Fasting 16 hours, eating 8 hours – this is the principle of the 16-8 diet. We’ll tell you what’s behind this interval diet and how it works.
The love of pizza, pasta and chocolate is just as big as the dream of being slim. But there is a solution to this apparent contradiction: the 16-8 diet. This diet is a form of intermittent fasting and has developed into the currently most popular weight loss method for a reason. Because the experience reports show that the 16-8 diet promises success – in the long term. But is it really healthy not to eat for 16 hours? And how can the diet be combined with work and social life? We’ll tell you how the interval diet works smoothly.
16-8 diet: This is how interval fasting works
The principle is simple: the 16-8 diet consists of two phases: an eating phase and a fasting phase. So there is an eight hour window in which you can basically eat what and when you want. This is followed by a period of 16 hours during which you can only drink water or unsweetened tea or coffee. Not eating for 16 hours? Does that seem like a horror idea to you? Then you should approach the calculation again differently: This method of interval fasting is also nicknamed the 8-hour diet – because if you count the hours you spend in bed and sleep each day, the fasting period is only around eight hours. Well, if that doesn’t sound much better! In practice, this can be achieved with an early dinner or a very late breakfast.
16-8 diet: this happens in the body
This alternation of eating and fasting during the day and night is primarily about giving the body the opportunity to relax. Because the hormones in the body of a person play a major role in burning fat. As soon as you eat something, your body releases insulin. However, fat cannot be burned while the insulin level is high. Experts estimate that it takes up to four or five hours for the body to start burning fat after a meal. With the 16-8 diet, you give the body rest and time to burn fat. If you also keep an eye on your diet, you can lose weight so quickly.
Who is the interval diet suitable for?
Like any diet, the 16-8 method has its rules and benefits. Accordingly, there are people who like this form of intermittent fasting more and others who are less comfortable with it.
The 16-8 diet is especially suitable for people who
- don’t feel like counting calories
- do not like to follow diet plans
- sometimes without food for a few hours
- who don’t want to be restricted in their veganism or vegetarianism
In contrast, overweight people should refrain from a 16-8 diet – at least initially. The adrenal glands of overweight people are often heavily loaded and would not be able to withstand the fasting interval. Even people with diseases of the pancreas or thyroid should only start interval fasting after consulting a doctor. And even diabetics should only start an interval diet under medical supervision.
This is how you integrate the 16-8 diet into your everyday life
The big question that arises with most diets is: How should I integrate them into my everyday life? With the 16-8 diet, this is actually not that difficult. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no rule on how to move the two 16 and 8 hour time slots forward or backward. Here are a few suggestions:
For morning muffle
Are you reluctant to eat your breakfast in the morning and don’t really have an appetite at the start of the day? Then postpone your breakfast to a later time. 11 oclock for example. Suppose your workday starts at 8 a.m. So you even have time after work to cook yourself something and have enough dinner by 7 p.m. at the latest. In between, you can keep yourself happy with fresh fruit.
For breakfast lovers
Breakfast is the most important meal for you? Then you shouldn’t wait too long with it. Suppose you get up at 8:30 a.m., make yourself a relaxed breakfast that starts at 9 a.m. Then your meal phase also starts at this time, which ends accordingly at 5:00 p.m. In this case, dinner must be canceled. So plan a lavish lunch – maybe with your work colleagues or friends in the afternoon sun?
For night owls
You usually get up very late and wake up all the longer? Then you should delay the end of your eating phase a little bit behind. If you don’t like to have dinner until 9 p.m., this also means that the 16-8 diet is at 1 p.m. at the earliest for you to eat.
A tip for all cases: Get used to drinking plenty of water during interval fasting. Often a large portion of water will satisfy a cravings attack and you will endure certain dry spells better.
16-8 Diet: There are these disadvantages
If you are healthy and do not have any of the diseases mentioned, a 16-8 diet is generally completely harmless for you. The devil is in the details. This also does that German Society for Nutrition (DGE) clearly, who clearly speaks out against the interval diet. According to the DGE, fasting is unsuitable for losing weight. The reason: Many people would adhere to the fasting phase well, but in the eating phase they would often eat uncontrollably unhealthy and excessively high in calories – and thus harm the body rather than help. The 16-8 diet does not provide any food recommendations.
The DGE thus formulates a justified criticism and gives a crucial hint: Only those who generally pay attention to their diet during the 16-8 diet and interval fasting will also achieve weight loss success.
Experience with the 16-8 diet
Intermittent fasting has become a real weight loss trend. Therefore, more and more people are also trying the 16-8 diet. If you look at various testimonials on the interval diet, you will quickly see similarities. After a short time, most people no longer find it difficult to avoid eating for 16 hours. On the contrary: your hunger generally declines more. In addition, many people report during the diet that they feel much more vital and fit as a result of the long meal breaks. Some would have also automatically reduced their sugar intake through the 16-8 diet. Overall, the changeover has helped almost all reporting parties to quickly lose up to five kilos and then keep their weight. It is the same with the 16-8 diet as with other weight loss programs: only those who stay tuned and pay attention to their diet and exercise can see success. But in contrast to other diets, interval fasting has decisive advantages: there is no annoying calorie counting, if you limit yourself to exceptions, you can basically eat everything. In addition, the diet can be flexibly incorporated into almost every day work. In this way, rapid weight loss successes also become long-term ones.