What is intermittent fasting 16 8? The intermittent fasting plan cannot really be called a diet as there are no restricted foods that you may or may not eat. It is a cycle of voluntary abstinence or reduction of food, followed by normal intake of food. Those who are on a 16/8 fast, often don’t eat after suppertime and do not eat again until they can enjoy a late breakfast/brunch. So typically, if you would last eat at 6:30 in the evening, you would wait until 10:30 the next morning before you would eat again.
This eating plan is suitable for more than healthy, well-nourished adults who would like to loose some weight. It is also a benefit to those who would like to improve their overall health!
What is intermittent fasting? How you can make this system work for you, and what are its benefits and disadvantages from your health’s point of view.
What Is Intermittent Fasting 16 8?
Fasting is a voluntary choice to abstain from eating food. Some people do it to improve their health, some fast for religious reasons, and I am sure there are many other reasons a person would choose to fast.
Any time you are not eating, you are intermittently fasting. While you are sleeping, you are fasting, so the first meal of the day is a break from the fast of the night before.
How Does It Work?
You can eat your daily allotment of whatever healthy foods that you want during an 8-hour window of time. During the remaining 16 hours of time you give your digestive system a break and don’t eat.
You do need to stay hydrated while fasting, so it is a good idea to drink your normal 8 glasses of water a day. You can drink water, or unsweetened herbal tea during your fasting period.
The Early Hunter and Gathers from Long Ago
People have been fasting for a millennium or more. The early hunter and gathers of the world would eat when they found food, and when food was scarce, they had little to eat.
Dr. Jason Fung often speaks about intermittent fasting. You can read more about intermittent fasting from the popular book he and Jimmy Moore wrote, called The Complete Guide to Fasting: Alternate Day and Extended Fasting. Click here to find out more.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Effect the Body?
When we eat, the body releases the hormone insulin to convert glucose from our food into energy. If the glucose is not immediately used, insulin helps store the excess glucose into the fat cells.
Going for extended periods without food, as in intermittent fasting, insulin is not released into the body. The body then begins breaking fat cells down to be used by the body which helps in more than weight loss.
What Happens to the Stores of Fat That We Do Have?
When we have fat stored in our cells which we are not using, our blood sugar levels are high and our insulin levels are high so that it becomes possible for us to get type 2 diabetes. The high blood sugar levels can damage the inside of our arteries and damage our kidneys.
What Effect Does Intermittent Fasting Have on High Sugar Levels?
Monique Tello, MD MPH of the Harvard Medical School claims that studies show that Intermittent Fasting can lead to stabilized blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, improvements in stress reduction and memory, and slowed aging.
She said that “Intermittent fasting is simply letting your insulin level go basically to normal so that you unlock your fat stores.”
So How Can You Make this System Work?
How can you make this system work? How can you fast for 16 hours of the day?
Dr. Mark Mattson, Ph.D., professor at John Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that you take it slowly. When you go to bed after eating your supper, and sleep for 8 hours, you already have an 8-hour window of fasting which you break at breakfast.
Take it one step farther. If you eat your supper at 7 p.m., see if you can wait until 7 o’clock in the next morning before eating breakfast. That is a twelve-hour fast.
When you become accustom to that schedule, try a 14-hour fast. Once that seems do-able, work your way up to a 16-hour fast. A 6 p.m. supper to a 10 a.m. breakfast is a 16-hour fast. Eight of those hours you were asleep!
Concentrate mainly on eating vegetables, protein and legumes. If you are hungry for bread, eat it at the end of your meal.
Who Should Not Try This Eating Method?
The 16 8 intermittent fasting plan is recommended for adults who are basically healthy, with no major medical problems.
It is not recommended for those who are:
- Pregnant or nursing mothers
- Trying to conceive
- With eating disorders
- Prediabetic, or diabetic (unless under doctor’s supervision)
Before trying this or any change to your regular eating plan you should always consult with your physician or healthcare provider to be certain if this plan is right for you.
You can eat whatever you desire during an 8-hour eating window, and you fast during the other 16 hours of the day.
It may take a bit for your body to get used to this routine, but once you are used to it most people can adjust quite well.
Benefits and Disadvantages of a 16 8 Intermittent Fast.
Human research has shown that intermittent fasting has improved such disease indicators as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and inflammation. Fasting has been known to lower blood cholesterol and lower body mass index (BMI) as well.
Repeated periods of fasting have been noted for “broad-spectrum benefits” including not only disease resistance, but also improved mental and physical performance, according to Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D. of NIA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) and Mark P. Mattson Ph.D., formerly of NIA’s IRP and currently a neuroscientist at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The Downside of Intermittent Fasting
Research seems to indicate that Intermittent Fasting is good in many respects, but you must be able to live with the eating pattern!
Many people find the intermittent fasting plan difficult to maintain over time. It can be difficult to accept social invitations during evening hours. A way of eating should be something you enjoy and can work with.
When they begin IF, many people will find themselves hungry, irritable, and with a reduced ability to concentrate when they are reducing their food intake. Over time, their body adjusts to it and it becomes less of a problem. Some people use these products to help them through the day. Just don’t exceed a healthy calorie count.
Intermittent Fasting Can Be a Healthy Option.
Intermittent fasting allows your digestive system some time to rest and rejuvenate itself. It allows time to reset itself metabolically. Just as you body needs a time of rest, so does your digestive system.
The Intermittent Fasting Plan is Not for Everyone.
The 16:8 plan may not be advisable for those with a history of depression and anxiety and fasting is a risk factor for persons with eating disorders. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive. It is not for children. Anyone with diabetes or prediabetes should not use this method of eating without medical supervision.
Some Tips for Intermittent Fasting
- Drink water to keep hydrated.
- Drinking unsweetened herbal tea may curb your appetite.
- Keep active. Watch less television and keep moving. It is not as easy to snack when you are busy.
Before Trying Intermittent Fasting 16 8…
You should speak with your doctor before trying the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting, especially if you are on medication or have low blood pressure.
An Example of Healthy Living
In one of the five “Blue Zones” in the world, where people live long and healthy lives, there is a group of people in Icaria, Greece that have many periods of fasting for religious holidays. This group of people has the highest percentage of 90-year-olds with almost no dementia.
We have discussed, “What is intermittent fasting 16/8?” There are so many possible benefits from Intermittent Fasting, that you should not ignore them.
We have discussed what intermittent fasting is, how you can make this system work for you, and its benefits and disadvantages.
It is an eating plan to encourage healthy living. If you control the number of calories you consume in a day, and fill your menu full of healthy food, it will also help you lose weight!
There are so many health benefits to following this eating plan.
Please Leave Some Comments!
Finally, we are looking for a healthy lifestyle. Would you be able to live with intermittent fasting? Have you ever tried it? Could you maintain it?
Leave some comments below I would love to hear from you!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioners. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.
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