With intermittent fasting with the eight-hour diet, you either skip breakfast or dinner. The 16-hour fasting phase, in which you limit eating to eight hours, is important here. Here’s how the 16:8 method works exactly.
Diets are a complicated subject: there are many different types and not every diet is right for everyone. It is difficult to find the right one that is tailored to your own needs. If you don’t like diet plans and restrictions, but can skip a meal, you should try the 16:8 diet.
With this form of intermittent fasting, you have an eight-hour window in which to eat the three main meals of the day. The actual fasting phase takes place in the remaining 16 hours. Since this phase extends over the bedtime, in which eight hours are slept, this fasting variant is also called the eight-hour diet.
During the eight hours you are allowed to eat, it doesn’t matter what you eat. Nevertheless, fatty and sugary foods should be avoided. The diet does not have to be taken that strictly: even a fasting phase of 15 or 14 hours can make a difference and have a positive effect on the body.
In addition, experts recommend that you do an exercise session after the end of each fasting phase to boost your metabolism. This can be either a workout or a long walk.
Among the diets there are some forms that have an impact on your everyday life. Not so with the 16:8 method: you eat within 8 hours but fast for 16 hours. The easiest way to start the day is with a late breakfast at 11am, lunch at 1pm and dinner around 7pm. As with most diets, you can drink as much water, coffee, and unsweetened tea as you like.
Those who don’t want to leave the house without breakfast don’t have to go without anything. However, if you eat your first meal of the day at 8 a.m., you have to bring your “dinner” up to 4 p.m. accordingly. If you want to get an overview of intermittent fasting, you can find the relevant instructions and recipes in the Fit For Fun eBook.
Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows the usual characteristics: strict dietary regulations, every calorie is counted and sinful foods are avoided. You don’t have to do any of this for the 8-hour diet.
Intermittent fasting is therefore perfect for anyone who wants to lose weight but still doesn’t want to do without anything. Particularly practical: You can be completely flexible and adapt the fasting phase to your daily routine. When it comes to your diet, it doesn’t matter whether you’re vegan or an omnivore. You should only avoid too much fat and carbohydrates. Coffee and alcohol are also taboo.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It is not recommended for people who have problems with their pancreas, thyroid dysfunction or are severely overweight due to the heavy workload on the kidneys. If you want to lose a lot of weight, experts here recommend a low-carb diet. Diabetics should only fast under medical supervision.
If you don’t want to fast for 16 hours, you can also use a smaller version: With the 5:2 method, you eat as usual for five days and fast on the weekends. This form of intermittent fasting is suitable for anyone who would rather eat less two days a week than limit their daily food intake to just eight hours. In that case, you shouldn’t eat more than about 500 calories.
Of course, it is also a touch easier with the 1-day diet: the relief day. With the gentlest form of intermittent fasting, you send your metabolism on vacation for a day once a week, thereby relieving your gastrointestinal tract.
You only eat fruit and vegetables for a day, but potatoes and rice are also allowed. Alternatively, you can also have a juice day. It is also recommended that you drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day.
The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) considers fasting “not useful for regulating your weight in the long term” and has clearly spoken out against intermittent fasting. The DGE criticizes that intermittent fasting does not contribute to a long-term change in diet.
After all, there are no or only very vague recommendations for food selection. Therefore, there is also the risk that those affected would not only eat healthy food during the eight hours. Instead, it can be assumed that the 16 hours of fasting serve as an excuse to consume more foods containing fat and carbohydrates than usual in the short period of time. Especially because of the risk of developing too much hunger.
However, fasting does not have any health disadvantages. On the contrary. According to recent studies, it slows aging and four-week intermittent fasting reduces body weight by 4.5 percent. In addition, fasting can be safely practiced by healthy, normal-weight adults for several months.
Unlike most diets, the 16:8 method means that basically everything can be eaten. Of course, you should give preference to healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Especially with the latter, diversity is important.
The more varied, the better. Include different types of vegetables in your diet on a regular basis to meet your need for important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The important vital substances can be found in green leafy vegetables in particular. These include broccoli, spinach, savoy cabbage, kale and chard.
Legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains should also become a regular part of your diet, as they contain healthy fats and plant-based proteins. In addition, olive oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, fatty fish such as herring, sprat or mackerel and hemp oil provide essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Complex carbohydrates can be obtained from starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes), whole grains and pseudo-cereals like quinoa or buckwheat. They are also richer in fiber and have a more satiating effect than products made from white flour.
Protein is mainly found in legumes, fish, eggs, yoghurt and low-fat meat. You can also boost your metabolism with spices such as cinnamon, cumin and turmeric, and other power foods such as ginger.
Unlike most diets, the 8-hour diet also allows you to consume alcohol and sweets. You don’t have to go without almost anything as long as you don’t consume both daily. Only coffee containing milk such as latte macchiato and cappuccino must be avoided during the fasting phase, as well as any type of solid food.