In the search for the perfect body, people are willing to go through many different activities and diets. When somebody is eager to achieve weight loss, they might try very intense methods that could end up harming their health, so it’s important to rely only on doctor-approved techniques that guarantee your health won’t pay the toll. While looking for different diets, you might’ve come across the very popular 16/8 method. In this article we’ll discuss what this diet plan is and how to do it in a safe manner.
What is 16/8?
The now ultra-popular 16/8 intermittent fasting is a fasting method that consists of a period of 16 hours a day where the person can’t eat food, then concentrating all of their food intake in a period of 8 hours. When the body goes through 16 hours straight of fasting, your body is able to break down fat easily, thus helping you lose weight. This method acts directly on your metabolism using carbohydrates.
Advantages of This Method
When it comes to your health, the 16/8 method helps you cut down your calories intake during the day, boosts your metabolism for weight loss, reduces fasting insulin levels and decreases the risk of diabetes, and it can even ultimately help you live longer. There are other health benefits that are closely related to following a 16/8 fasting. Among them, people who do intermittent fasting can prevent type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, rare types of cancer and even some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.
How to Do It
If you are curious about the 16/8 method and you want to follow it , you should probably start by checking out which is the right way to do this intermittent fasting. The very first step for a 16/8 diet plan is to pick an eight-hour window and then limit your food intake to that specific period of time. Remember that, for a fast to work, you need to be very strict and really stick to your schedule.
The Schedule for the 16/8
It’s important that you notice that you can pick the fasting and eating hours according to your daily routine. Most people prefer to use their eating period from noon to 8 o’clock in the evening, giving them a chance to fast overnight and skip breakfast but still get a hearty lunch and dinner, including some healthy snacks. Other people rather start at 9 am and end by 5 pm, opting for a full breakfast and a super early dinner.
The “211 Healthy Dinner Plate”
In order to truly follow the 16/8 method, it’s important that you start picking healthier ingredients and meals, so you can base your diet plan on the “211 Healthy Dinner Plate”, which consists of the 6 following foods: water, healthy protein, vegetables, whole grains like rice and noodles, fruits and healthy oils. In order for your body to process these ingredients better, you should make sure that 1/2 of your plate is made up of fruits and/or vegetables (potatoes don’t count as vegetables on this plate), 1/4 of your dish should be filled with whole grains and the remaining 1/4 of the dish should contain protein.
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Who Can and Can’t Do 16/8
The 16/8 fasting is not suitable for people who suffer from gastric ulcers, pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant and lactating women. People who’ve suffered from bulimia or other digestive problems should also stay away from this method.
Tips to Succeed at 16/8
As we mentioned, following the 16/8 fast is not that hard if you’re committed to weight loss and you have a pretty strict routine and meal guide. However, there are plenty of tips you can follow in order to really succeed at performing this fast and having effective results to lose weight and lower measurements.
Choose Your Food Wisely
The best kept secret to succeed at the 16/8 fast is to pay close attention to the food composition instead of stressing out about the schedule. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, pick lean meat, eat as less carbs as possible and, as it always should be, stay away from processed and deep-fried food which is filled with harmful ingredients.
Drink More Water
If you’re having trouble sticking to the fasting part of this method, water can be your best friend. Drinking cold water during your fast can alleviate the hunger feelings and reduce anxiety from not eating. You can also drink some sugar-free coffee or tea. Make sure to stay away from lemonade, fruit tea or other sugar-packed beverages because they’re not acceptable for this method.
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Eat a Fuller “Last Meal”
Since you’re about to spend the next 16 hours of the day without food in your system, it’s important that you make your last meal of the period a good and hearty one. Eat a bit more than usual because the amount of protein and dietary fiber you take in at this time will help you feel full for longer and help you succeed during the fasting time.
Do Some Cardio Exercises
If you want to see faster results for your 16/8 method, make sure to add some cardio exercises to your daily routine. Once your fat is broken down by the body, it turns into free fatty acids that can actually be used to burn fat during aerobic exercises. You can do cardio exercises such as cycling, jogging, walking or running everyday for at least 30 minutes, and it’s best if you do it during the 8-hour period to have more energy.
Extend Your Fasting if You Had a Big Meal
Last but not least, here’s a little tip that can help you get through a “cheat day”. If by some reason you just had a particularly heavy meal filled with unhealthy ingredients, you can change your usual 16/8 method for a 24-hour fast to make up for the extra calories. This method, which is doctor-approved, can only be done once in a while so you don’t throw your body off balance.
Now you know exactly how the 16/8 fasting works and how to do it properly without putting your health at risk. Once you get the hang of it, your body will quickly start to lose weight and show results!
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