Intermittent Fasting (IF) is red-hot right now the world of health and fitness – and for good reason!
While fasting has been practiced by numerous civilizations all over the world for literally thousands of years, the wealth of modern research we have regarding nutrition, fasting, and how this dietary approach fundamentally alters the way our bodies melt fat has propelled the 16-hour intermittent fasting protocol into the spotlight right now.
If you’re thinking about diving headfirst into the world of the “16 Hour Diet” but aren’t quite sure of where or how to start you’ve come to the right place.
That’s exactly why we’ve put together this quick guide.
What is 16 8 Intermittent Fasting?
Though there are all kinds and “styles” of IF that are pretty popular these days, the most popular one right now has to be the 16 8 fast.
All kinds of people have complicated this dietary shift (usually for marketing purposes), but when you strip all of that back and just get down to the essentials the whole idea behind these types of fasting can be boiled down to this:
You don’t eat ANYTHING for 16 hours a day and then you eat whatever you want over an 8-hour block of time.
Simple and straightforward to follow and embrace, there doesn’t have to be a lot of mystery behind the 16 8 diet meal plan or everything that goes into this new nutritional plan.
All you really have to know to get started – and to enjoy a lot of success with this kind of program – is that you don’t eat anything for 16 hours and then you consume all of your daily calories in an 8-hour window of time.
How is 16 8 Intermittent Fasting Different From Other Fasting Diets?
Right out of the gate, you are going to find that the 16 8 IF approach is radically different from a lot of other fasting diets – as well as pretty much every other diet out there – in a couple of core ways.
For starters, this just might be the only diet that says you can eat pretty much anything and everything you want so long as you stick specifically to your recommended daily caloric intake for your fitness goals and the 16/8 break down in time.
Where other fasting and traditional diets are a lot more restrictive in what you can and cannot eat, when you should and should not eat, 16/8 IF really throws all of that right out of the window.
You aren’t going to have to give up all of your favorite foods and you aren’t going to have to completely overhaul the way you grocery shop or cook, either.
Instead, as long as you stick to your daily caloric intake (again depending on your fitness goals – higher for building muscle, lower for melting fat) and the 16/8 hour break down you are going to see some pretty significant results. Best of all, you’ll usually see those results a lot faster than you expected.
Why is 16 8 Intermittent Fasting Diet The Easiest Fasting Diet To Follow?
As any intermittent fasting guide, 16 8 programs will tell you this IF approach is almost effortless to get into rather than the real challenge that 24-hour fasts or multi-day fasts bring to the table.
For starters, as we highlighted above, there really aren’t all whole lot of nutritional restrictions with this approach to eating.
Sure, you’ll see better results and faster results if you decide to clean up your daily diet and streamline your nutritional intake while you are on the 16/8 IF protocol – but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
That’s a huge benefit straightaway.
Another of the big fasting 16 hours a day benefits that we have to highlight is has to do with the timing of this fast as well.
At first blush, a lot of people hesitate when they think about having to “starve themselves” for a 16 hour block of time.
In reality, however, the odds are pretty good that you are already fasting for eight hours every single night when you are asleep – and all you have to do on top of that is not eat anything for another eight hours after you have woken up.
This breaks down to skipping breakfast and maybe having a later lunch, but after that, you can have dinner at the exact same time you always do and then stop snacking afterward to start the fast all over again.
Health Benefits Of 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
There are a whole host of benefits of 8 16 diet programs that we want to break down, but the three largest benefits have to be:
- Rapid weight loss
- Stabilized blood sugar levels and
- Increased lifespan and longevity
Because of the way that IF works you are going to be able to skyrocket your resting metabolic rate while also releasing a flood of biochemicals throughout the body that melts fat like a furnace around-the-clock.
You’re also going to find that your caloric intake naturally is restricted with this kind of timing approach and that you’ll find your body melting fat and shedding water weight a whole lot faster than it would have with traditional diets or exercise alone.
Combine IF with a proper diet and exercise plan and you’ll be dropping pounds left and right, transforming your body almost overnight, and enjoying the kind of slim, trim, and fit – not to mention healthy – the body that you deserve pretty quickly.
Intermittent Fasting has also been scientifically found to reduce overall insulin levels by up to at least 30% while at the same time lowering blood sugar by between 3% and 6%. This can be a game-changer for those living with diabetes, but it can also help those worried about diabetes or in a prediabetic state adjust course without having to fill their bodies with prescription chemical cocktails.
The evidence for IF being able to dramatically extend lifespan and longevity is a little bit lacking right now, but early indications are pretty positive. Animal studies have shown that IF can significantly extend overall lifespan and longevity and new research is looking to see if the same is true in human beings.
How to Begin The 16 8 Diet?
If you’re wondering “is the 16 8 diet healthy” hopefully we’ve resolved that question for you above, and now you’re ready to dig into the nuts and bolts of actually getting started with 16-hour intermittent fasting.
As we have highlighted a number of times throughout this quick guide it really isn’t that hard to hit the ground running with IF.
All you really have to do is pick an eight-hour block of time in the day that you’ll consume all of your daily calories during and then stick to that schedule and you are off to the races.
Maybe that means you choose to eat all of your food during noon and 8 PM, helping you to fast overnight and then skip breakfast. Maybe that means you choose to eat first thing in the morning at 9 AM or so and then continue to eat right on through 5 PM, stopping after dinner and not eating anything until 9 AM the next morning.
At the end of the day, the timing is the most important factor.
As long as you are going without food for 16 hours consecutively and then eating all of your food inside eight hours consecutively before rinsing and repeating the schedule you’ll be good to go!
Can the 16 8 Fasting Diet Work For You?
Just a little bit of digging online will show you that plenty of people (including those wondering is the 16 8 diet healthy) initially having fantastic results inside of the first 30 days after they’ve made the switch to IF.
This is a great way to kind of dip your toe into the water when it comes to changing the way you eat and the way you look at food, helping you to gradually shift away from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a healthy eating plan that doesn’t just help you lose weight and build muscle but also helps you to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle at the same time.
Best of all, EVERYONE can benefit from all that intermittent fasting has to offer.
Young people, older people, those in fantastic shape as well as those that wish they spent a little more time exercising, and everyone else for that matter can see some game-changing results making the switch to intermittent fasting today.
The Wrap Up
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of everything that 16/8 IF has to offer, how to get started, and whether or not it is the right move for you to make going forward.
There’s a lot to like about this fundamental change to the way that we eat, particularly when you see just how quickly people are seeing real and tangible results. You don’t have to change everything about your diet overnight with this approach, and that’s a big bonus as well.
What is intermittent fasting 16 8?
It just might be the smartest, healthiest, and most effective way to eat not only for significant weight loss (pretty rapid weight loss, too) but as far as our overall health and well-being is concerned as well.