16/8 Intermittent Fasting – 8 Hour Diet For Fast Weight Loss

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The 8 hour diet is an intermittent fasting (IF) strategy for fast weight loss. This diet is also known as the 16/8 diet or 16/8 intermittent fasting. It allows you to eat anything in an 8 hour window and fast for 16 hours. Scientific research confirms that an 8 hour diet may lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of insulin resistance (1). This article guides you through the 8 hour diet, what to eat, a sample diet chart, and if you should try it.

What Is The 8 Hour Diet?

The 8 hour diet is highly effective for weight loss. And you don’t even have to compromise on your hunger or health. The 8 hour diet is a type of intermittent fasting (IF) where you can eat anything you want within the 8 hour window and fast for 16 hours. This diet was popularized by the authors, David Zinczenko and Peter Moore in the book, The 8 Hour Diet, and it is also known as 16/8 intermittent fasting.

How Does The 8 Hour Diet Work?

The 8 hour diet works in the following ways:

The 8 hour diet teaches you how to trigger the “furnace” in your body that burns fat while you sleep so that the flab can get stripped away right from the moment you wake up.

While you are fasting, your body gets the chance to reset itself and digest food. This allows your body to process nutrients and eliminates toxins effectively.

Having the freedom to eat everything within an 8 hour window keeps your taste buds alive and prevents boredom. That’s why it is sustainable.

Main Idea – The 8 hour diet stimulates your metabolism, burns the glycogen and fat stores, and gives your body enough time to digest food and eliminate toxins. It keeps your interest in the diet alive by allowing you to eat anything you want.

Considering all of that, is the 8 hour diet safe? Here’s what science says:

Is The 8 Hour Diet Safe? 

Yes, the 8 hour diet is safe. In fact, fasting has various health benefits.

Research shows that people who fast intermittently shed fat without affecting their muscle mass. Their blood cholesterol levels improve, they become more insulin sensitive, and the risk of diabetes and metabolic diseases reduces (5), (6), (7).

However, you must follow the schedule as mentioned in the next section.

8 Hour Diet Or 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule

Follow the 8 hour diet every alternate day initially. Later, you can follow it every day or once every two days, depending on how long can you survive without food and also if you are losing weight and feeling good.

Design your schedule according to your lifestyle. Observe when you feel hungry the most (is it during breakfast or lunch?). How many hours do you work or are in school? Do you work out?

If your day starts at 8 am, you can eat from 8 am to 4 pm. Well, if that’s too early, use the 10 am – 6 pm window. Fast until 10 am the next day.

Note: You may follow this diet every alternate day or just once or twice a week depending on your convenience and schedule.

Here’s a sample diet plan for the 8 hour diet or 16/8 intermittent fasting:

Sample 8 Hour Diet Plan 

Meal What To Eat
When You Wake Up Green tea or coffee or any detox drink
Breakfast

(10 a.m.)

Options

●     Wheat flakes and milk

●     Banana smoothie or kale smoothie

●     Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs with toast

Pre-Lunch Snack

(11:30 a.m.)

Options

●     Cucumber and watermelon salad

●     4 almonds

Lunch

(12:30-1:00 p.m.)

Options

●     Baked fish and veggies + low-fat yogurt

●     Tortilla wrap+ low-fat yogurt

●     Tuna/vegetable sandwich + fresh fruit juice

Post-Lunch Snack

(2:30 p.m.)

Options

●     1 medium-sized dark chocolate brownie

●     1 orange or apple

Evening Snack

(4:00 p.m.)

Options

●     A small bowl of potato wafers

●     A small bowl of popcorn

●     A small bowl of nachos with low-fat mayonnaise dip

Dinner

(6:00 p.m.)

Options

●     Grilled vegetable/chicken kebab + bread pudding

●     Asian-style chicken soup/Indian lentil soup+ fruit custard

●     Vegetable lasagne + cucumber juice

●     Kidney beans chili + 2-3 chapatis + glass of warm milk

(10 a.m.)

●     Wheat flakes and milk

●     Banana smoothie or kale smoothie

●     Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs with toast

(11:30 a.m.)

●     Cucumber and watermelon salad

●     4 almonds

(12:30-1:00 p.m.)

●     Baked fish and veggies + low-fat yogurt

●     Tortilla wrap+ low-fat yogurt

●     Tuna/vegetable sandwich + fresh fruit juice

(2:30 p.m.)

●     1 medium-sized dark chocolate brownie

●     1 orange or apple

(4:00 p.m.)

●     A small bowl of potato wafers

●     A small bowl of popcorn

●     A small bowl of nachos with low-fat mayonnaise dip

(6:00 p.m.)

●     Grilled vegetable/chicken kebab + bread pudding

●     Asian-style chicken soup/Indian lentil soup+ fruit custard

●     Vegetable lasagne + cucumber juice

●     Kidney beans chili + 2-3 chapatis + glass of warm milk

 Apart from the foods mentioned in the chart, here’s a list of foods you may eat and avoid to lose weight.

16/8 Intermittent Fasting Foods To Eat

16/8 Intermittent Fasting Foods To Avoid

Main Idea – You can eat anything you want. But make sure that you avoid consuming too many foods with saturated fats, refined sugar, and artificial additives.

The 8 hour diet has many health benefits apart from weight loss. They are listed below.

8 Hour Diet Health Benefits

Like any other diet plan, the 8 hour diet also has a few side effects. Check them out.

Side Effects Of The 8 Hour Intermittent Fasting

If you are trying the 8 hour diet for the first time, you may experience the following:

Main Idea – The 8 hour diet plan is perfect for weight loss and improving your health. But do not go overboard. Consult a doctor and get expert advice to make this diet successful.

Hence, you should be absolutely sure if the 8 hour diet or 16/8 intermittent fasting is for you. Here’s a checklist to help you.

Should You Try The 8 Hour Diet or 16/8 Intermittent Fasting?

Try it if:

If your doctor has given you the green signal to try the 16/8 intermittent fasting, here’s a list of what to do and avoid while on this diet:

Dos & Don’ts Of The 8 Hour Diet

Dos Don’ts
Go to sleep 3 hours after dinner. Do not snack after dinner.
Work out regularly. Do not sit in one place for long.
Eat fattening foods in limited amounts. Don’t eat carb-loaded foods in excess.
Include lots of veggies and fruits in your diet. Don’t snack for at least an hour after a meal.
Drink enough water. Limit alcohol consumption.

The 8 hour diet or 16/8 intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and prevent weight regain. Talk to your doctor before trying this diet or following our sample diet plan. Also, eat healthy food to prevent weight gain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drink alcohol on the 16/8 diet?

Yes. One or two glasses of wine during the weekend is fine. However, do not exceed the limit.

How often should you do the 16/8 fasting?

Start with every alternate day. Increase or decrease the frequency depending on the weight loss goals, how much weight you lose, and how it is making you feel.

Can you do 16/8 fast every day?

Yes, you can. Do it only if it feels natural to you. Do not push yourself. In case you experience emotional craving, deprivation, gastric distress, or sleep issues, do not follow this diet every day.

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

This content was originally published here.

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