Intermittent Fasting is one of the popular ways of losing weight. The 16/8 method is the most common way in doing so, and it is known as one of the effective ways of losing weight and improving metabolism by fasting for 16 hours a day and eating between the 8-hour ‘eating window’ hours. It is where an individual consumes their food during the middle of the day, monitoring their daily eating habits.
We’re used with the routine where we eat 3 or sometimes 4 hours a day – breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner. Sometimes even 5, for those who eat midnight snacks. However, when uncontrolled, this kind of lifestyle causes someone to gain weight and not have a healthy metabolism.
In this article, we’re going to share how Intermittent Fasting works, how it’s done, the advantages and disadvantages, and advice on how to make this meal plan work for you.
Are you ready? Sit down, relax, and take notes, folks! Let’s get this started!
16/8 is the most popular method of Intermittent Fasting. It is where the person will fast for 14-16 hours a day, restricting the calorie intake and number of meals per day. If it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, in this meal plan, we’ll have to eliminate either breakfast or dinner, and only eat in the 8 window hours. To do this, you’ll have to choose your fasting time and eating time. Choose what works for you.
Here are some of the examples:
8 am – 4 pm mealtime, 5 pm to 7 am fasting time
9 am – 5 pm mealtime, 6 pm to 8 am fasting time
10 am – 6 pm mealtime, 7 pm to 9 am fasting time
1 pm – 8 pm mealtime, 9 pm to 12 nn fasting time
Eating regularly helps to avoid excessive hunger, and during the fasting hours, an individual needs to drink lots of water to stay hydrated (water, coffee, and non-caloric beverages are advisable to reduce hunger) because sometimes, we mistaken dehydration to hunger, which is why we have overeating tendencies. However, not because Intermittent Fasting changes not what we eat but rather when we eat, we can eat in the 8-hour period means we can eat even unhealthy foods. It is advisable to eat healthy foods such as high-fiber foods, protein, balanced carbohydrates, etc., avoiding unhealthy foods just like junk foods and foods with high sugar content.
Advantages of intermittent fasting
- Weight loss
Results in several studies found that Intermittent Fasting has been associated with a decrease in body weight, fat.
- Proper discipline in your eating habits
For those people who have overeating tendencies, this can help to identify the right timing of eating and choosing to eat healthily, and at the same time, staying hydrated during the fasting hours.
- Can prevent diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart conditions and several kinds of cancer
Some studies reported that intermittent fasting reduces fasting glucose by 3-6%. According to the study, it may decrease fasting insulin by 11-57% after several weeks of Intermittent Fasting.
Disadvantages of intermittent fasting
- Overeating during the 8-hour period
Whenever we go hungry, we get excited about what we’re going to eat. With this meal plan, we might get too excited about eating that may cause us to overeat and forget about why we’re doing the fasting in the first place.
- Interference with the social aspect of eating
We all know that more than a simple activity for us to survive every day, eating is also a social activity, like for example, having lunch or dinner with some friends, or when someone throws a party. Chances are, everyone will be eating, but with you who’s in a strict diet, you might end up watching them eating while you’re not.
- Potential long-term health consequences (for women)
There’s a real risk of nutrient deficiencies and reproductive issues in women. It can be linked to menstruation, fertility, early menopause, and metabolism disruptions.
Each meal plan has its advantages and disadvantages. Intermittent Fasting is not advisable for those who are having eating disorders (like anorexia nervosa), people who are experiencing depression and/or anxiety for it can trigger them. Eat healthy, for calories still count. In order to make sure that this meal plan will work for you, consult your doctor/dietician if you have concerns about your health condition.