Not so hypothetical situation: You want to get a little healthier and lose a few LBS before the summer. The gyms are closed, workout classes are cancelled and you’re supposed to embrace social distancing and avoid restaurants. We’ve explored different weight loss methods for you to get results in the comfort of your own home! Introducing 16:8 Intermittent Fasting. What is it, how does it work, and WHY the heck is everyone talking about it?! We broke it down below!
WHAT IS 16:8 INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Sometimes known as the 16:8 diet plan, it is a super trendy way to incorporate fasting into your day. If you’re following this eating plan, you’re essentially fasting for 16 hours a day, which leaves you a window of 8 hours to consume your calories each day. The best part of this plan is that there aren’t any restrictions on the amounts or even the types of food that a person can consume during the 8 hour window- the flexibility makes it super user friendly.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Before starting, you’re going to want to pick a 16 hour window, known as your fasting window. This SHOULD include the times when you’re sleeping. That would leave the other 8 hours of the day as your eating window. The most common times people would choose for their 8 hour eating window include:
8am - 5pm
9am - 6pm
10am - 7pm
11am - 8pm
One thing to keep in mind is that experts recommend NOT eating 2-3 hours before bed. So you want to pick times that work with your schedule, but that also will be optimal for your overall health goals. Eating regularly during this time period is very important, as you want to make sure to avoid things like excessive hunger and blood sugar spikes / dips.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
During 16:8 intermittent fasting, there isn’t a set food group(s) that you can or cannot eat, which lends to the flexibility of the plan! Obviously it’s more beneficial to you to keep it clean, and to avoid or limit your junk food consumption, as this wouldn’t give your body the fuel it needs to survive the day!
You know we’re all about that balance, so aside from occasional cheat moments, we recommend focusing on your fruits & veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains- just like our Flat Tummy Meal Plans are designed with! One thing to note is that you are 100% encouraged to drink PLENTY of fluids during your fasting period, as long as they are calorie-free drinks (water, unsweetened coffee or tea, etc).
WHY DO IT?
Studies have shown that if you limit your meals / snacking to a set period of time it could reduce the number of calories you eat, as well as help boost your metabolism. Some supporters of intermittent fasting have suggested that it can prevent a few different conditions and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases.
BONUS TIPS AND TRICKS:
1. Drink water REGULARLY- this could help reduce your calorie intake, because most people often mistake feeling thirsty for being hungry!
2. Finish your food consumption window (8 hours) as early as your schedule allows- this is recommended by experts because as the day progresses, your metabolism slows down.
3. If you plan on exercising, do so during your eating window, as exercising tends to work up an appetite!
4. Television has been linked to excessive eating / snacking- try to avoid it during your fasting period!
5. Always have a quick ‘meal’ handy, whether it’s at your desk or in your purse. You never know when you’ll be short on time, but when the 8 hour window opens, you’re going to want to grab a quick snack to satiate your hunger, and help you avoid overeating. Check out these shakes for a SUPER HEALTHY and delicious option!
Annnd there you have it- a beginner’s guide to 16:8 Intermittent Fasting. We know it’s not easy to keep cravings in check, and everyone’s body’s different. But the biggest take away from this is that you should focus on finding what works for you, and your body. Don’t be scared to try new things, because you never know what trend could be a PERFECT fit for your lifestyle!