Written by Healthoria.com – Short term fasting has proven to be a manageable and efficient way to lose body fat with 16/8 intermittent fasting being the most popular schedule. If you’ve never tried a fasting diet, or the 16/8 time frames, here’s an in-depth intermittent fasting guide to get started.
The Basics Of 16/8
16/8 intermittent fasting is a very simple concept. You’re dividing your day into two large blocks of time. One for eating, and one large block of time for fasting.
8 hours per day – The time allotted each day to eat all of your meals and calories
16 hours per day – Consecutive fasting hours without eating
It can’t be understated how important “consecutive” hours is to fasting. If you have a small snack at 10 hours, your fast is over for the day. Unfortunately, the benefits would be minimal by trying to resume your fast for the remaining six hours.
Why 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Is So Popular
Optimal Fasting Length
When it comes to fasting, there’s definitely a Goldilocks zone that balances effectiveness with difficulty. Fasting for 20 hours would obviously increase your results, but has proven too extreme for most who try.
Fasting for 12 hours would be much easier, and fit in nicely with most schedules, but the benefits of such a short fast are minimal.
If you can get past 13-14 hours of fasting you can expect the following:
Improved blood sugar
Increased fat burning
Increased growth hormone secretion
Improved insulin levels
16 hours of consecutive fasting offers tremendous weight loss rewards, and is achievable by most who try.
Close To Normal
When people take a closer look at their eating habits, they realize they’re not too far off an optimal intermittent fast. Most people usually eat between 7am and 7pm, with a late night snack interrupting a hidden fast.
Shifting to a 16 hour fast will only require a four hour change in most eating schedules. Ask yourself this:
Are you willing to avoid food for an extra 4 hours each day if it means losing 20 pounds or more?
16/8 Intermittent Fasting Examples
One element of intermittent fasting that makes it so popular, is how flexible it can be. There aren’t rigid time frames everyone needs to follow. You’re allowed, and encouraged, to tailor the time frames to your specific lifestyle.
Find what works best for you while maintaining 16 consecutive hours of fasting. Here’s some example schedules that may work for you:
If you need an early meal:
First Meal (start eating): 6 am
Last Meal (finish eating): 2 pm
If you can wait till noon:
First Meal: 12 pm
Last Meal: 8 pm
If you’re a night owl:
First Meal: 6 pm
Last Meal: 2 am
If you’re not sure where to start:
This is the easiest to start with because you get a mid-morning meal and eat dinner at a pretty normal time for most people:
First Meal: 10 am
Last Meal: 6 pm
16/8 intermittent fasting is one of the more effective diet concepts to gain popularity in recent years, but it isn’t a magic formula that let’s you eat as much as you want and still lose weight. Your calories will need to be within an acceptable range, and your diet content choices can’t be horrible.
You won’t need to be super stingy with your calories to lose weight while fasting. A simple calorie deficit of 200-300 per day is usually all that’s needed to start shedding body fat.
One of the common misconceptions about fasting is you’re skipping meals, which isn’t exactly true. You’re shifting the time you eat those meals, and calories, to a condensed time frame.
The goal isn’t to starve yourself, or eat as little as possible. You just want to change the time you’re consuming calories, and limiting those time frames to eight hours or less.
It can’t be horrible, lol. It doesn’t need to be perfect, or even great, to have a successful fast but it will speed up the process if you clean up your diet content a bit.
High sugar foods
What To Eat
While there aren’t strict guidelines, or requirements, for what to eat while intermittent fasting there are some diet philosophies that work well with 16/8 intermittent fasting. These are the most common, and popular, diet choices while fasting:
Keto is a high fat, low carb, diet that influences your body to break down body fat at an accelerated rate by restricting its primary fuel source. If you can keep your carb consumption low enough (less than 20g/day) your body will enter a state of ketosis resulting in a rapid loss of body fat.
Keto is the most popular diet used with intermittent fasting, but it isn’t considered the easiest. Here’s how to get started with Keto:
The Atkins Diet
Atkins is also a low carb diet, but unlike Keto, you’ll be consuming a large amount of your calories from protein instead of fat. Atkins is structured a little different than most low carb diets with the use of phases. The initial phase is very strict with a near zero carb allowance, but you’ll be able to eat more carbs in the later stages of the diet.
If you’re a steak and eggs person, and struggle with long-term zero carb diets, you’ll love Atkins.
Paleo, often referred to as the caveman diet, is heavy on meat, fish, vegetables and fresh fruit. You’re asked to avoid dairy, grains, and processed foods. The goal is to eat only the food that was accessible to our ancient ancestors and avoid much of the convenience foods linked to health problems today.
When To Exercise
The best time to exercise is before you begin consuming calories. When you exercise in a fasted state, without food digesting in your system, it can influence your body to tap into fat stores for energy.
What exercises should you do?
Although the goal is to get lean, and lose body fat, it’s nearly impossible to avoid muscle destruction while restricting calories. The loss of muscle mass has a direct effect on your metabolic rate, and how many calories your body burns each day. This makes maintaining muscle mass a high priority while fasting.
Resistance training 2-3 times per week is ideal.
Second on the list of must-do exercises is interval training. Compared to steady state cardio, interval training will burn more calories in a much shorter amount of time. It’s also not as boring as running on a treadmill for twenty minutes.
At-home interval workouts:
16/8 Intermittent Fasting Tips
One of the more common mistakes while fasting is to try and rely on will power to get through sixteen consecutive hours of fasting. Having a good hunger suppression plan makes the fast easier, and will help you stay with intermittent fasting for longer periods of time.
Someone utilizing intermittent fasting for three consecutive months, will obviously reap greater rewards than someone who only lasted a few weeks.
Green Tea Extract
Regardless of the type of diet you choose to pair with intermittent fasting, how you manage your carbs each day will play a pivotal role in your weight loss. And it isn’t just the amount of carbs that matter.
It’s the TYPE of carbs that can wreck havoc on your hormones linked to weight loss. Some carbs are more likely to influence fat storage, and others can increase subsequent hunger cravings soon after eating.
Avoid fast digesting (sugary) carbs
Add more high fiber, slow digesting carbs
More 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Resources
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