
After 10:00 pm, you fast or eat very small portions of specific foods such as raw fruit and vegetables until 6:00 pm the next day. Its important youre eating as fewer calories as possible during this time.
The method is best suited for people who have tried intermittent fasting before or who already consume a low-carb/ketogenic diet.
Hofmekler recommends you follow a three-week, three-phase plan initially before starting the Warrior Diet. This helps the body adapt to the eating and fasting schedule and become accustomed to using body fat as energy. This three-week introduction includes:
Once you have completed the three-phase diet, it is recommended you start it again before following the 20:4 guidelines.
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Cons Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one way to regulate your calorie intake and work toward improving your metabolic health.
Though the eating pattern can certainly be part of a healthy diet, it will likely take some adjusting to in the beginning. Plus, simply put, intermittent fasting is not right for everyone.
Here are a few downsides you could encounter when first trying intermittent fasting.
It May Be Difficult For Some People To Stick To
One of the most obvious limitations of the Warrior Diet is that it restricts the time during which you may eat substantial meals to a four-hour period.
This can be difficult to stick to, especially when participating in normal social activities like going out to breakfast or lunch.
While some people may feel great when consuming very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, others may find that this way of eating is not ideal for their lifestyle.
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Weight Loss And Difference In Body Composition
The 16:8 diet has become a favored weight loss program among dieters, and for a good reason.
There is evidence that intermittent fasting may help you lose weight and boost your metabolism .
It does this in two ways:
First, fasting makes you eat fewer meals, resulting in decreased calorie intake and food consumption.
In general, individuals practicing the 16:8 fast skip breakfast and stop eating at a set time.
Therefore, unless you overcompensate by eating much more during meals, you end up consuming fewer calories during the limited 8-hour timeframe.
Additionally, your body also adjusts hormone levels during a fast to make fat stores more accessible .
Basically, when your body is cut off from its preferred sources of energy, namely glucose and glycogen reserves, it will adapt to start burning fat as its primary source of fuel.
This means that you are not only losing pounds, but a portion of that weight loss will come from body fat storage.
Intermittent Fasting And Ketosis
One of the best things about fasting is that it can help you get into ketosis faster.
The two are related for a few reasons:
So, is intermittent fasting 16/8 guaranteed to get you into ketosis? No, but it can help get you there if you do it along with a keto diet.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
- Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After The Biggest Loser Competition. Obesity. August 2016.
- Varady KA, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, et al. Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition. October 2021.
- Gabel K, Hoddy KK, Haggerty N, et al. Effects of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight and Metabolic Disease Risk Factors in Obese Adults: A Pilot Study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging. June 2018.
- Catterson JH, Khericha M, Dyson MC, et al. Short-Term, Intermittent Fasting Induces Long-Lasting Gut Health and TOR-Independent Lifespan Extension. Current Biology. June 2018.
- De Cabo R, Mattson MP. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. December 26, 2019.
How To Plan Your 1: 8 Fasting Schedule
So, what 16:8 fasting schedule will suit you best? No matter when you choose to fast, it should include your sleep hours. To determine what hours are best for you, ask yourself:
- Which meal is essential to me?
- How do I feel if I miss this meal, or if its late or early?
- What part of the day do I feel most hungry?
Try to schedule your fasting period when you tend to be less hungry and least likely to eat otherwise, you might break your fast too early or overeat during your eating window.
Once youve identified the most vital part of your day for your eating window, choose what time you want your window to begin and end. For instance, if youre going to skip breakfast or eat a late breakfast and early dinner, you might set your eating window from 11 am to 7 pm. And if you cant start your day without breakfast, you might choose to eat from 9 am to 5 pm.
Simply put, pick start and end times that work best for you and stick to them. Youll feel better if you follow a set schedule, and youll be more likely to stick to your fasting plan.
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But What If You Have Fat To Lose
If youre a teenager but have extra body fat to lose, is it still okay to use intermittent fasting and a calorie deficit?
Yes! In fact, I think intermittent fasting for a teenage diet is a great solution for losing excess body fat.
Heres how you should look at things
Theres no reason you shouldnt take charge of your life and improve your body and overall health at a young age.
Being overweight as a teenager is probably going to do more damage than a slight calorie deficit and fasting.
And not just physically, but mentally too. Growing up as an overweight teenager can be tough!
Sure, the latter example of eating however much you want for lunch and dinner while lifting weights may work for some teenagers.
But if youre dealing with weight issues, youre better off doing something about it now and building those new good habits as soon as possible.
And the only way to lose fat is to be in a calorie deficit. If this is your situation, still make sure you are sticking to wholesome foods and not going any further than a moderate calorie deficit and taking things slow and controlled.
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Drawbacks Of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Even though 16/8 intermittent fasting has been linked to several health gains, it is still not free from a few drawbacks and may not be suitable for everybody.
Begin your fasting routine little by little, and if you have any issues or suffer adverse symptoms, consider quitting or consulting your physician.
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Is Not For Everybody
Its important to note intermittent fasting including the 16:8, is not for everyone. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years old, you should not fast. Its also not for you if you are underweight or have a history of an eating disorder or disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting or short-term calorie restriction may also not be suitable for those with depression or anxiety or who have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or low blood pressure. If you are taking any prescribed medications, it is recommended you speak with a health professional before you try any fasting method.
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