Intermittent Fasting 16:8 Strategy
Intermittent fasting can be done in many ways. Some prefer fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, whereas other are usually inclined towards fasting for two days a week while eating on the rest of five days. Similarly, some people start seeing the improvements in their body when they go for intermittent fasting 16:8 strategy.
However, you would be surprised to know that most of the celebrities, media moguls, athletes, and social media influencer advance the idea of 16:8 intermittent fasting as it is not only the simplest and easiest method but it also protects from the serious ailments.
The intermittent fasting 16:8 strategy is also known by various other names, with the 8-hour diet and Lean gains protocol being the most notable one. In this technique, you make your decisions on a restricted time window and do not think whether you are hungry or full. However, this setup can prove to be counterproductive if you are not careful. Here, we have deciphered everything that you need to know about 16:8 fasting so that you can fully get the dividends of missing meals.
What Exactly Is the 16:8 Rule?
In this way of fasting, you fast for 14-16 hours daily while confining your eating schedule to 8-10 hours window. During your eating hours, you can eat twice or thrice. For example, if you finish your last meal at 9 p.m. and do not eat anything until 1 p.m. the next day, you are basically fasting for 16 hours. This method was recommended by the famous fitness expert Martin Berkhan as it is quite easy not to eat anything after dinner and then skipping breakfast the next day. Similarly, you also spend the major portion of fasting asleep.
For women, it is suggested that they should fast for 14-15 hours as they generally feel better with shorter fasts. If you are feeling extremely hungry during the fast, you can drink water or other healthy beverages to reduce the feeling of hunger.
16:8 Fasting Schedule
Firstly, you will have to select the eight hours during which you will be consuming all of your meals. People generally choose to eat between noon and nine o’ clock in the evening because in this way, they only have to skip their breakfast. Here are some appropriate eating windows for 16:8 intermittent fasting strategy:
11 am to 7 pm
12 pm to 8 pm
1 pm to 9 pm
It is crucial to use your mealtimes and sleeping patterns as a guide while implementing the 16:8 strategy. For example, if you feel extremely hungry at night before going to bed, you can choose the 1pm to 9 pm window so that you can get an evening snack. Here is a sample schedule that will help you to conveniently adopt 16:8 plan:
8:00 am Waking Up
8:30 am Drink black coffee/tea or lemon water
8:45 am Skipping morning breakfast
1:00 pm Lunch
4:00 pm snacks or light meal
7:00 pm Dinner
8:30 pm Snacks
9:00 pm Starting of the fast for 16 hours
Which Foods to Eat?
Fortunately, there are no hard and fat rules of food in intermittent fasting 16:8 strategy. Not only that, there is also no calorie restriction; implying that you would not be wasting your time monitoring the intake of carbs. Nonetheless, it is still critical to limit the consumption of junk and processed foods as they might not only increase your weight but also invite chronic heart ailments. Here, we have outlined some healthy food choices that will surge the positive effects of intermittent fasting:
Vegetables and fruits
Healthy fats, including seeds, avocados, coconuts, and olive oil
Protein rich diet, such as eggs, tofu, fish and poultry
Grains, rice, oats, and quinoa
What Really Happens When You Fast?
You are basically eating fewer meals when you fast, meaning that food consumption and the intake of calorie will be decreased. With the 16:8 fasting plan, you skip breakfast and do not eat for a certain period of time. Likewise, your body also strives to balance the hormone levels during fasting so that the fat stores can be made more accessible. Since your body is cut off from the major sources of energy, such as glycogen and glucose, it automatically starts burning fat as its main source of fuel.
Is the 16:8 Fasting Strategy Effective for Weight Loss?
According to a review article published in 2014, implementing the 16:8 fasting rule can reduce body weight by 3 to 8% over a couple of weeks. Similarly, the study also revealed that people who had adopted this technique had a 7% decrease in the waist circumference, indicating that they also lost belly fat. In another study, the researchers found that intermittent fasting caused less loss of muscle tissues when compared to the traditional dietary plans. The aforementioned studies certify that this fasting technique has great benefits for weight loss and other fat-related issues.
Other Health Benefits of 16:8 Strategy
Apart from weight loss, the intermittent fasting 16:8 strategy fasting can also prove to be instrumental in mitigating the symptoms of several heart-related diseases. In addition, it also boosts your metabolism and decreases the risks of diabetes. Here are some amazing benefits of 16:8 intermittent fasting that will compel you to start adopting this plan:
Heart Health: Fasting drastically reduces the risk factors that are linked to the heart-related diseases, including LDL cholesterol and inflammatory markers.
Increased Longevity: If you want to live longer, then fasting intermittently should be your best bet as it will increase your lifespan.
Repairing of Cells: Fasting invokes the process of autophagy, which removes the waste cells and repairs the morbid ones.
So, Should You also Try 16:8 Fasting?
It is ultimately a personal choice. If you are healthy and have sound sleeping patterns, you should definitely go for it to improve your overall health. However, you should be mindful of the riskier elements and should know how the fasting is linked to your food choices. Having said that, it would always be conducive to consult a registered dietician before embarking on your journey of intermittent fasting.