If you’ve been looking for ways to lose weight, chances are high you’ve stumbled upon the concept of intermittent fasting and the 16-8 fasting method, and the amazing results it brings.
You may have even been intrigued enough to try it, but you weren’t sure how it works exactly or how you should get started. It that’s you, this article will give you all the answers you need.
We will delve into the details of what intermittent fasting is, and then we will explain one of its most popular versions, the 16/8 method. We’ve also included a sample day of the 16/8 fasting plan to get a feel of what you need to do and get started straight away.
What is intermittent fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet. It’s a pattern of eating throughout the day. It basically splits the day into two periods: one of eating and one of fasting, and then you alternate between the two.
Because it defines when to eat and not what to eat, it cannot be defined as a diet. Since it’s not about what you eat, it can work with any types of food.
What’s more, you don’t need to count calories. It is up to you to choose the part of the day when you’ll refrain from eating anything. This period is the fasting window, and the other part of the day is when you eat and ingest all of your daily calories.
The beauty of it is that you can incorporate it into almost any lifestyle or diet. Additionally, lots of people find it less restrictive and more flexible and are able to stick to it a lot easier than actual diet plans.
How does the 16/8 plan work?
One can do intermittent fasting in lots of different ways. As we already mentioned the day is split between periods of eating and fasting. In the 16/8 fasting method, you restrict your eating to a time window of 8 hours, for example from 12:00 to 20:00. In this example, you skip your breakfast or any snacks you might eat before 12 pm.
You begin eating at lunchtime and end with your dinner no later than 8 pm. After that, you don’t eat anything for the remaining 16 hours from 8 pm to 12 pm the next day.
The reason why this time window is picked for eating is that the majority of people sleep during this period and that makes it much easier to do it. The only period when they’ll have to exercise their will and refrain from eating is from the time they wake up to 12 pm.
What’s so great about the 16/8 fasting method is that it’s easily adjustable to almost anyone’s lifestyle and daily habits. As long as you split your day in the 16/8 fashion, you are free to choose an eating period that suits you best, such as 8 am – 4 pm, 10 am – 6 pm, 11 am – 7 pm, etc.
While fasting, you are free to drink water, coffee and green tea, the last two known to suppress your appetite, which will help you go through the fasting period a lot easier.
Even though it may sound easy to implement, the 16/8 plan has its challenges. People who are used to eating a big breakfast in the morning may feel very hungry.
This may force them to eat an even larger portion during the eating period. Finding your own schedule that fits your lifestyle will be essential to the success of the 16/8 method.
Intermittent fasting has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its tremendous effectiveness at losing weight while doing it in a way that will keep your health. No other method can make you decrease your daily caloric intake and not have you experience terrible hunger pangs at the same time. You can achieve that by slowly reducing your meal portions so that you don’t compensate for the lack of food by eating more in the eating period.
As previously mentioned, it is widely believed that the fasting period can improve other health aspects, such as improving blood sugar levels, brain functions as well as increasing longevity.
Since IF does not put constraints in the form of diet rules and limitations, it is basically effortless. It’s easy to follow and requires minimal effort.
If you’ve been thinking about starting IF, the 16/8 version is a great starting place. It’s perfect for beginners since they can figure out what suits them best and will give them results fast. Below is a brief description of what a day would look like on the 16/8 fasting method.
THE 16/8 INTERMITTENT FASTING METHOD
7:00 am: Wake up
7:30 am: A glass of water and a black coffee with no sugar
8:00 am: No breakfast
12:00 pm: Lunch
3:00 pm: Snack
8:00 pm: Dinner
9: 00 pm: Start fast for 16 hours.
What should you eat during the 8-hour window?
Many people tend to binge on junk food and sweets during the 8 hours of eating. The main thing to remember that your eating window is not “all you can eat” time. Your food selection should combine whole, clean food sources like lean red meats, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, fish, eggs, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and green vegetables.
If you’ve made up your mind to try intermittent fasting, the 16/8 method is the easiest to do in the long term. It splits the day into an 8-hour period when you ingest all of your daily calories and a 16-hour fasting period.
The great thing about intermittent fasting is that not only will it help you lose weight, it will also help you maintain a healthy weight without gaining all those pounds back.
The beauty of it is you can do all of that without the hassle of counting calories and following a detailed meal plan. It’s also been shown to help you improve blood sugar levels, brain function as well as add years to your life.
Before you start it, however, consult with your doctor to see if it may interfere with any existing health issues you may have.
The example fasting day you have in the article is incorrect. If you start eating at 12pm then you have to stop eating by 8pm, rather than having your dinner at 8pm and starting the fast at 9pm.
Actually you would start eating your dinner just before 8PM (depending on how fast you eat you can start say at 7:40pm) and plan on completing the dinner at 8PM.
Can you have a protein shake during the fasting period?
No, absolutely not. Just water and coffee without sugar or cream