Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Lori Geurin
Intermittent fasting is all the rage right now, and for good reason. This type of fasting can help you boost your metabolism and lose weight. But it’s not just for people who want to lose weight – it can also benefit those who want to improve their overall health and wellness. This article will discuss 16/8
- What Is Intermittent Fasting?
- The IF Lifestyle
- What Is an Eating Window?
- 16/8 Diet Fasting Periods
- Intermittent Eating for Weight Loss
- Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting Diet?
- Can you eat what you want on a 16/8 diet?
- How much weight can you lose with 16/8 fasting?
- Does it matter which 16 hours you fast?
- Eating Periods
- Possible Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting
- Final Thoughts About the 16/8 Diet
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What Is Intermittent Fasting?
If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting (IF), it is a pattern in which you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. The most common type of IF diet is the 16/8 diet, which means that you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight. However, there are other variations of IF, such as 18/6 or 20/4.
IF aims to keep your body in a fat-burning state by extending the time it has burned through the calories consumed throughout your most recent meal.
Here is a quick video I made that teaches you how to get started with this popular health and weight loss strategy.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Research suggests there are many positive effects of 16/8 fasting. According to scientific evidence, IF can:
- Boost weight loss and burn fat[*]
- Increase metabolic health[*]
- Boost brain function and mental clarity[*]
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress[*]
- Improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease[*]
- Improve digestive health[*]
- Lower blood sugar levels and stabilize insulin levels[*]
- Induce cellular repair via autophagy[*]
- Help you live a longer life[*]
- Induce low blood pressure[*]
- Consume fewer calories which can lead to losing weight[*]
- Protect vital organs against stress and health conditions[*]
Animal studies have shown that fasting may help fight cancer, but more research is needed.[*]
Consuming all your calories within 6 hours and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic change from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, with improved stress tolerance, increased longevity, and a decreased risk of illnesses, including cancer and obesity, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.[*]
More extended periods of IF may have the added benefits of increased autophagy, the process by which your body breaks down and recycles old and damaged cells.
Enjoy these health benefits and more by incorporating IF into your daily routine!
RELATED: Intermittent Fasting Plateau: 9 Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss
The IF Lifestyle
Living the IF lifestyle is not as difficult as it may sound. Once you get used to it, you will probably find it relatively easy! Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Plan your meals in advance. This will help you stay on track and avoid temptation.
- Set a schedule and stick to it. It is essential to be consistent.
- Drink plenty of water. This will help you stay hydrated and avoid feeling hungry.
- Enjoy healthy foods. Make sure to nourish your body with solid food that will give you sustained energy.
- Add sea salt to your water. This will help replenish electrolytes and minerals.
- Exercise regularly. This will help boost your metabolism and maintain muscle mass.
- Get enough sleep.
What Is an Eating Window?
An eating window is the time period spent consuming your meals and snacks. For example, if you are following the 16/8 diet, you would have an eight-hour window. This means you consume all of your meals within these 8 hours.
It is important to note that you can still drink water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea during your fast. This is called clean fasting.
If you’re interested in trying IF, it’s essential to understand the different types and how to create a timeframe that works for you. Consult with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian before starting IF.
RELATED: The 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Plan
16/8 Diet Fasting Periods
If you’re interested in trying the 16/8 diet, you should keep a few things in mind. First, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increasing the fasting time. Additionally, drink plenty of water and eat healthy, nutritious meals. And finally, be sure to listen to your body – if you’re tired or hungry, make sure to take a break!
RELATED: Healthy Coffee Drink Recipe (With Coconut Oil)
Intermittent Eating for Weight Loss
If you’re looking to drop pounds, the 16/8 diet can be a great way to help you achieve your goals. Time-restricted eating will help boost your metabolic functions and burn more fat.
What should I eat during intermittent fasting to lose weight?
It is vital to ensure that you’re including healthy, nutritious meals during your 8-hour window. This means including plenty of lean protein, leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats, and fibrous vegetables.
Avoid processed foods, junk food, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of alcohol.
Nutritious Food Meal Plan Ideas
Here are a few meal ideas to get you started:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with veggies
Lunch: Chicken salad with avocado dressing
Dinner: Salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts
Snacks: Hard-boiled egg, apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with berries
Be sure to listen to your body – if you’re tired or hungry, take a break! IF is a stressor on the body, so it’s essential to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself. This means getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and managing your stress levels.
If you’re not feeling well, take a break from fasting and start another day again when you’re feeling better.
Ready to get started with IF? Check out our FREE Intermittent Fasting Ebook!
Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting Diet?
While IF is generally safe for healthy people, some should avoid it. This includes:
- Pregnant women
- Women who are breastfeeding
- People who are underweight or have a history of restricted eating disorders
- People with chronic diseases or health conditions
If you fall into any of these categories, you must consult with your healthcare provider before starting IF.
If you’re struggling, please seek professional help.
Printable Intermittent Fasting Tracker
We created a simple fasting tracker to help you get started with IF! Click the link below to get the fasting tracker.
Can you eat what you want on a 16/8 diet?
The answer is: it depends. If your goal is to lose pounds and fat, you will need to be more mindful of the foods you consume. Foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can stall weight loss and cause weight gain. So, if you’re trying to lose pounds, it’s best to avoid sugary and carb-heavy foods during your eight-hour window.
On the other hand, if your goal is simply to maintain your body weight, you can be a bit more lenient. As long as you’re not overeating, you can enjoy your favorite foods without having to worry about putting on pounds.
How much weight can you lose with 16/8 fasting?
The amount of pounds you can lose with the intermittent fasting diet depends on a few factors, such as your starting weight, how well you stick to the fasting schedule, and whether or not you make other changes to your diet and lifestyle. For example, if you’re obese, you may lose more fat than someone who is only overweight. And if you combine a 16/8 diet with other weight-loss strategies, such as consuming less sugar and exercising more, you’ll lose even more weight. So, you could lose a few pounds or even more than a dozen – it all depends on you and your circumstances.
Does it matter which 16 hours you fast?
No, there is no difference whether you fast, starting from breakfast or dinner. You will still get the same benefit from IF. The beauty of fasting is choosing what time works best for you.
Many like to start their 16-hour fast after dinner. This means you would stop eating after dinner and not eat again until lunch the next day. If this is too difficult, start with 12 or 14 hours and gradually work your way up to the full time.
Or, my friend (who has lost several pounds and is now off of her diabetes medications thanks to fasting) likes to end her window earlier in the day so she can enjoy breakfast early the next morning.
Consider choosing a few days a week to practice the IF diet or try alternating every other day.
RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Circadian Rhythm Fasting: Answers to All of Your Important Questions
The eating period is the eight hours you eat during the 16/8 diet.
You can choose any eight hours for your window, but many people prefer to eat their first meal around 10 or 11 am and their last meal of the day eight hours later. This gives them time to enjoy a late breakfast or early lunch and a nice dinner.
It’s up to you when you want to start and end your fast. Just make sure that you’re clean fasting to optimize your results.
Possible Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting
The most common side effects of intermittent fasting diets are hunger and cravings, especially in the beginning.
If you’re not used to going without food for long periods, it’s normal to feel hungry. But this usually goes away after a few days or weeks as your body adjusts to fasting.
Cravings are normal, too. But they usually go away after fasting for the first few days or weeks.
Try fasting for a shorter period or consuming more whole foods during your window.
Don’t let hunger and cravings discourage you from fasting. With a bit of patience and adjustment, you’ll find the perfect fasting schedule for you.
3. Low Blood Sugar
If you’re not used to going without food for long periods, you may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during your fast.
(You can read more about my experience with the 16/8 diet and hypoglycemia here: How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms For Good and Intermittent Fasting And Hypoglycemia)
Final Thoughts About the 16/8 Diet
I hope you found this article helpful. Please comment below if you have any questions about intermittent fasting or the 16/8 schedule, and I’ll try to help!
If you’re ready to start the 16/8 diet, remember to start slowly and listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different intermittent fasting schedules until you find one that works for you.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you tried 16/8 intermittent fasting? Let me know in the comments below!