Honestly, breakfast instantly loses its charm when it comes to shedding a few extra pounds. If, however, losing weight is not your real goal, please don’t skip it before reading the current article! You may already be familiar with the chrononutrition diet where you lose weight by eating at the right time of the day.
This diet has been recognized for its benefits and positive effects on the body, especially on cholesterol levels, hypertension and diabetes problems. Simple, safe, and long-lasting, 16/8 or 5/2 Intermittent Fasting is another trendy weight loss diet based on the food clock. Fasting to lose weight, does it work? How do you do it? Is it dangerous ? FitRobin gives you everything on the subject!
What Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting: An Effective Diet Or A Big Misconception?
Flexitarian diet, ketogenic diet, 1200 calories, carb cycling, whole30… among the new food programs, there is intermittent fasting. More than a diet, the latter has acquired a lot of notoriety over the past few years.
He even cracked up a few well-known stars. Hugh Jackman, one of his biggest followers, says the idea of fasting 16 hours a day has gone a long way in helping him prepare his body for the role of Wolverine in the movie X-men… And his abs speak for themselves! Still, there are a few questions to address before getting started.
What is it and does it really make you lose weight? How to do intermittent fasting? What to eat when you start? What are the advantages and benefits of fasting? Are there any health hazards? Here is our guide to fasting to lose weight effectively and durably!
Definition and principles of 16/8 intermittent fasting
First, it is important to clarify that there are different ways of practicing fasting: partial, strict, intermittent 5/2, 16/8, etc. In any case, it is about a mode of feeding which consists in alternating periods of fasting more or less long and periods during which one can eat. Less severe and easier to practice, the 16/8 diet allows the body to enjoy the same benefits as strict fasting (which does not allow any food intake). Already want to test it? Here’s how to practice it!
When adopting the 16/8 diet, you should be prepared to go 16 hours a day without food intake by consuming only unsweetened beverages such as water, tea, and coffee. As for the remaining 8 hours, they correspond to when you consume all your meals and snacks for the day. Those who practice it begin their fast in the evening, skipping breakfast and eating their first meal at lunchtime.
Admittedly, 16 hours without eating can seem like torture. However, it is not that hard as you might think. Before you dismiss anything, know that many followers of the 16/8 diet prefer to have their window between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., which allows you to eat at a sociable hour and sleep for a good while. part of the fasting time.
Whether you believe it or not, fasting to lose weight has more than one health benefit! Its biggest advantage is that there are no prohibited foods. In addition, some practitioners choose to combine 16/8 intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet to boost their weight loss. This cycle can be repeated as many times as you want.
If you want to lose weight effectively and durably by adopting new eating habits, do not hesitate to integrate the 16/8 diet into your lifestyle one day or several days a week. You can also follow it for a full week and then gradually reduce it once you start to see results.
Intermittent fasting: benefits, risks and contraindications
Still called the Leangains Method, the 16/8 diet has many important health benefits, especially in a society where junk food and overeating are very common facts. Here are some of its main strengths:
- stimulates the metabolism and promotes fat loss
- reduces insulin production
- prevents cardiovascular disease and diabetes
- boosts the secretion of growth hormone
- stimulates cell regeneration
- improves physical and mental condition
- fight against overweight
- slows down premature aging of cells
- promotes cleansing of the body
Is intermittent fasting dangerous for your health?
Since you eat a healthy and balanced diet during your 8-hour window, intermittent fasting is generally safe or harmless to your health. However, there are always exceptions to every rule. Like any other diet, the 16/8 method can sometimes cause short term problems like hunger, fatigue, weakness, deficiency, etc. But it is very likely that this inconvenience will subside as soon as the diet becomes a routine.
Because the window for food intake is intended to be limited, some dieters may start to eat more than usual. This can potentially promote weight gain, cause digestive issues, or develop poor eating habits. That said, it is recommended that you start and stop gradually. If you see any negative effects, do not hesitate to consult a specialist or go back to your old diet.
Intermittent fasting: the opinion of a specialist
Fasting to shed extra pounds is undoubtedly the food trend of the moment! And as mentioned above, it offers several health benefits to its followers. However, one should be careful, as a poorly conducted intermittent fast can cause more damage than good! Fatigue, frustration, deficiency, cravings, these are just some of the side effects we have already told you about. To avoid them, you should consult a specialist before doing anything. It is also important to keep in mind that the 16/8 method is not a diet, but rather a way of eating and developing new healthy habits. Simply put, losing weight shouldn’t be your only goal!
Short list of the most common mistakes to avoid
Fasting to lose weight is not the easiest task. Poorly conducted intermittent fasting can put a strain on your body. So here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:
- Skimp on hydration.
- Eat several times during the food intake period.
- Go too fast and set unattainable goals.
- Fasting to lose weight only without realizing the psychological and physiological benefits that go with it.
The Leangains method for whom?
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You? Well, a lot of it depends on your lifestyle and food preferences. It’s a safe, easy, and long-lasting way to improve your health when paired with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. 16/8 intermittent fasting should therefore not be considered a diet or a substitute for a healthy diet. If you fall into the nibbler category and you have a habit of eating several times a day, then the 16/8 method is very likely not for you.
A few tips to get you started on the right foot
So, it’s decided! You are starting the 16/8 diet! In this case, we advise you to go step by step. That is to say, instead of skipping breakfast, it is better to shift it. For example, Monday you take it at 8 am, Tuesday at 9:30 am, Wednesday at 10:30 am, Thursday at 11 am… until you succeed in eliminating it completely. This trick will make it easier for your body to adapt to dietary changes without starving.
For long-term results, patience is essential. Going on the intermittent 16/8 diet over a week will not end your weight problems. We therefore recommend that you test the fast over a period of one month to see what it gives. After four weeks, you will be able to develop your own nutritional strategy based on the results obtained.
Our final tip is to adjust your calorie intake based on your daily activities. For example, on the days when you go jogging, it is important to consume more nutrients than on the days when you are not exercising. This will promote muscle mass and prevent deficiency. When is the best time of day to train when you are fasting? In order not to get hungry before bed at night, it is best to do your workout at lunchtime or in the evening, which will allow you to eat during the afternoon or before the window closes, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
16/8 intermittent fasting: example of a special fasting menu
To help you better understand how to fast during the day, here is a good example of a special fasting food plan!
8.00 – alarm clock
8.00 to 12.00 – tea or infusion without sugar
12.30 to 13.30 – play sports
13.30 – lunch (salad of raw vegetables with olive oil and cheese, 150 g of meat or substitute, 200 g of whole starch and 1 seasonal fruit)
16.00 – snack (tea or infusion without sugar / natural yogurt / seasonal fruit)
19.00 to 20.00 – dinner (vegetable soup, 150 g of white fish, 200 g of cooked starch, fruit compote / 1 square of dark chocolate)