I’m a sucker for a trend. I’m always curious as to what all the fuss is about, especially if it’s got to do with health and wellness. The newest trend which has piqued my interest is the “growing -in-popularity” 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Diet (an evolution of the 5:2 Diet). However, this is meant to be less like a diet and more like a sustainable way of life. Even better. Diets are too hard in my experience. So naturally, I had to give this one a go.
10 days ago I started “doing” the 16/8. I’m sure most of you reading this know what the 16/8 is, but if you don’t, it simply means you eat for 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours within a 24hour period. Fasting means you can’t eat anything, but you can drink calorie neutral drinks during the fasting period, such as tea, water, and black COFFEE(!!!!!).
Not only is this method meant to help you shed some pounds, but it also has some other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity and could delay aging. So basically it’s going to make you drop some pounds and look and feel 10 years younger... Sign me up! But let’s be honest, losing some weight is the real reason most people are interested in this diet.
So, whether you are contemplating embarking on the 16/8 or you want some motivational tips to stay on it, have a read of my top tips based on my personal experience with the 16/8.
Tip #1 - Pick the best eating window for you: I found this to be the most important part of the diet – picking an 8-hour eating window and sticking to it. If this “way of life” is going to work, it needs to fit into your current life and lifestyle.
If you want to do this diet on consecutive days, then whatever your window the day before will impact your eating window the following day. For example, if my eating window is 9am-5pm today, but I have a dinner out with friends tomorrow, then it’s not going to work.
Choose a window which suits your lifestyle. If you get home late from work and it’s not possible to have a meal early, then maybe your window could be 12-8pm.
Have a think about where you want to curb bad habits. I’m a late night snacker, so I wanted parameters around my eating. I therefore chose my window to be 10:30-6:30pm so I stop eating after dinner.
This is also meant to be a sustainable way of life so choose something that will be most enjoyable for you. Some people are breakfast people and can’t skip it, while others could happily go without breakfast. Go with what your gut tells you!
Tip #2 – Do this with a friend: Not eating at strange times of the day is challenging enough as it is, but it’s even harder when there is a juicy burger or plate of bacon and eggs in front of you. It’s easy to cave when others around you aren’t with you.
Rope someone else into the 16/8 too. Choose someone you eat with often, is dedicated and will support you. In my case, it was my husband!
Tip #3 – Don’t get discouraged if the weight doesn’t come off immediately: This one is a slow burn. In the 10 days, I’ve probably dropped 1.5kgs and that’s only in the last day or so. I think my stomach has also shrunk from the fasting, meaning I eat smaller portions and less in my eating window. This will also be something that comes with time on the 16/8. This one won’t happen overnight, but you will see some benefits eventually.
All in all, I think this is a really flexible way of shedding some kilos. I am all for balance and not cutting foods completely from my diet, so this works well for me. If I want some chocolate, all I have to do it wait for my 8 hr eating window. I am learning what it feels like to be hungry again and I have more appreciation for the food I am eating and this can only be a good thing!
Anyone else tried the 16/8? I’d love to hear your thoughts.