/8 Intermittent Fasting Method: What Is It How To Start Fasting For 16 Hours A Day And Is It Good For Weight Loss
The 16/8 intermittent fasting method or also called the 16:8 diet is one of the most popular fasting styles today. People who practice this type of fasting claim that this is an easy and sustainable way to improve overall health and lose weight.
If youre a beginner with fasting and want to learn more about this eating pattern, you are at the right place.
In this article, you will find out what is 16/8 intermittent fasting, how to start fasting for 16 hours a day, benefits, and potential risks.
Also, if your goal is to lose weight by practicing this fasting method you can read how this eating pattern helps with weight loss and how much weight you can lose with a 16/8 diet.
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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.
Eating Windows Vs Fasting Windows
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that breaks your day into two parts:
There are actually a variety of intermittent fasting schedules you can follow to determine what hours of the day these windows actually include. We have a handy guide to fasting schedules for you to check out here.
The most common schedule is the 16/8 plan, which means you eat for an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. You can also choose to do shorter or longer eating windows, or even opt for alternate-day fasting.
If youre new to this way of eating and need help getting started, definitely check out our Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting.
During your fasting period, you want to refrain from consuming any food or beverages that contain calories. So.. no food. But you have several beverage options, and these are important because it is critical to keep yourself hydrated while fasting.
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Does 1: 8 Intermittent Fasting Work
The 16:8 intermittent fasting method can help with weight loss, increase focus and energy, and improve blood sugar work for most people when incorporated in a safe and consistent manner.
While men tend to see rapid weight loss results, women tend to struggle or reach plateaus more often due to hormonal differences. I share more about hormones in my post, Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 40.
Its best to talk to your doctor especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
What Are Fasting Diets
Fasting is the dietary practice of cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It should be noted that the vast majority of fasting diets do not say anything about which foods to eat or not eat, but rather when you should eat them. We already fast every day while were sleeping, taking a 6-10 hour break from eating. Sometimes, fasting can be as simple as extending that period a little longer.
Fasting has become a popular diet trend in recent years, but it has been commonplace in certain cultures for centuries. For example, religions and philosophies that practice fasting include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Jainism, and Hinduism. These fasts can last for a few hours or even a few weeks. During these religious fasts, most practitioners will eat at night and fast during the day.
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What Are The Negative Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
In my own experimentation with Intermittent Fasting since 2014, I have found very few negative side effects with Intermittent Fasting.
The biggest concern most people have is that Intermittent Fasting will lead to lower energy, focus, and the holy crap I am hungry feeling during the fasting period and ruin them.
People are concerned that they will spend all morning being miserable because they havent consumed any food, and thus will be miserable at work and ineffective at whatever task it is they are working on.
The following are my thoughts and experiences, and your results may vary:
Yes, the initial transition from EATING ALL THE TIME, to intermittent fasting MIGHT be a bit of a jolt to your system it was for me.
However, once I got through the transition after a few days, my body quickly adapted and learned to function just as well only eating a few times a day.
Although I fast for 16 hours per day with no issues, the following might help assuage your fears that skipping breakfast will cause your body to eat itself and your brain to implode:
After 48-hours of fasting in a recent study , cognitive performance, activity, sleep, and mood are not adversely affected in healthy humans by two days of calorie-deprivation. Youll be fasting for far less time than that.
So why do I feel grouchy and lethargic when I skip breakfast?
If you eat breakfast every morning, your body expects to wake up and eat food.
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 donât 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 isnât 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 dayâ¦this also means you will need to eat less calories each day, which becomes difficult to sustain long-term.
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My Final Appoint About How To Do Intermittent Fasting Properly
I hope this article helped you know what you can have and what you should skip during fasting period and before I go, I will share two important tips of facts that you wont find anywhere else.
First is about having multivitamins or vitamin supplements during your eating window. Normally, these tablets or capsules contain a sugary coating on them, and none of these brands mention how many calories do these supplements carry. So its always safe to consume them during the eating window not fasting.
Second, is herbal tea teas like mint tea, hibiscus tea, chamomile tea, etc. These teas can be consumed, but avoid teas which have fruit infusions like berry tea, apple tea, peach tea, etc.
So these were my tips and information on IF, and i hope all your doubts are clear now and you got a clarity on how to follow If in a better way. Personally, IF is my favorite, I did it continuously for nine months and it gave me great results.
Can You Fast While On The Keto Diet
Those who keep up with health trends will already know how big of a boom both intermittent fasting and keto diets have made in recent years. Now, many people are wondering if you should combine the two to get optimized results. The main idea behind the keto diet is to help your body reach ketosis, the process in which your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source. This diet can be an incredibly effective way to lose weight.
Believe it or not, researchers believe that intermittent fasting may help your body reach ketosis quicker than the keto diet alone. This is because your body, when fasting, maintains its energy balance by shifting its fuel source from carbs to fats which is the exact premise of the keto diet. While its safe to combine the two if youre healthy, its unnecessary to combine both.
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Who Shouldnt Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting isnt for everyone. You should always check with your doctor before trying a new diet, even one thats proven to be beneficial. The following groups of people should avoid IF:
- People who suffer from diabetes or other blood sugar problems
- Children under the age of 18
- People with a history of eating disorders
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
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.
How Much Weight Can You Expect To Lose on an Intermittent Fast?
According to a 2014 review article, intermittent fasting was found to reduce body weight by 3 to 8% over 3 to 24 weeks.
This study also determined that participants had a 4 to 7% reduction in waist circumference, meaning that they lost belly fat .
A different review study found that intermittent fasting may cause a weight loss of 11 to 16% after 12 weeks.
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What To Eat When Intermittent Fasting: The 24 Best Foods List
After numerous studies can prove intermittent fastings health benefits, the interest in fasting is rising steadily. Perhaps it does not also come by chance that almost every culture or religion embodies fasting traditionally.
Whether for weight loss or anti-aging benefits, what you eat when intermittent fasting makes the difference!
This science-backed guide contains everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and eating.
What Are The Best Time Slot When It Comes To Intermittent Fasting
One of the most common question is how to choose time slots. Well, you can choose any time slot, depending on your lifestyle and work pattern. For example, if you sleep by 8, then, ideally, your last meal should be by six. So you may choose 10 am to 6 pm as your time slot. You can do 1 to 9 pm or 2 to 10 pm, depending on what time do you go to sleep.
If you do night shift and if your shift is from midnight till 8 am, then, thats the time when youre awake. So these 8 hours could be your eating window and the rest 16 hours would be the fasting window. So, it doesnt really make a difference whether youre eating during the day or night, as long as you maintain 16 hours of fasting window and eight hours of eating winter.
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How The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Diet Works
Like exercise, restricting calories is a helpful metabolic stressor. Eating within a certain time frame pushes your body in a different metabolic direction than if you were eating all the time.
Intermittent fasting can cause autophagy, which is a crucial defense mechanism against malignancy, infection, and neurodegenerative diseases. Its basically your bodys way of cleaning out cells that arent performing at their best.
Research finds short-term fasting is an effective way of starting neuronal autophagy , therefore protecting your brain against neurodegenerative diseases.
Intermittent fasting also triggers a beneficial metabolic reaction that includes:
- A decrease in inflammatory markers
- Reduced blood glucose levels and insulin
- An increase in the neurotrophin BDNF
These are powerful changes that can lead to several health improvements.
Take the keto quiz
What Should I Eat After 16 Hours Of Fasting
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.
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What To Eat To Break Your 16 Hour Fast
When it is time to break your fast it is best to start with smaller portions of food that are easily digested so you dont overwhelm your digestive system.
Nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest that contain protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.
We know that you will be hungry after 16 hours of not eating but the worst thing to do here is to break your fast with processed or junk food that is full of fat, carbs, sugar, etc.
Always prepare something that is easily digestible and nutritious. Here are some foods that will help you to break your 16 hour fasting period:
Soups You will know what time your fasting ends. Prepare a soup that contains protein and easily digestible carbs, such as lentils, tofu. Avoid soups with heavy creams or large amounts of raw vegetables.
Smoothies Great option to introduce nutrients to your body since smoothies contain less fiber, than whole raw vegetables and fruits.
Dried fruits Apricots, raisins, dates. Dates are often used to break a fast. They are healthy, nutritious, and very sweet. Learn more about the benefits of dates here!
Fermented foods Kefir or yogurt are also good drinks to break a fast.
Avocados This fruit can be the first choice to eat after fasting for 16 hours.
So when you are ready to break your 16 hour fasting time and start eating first focus on easily tolerated foods that can help replenish important nutrients and electrolytes.
How Does The : 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.
/8 Intermittent Fasting Method
There are so many different ways to intermittently fast, but the most common method is called the 16 to 8 split. Or, some may call it a 16/8 fasting method for simplicity.
In this fasting plan, you fast for 16 hours straight in a day and eat in the remaining 8-hour window.
It may feel really hard at first to go without food for a prolonged period of time, but its something you can get used to.
And if you allocate the 16 hours wisely, it gets even less difficult to manage the fasted period.
For example, if you include 8 hours of sleep time into your 16-hour fasting, thats already half of the fasting.
And typically speaking, theres also a lot of downtime between dinner and bedtime. So that gives extra 3-4 hours.
To make up the rest, you fast in the morning till lunch for about 4 hours while hydrating yourself with water.
Now, you have 16 straight hours of a fasted period from about 7 pm to 11 am the next morning.
There is the 16 hours you need for your 16/8 method.
No doubt, there will be a time of adjustments in the beginning. But be patient with yourself.
Youll find your body adjusting to this new eating schedule in no time.
All in all, intermittent fasting is a simple way to fast, so your body can boost metabolism and burn fat. Its also an easy hack to avoid unnecessary snacks and late-night meals that add calories.
All these help generate a great weight loss for many who adapt to this IF diet.