Is 16:8 Fasting A Sustainable Lifestyle Choice?
Intermittent fasting has a lot of fantastic health benefits, including weight loss, reduced risk of diseases, improved overall health and well-being, and so much more. It’s a powerful lifestyle and one that’s been growing in popularity. This is in part thanks to its flexibility. There are a lot of different options for you to choose from, and one of the most popular is 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight.
Because it’s trending, many people are left wondering if 16:8 fasting is a sustainable lifestyle choice. Or is it just another fad diet that will fade away into obscurity? Spoiler alert – it is sustainable and can stand the test of time to help you change your life. Here’s all you need to know.
- Intermittent fasting, particularly the 16:8 method, offers numerous health benefits, including weight loss, reduced disease risk, improved overall well-being, and more.
- 16:8 intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an eight-hour window. It is essential to focus on consuming healthy, nutrient-rich foods during the eating period to sustain energy and minimize hunger during fasting.
- The flexibility of intermittent fasting makes it a sustainable lifestyle choice. It allows individuals to choose their preferred eating and fasting windows based on their lifestyle and preferences, as long as they adhere to the designated time durations.
- Various eating window options are available for 16:8 intermittent fasting, such as 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., or 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Many people align their fasting window with their sleeping hours to make fasting more manageable and minimize the number of skipped meals.
- There are no strict food restrictions during a 16:8 intermittent fast, making it sustainable. However, prioritizing high-fiber and high-protein foods over high-carb options can help maintain satiety and prevent energy crashes or sugar crashes after consuming sugary foods. Slow, measured, and thoughtful eating is recommended for optimal results.
What is 16:8 Intermittent Fasting?
16:8 Intermittent fasting is when you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight hours. During this eating window, while you technically can eat what you want, you should really focus on healthy foods that are high in nutrients. These high-value foods can help sustain you through your fasting windows, keeping your energy up and your hunger down.
What Times Can I Eat During 16:8 Intermittent Fasting?
One of the big reasons that intermittent fasting is a sustainable life choice is that you can pick the eating windows that work for you. Just as long as you keep to the length of time for your eating and fasting windows, it doesn’t matter when you do it.
For 16:8 intermittent fasting, many people will choose one of the following plans.
- 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Most people choose to include a majority of their fasting window during their sleeping hours as they would not be eating during this time anyways. It helps make fasting more manageable, minimizing the number of meals you have to skip.
Consider your lifestyle as you choose which meals to skip. If you socialize over dinner often, you’ll want to ensure that your eating window can accommodate that. Test out different fasting windows to understand what works best with your life. 16:8 fasts are fully customizable to meet your needs, just as long as you find a 16-hour fasting window.
What Can I Eat During a 16:8 Intermittent Fast?
Typically, there are no restrictions on what you can eat during a 16:8 intermittent fast, which is why it’s sustainable. If you are following another diet or lifestyle choice (ie. vegetarian, vegan), you may have additional limitations with your meal choices.
However, as you consider what to eat, you want to make sure that you consider the nutritional value. Foods that are high in fiber and protein will help you feel fuller longer, while high-carb foods may cause an energy crash or sugar coma after your body has processed through the sugars.
It can be tempting to binge yourself following a fast, but you’ll end up paying for it later. Slow, measured, and thoughtful eating will make you feel the best and deliver the best results.
So, Is 16:8 Fasting a Sustainable Lifestyle Choice?
Yes! 16:8 intermittent fasting is completely sustainable, though it may be challenging to jump right into that level as it can feel advanced. Instead, start at a shorter fasting window and work yourself up to 16:8 fasting over time.
Once you adhere to it, you’ll notice changes in your hunger, energy levels, health, and more, so it’s worth exploring if you want to make positive changes in your life.
Is 16:8 intermittent fasting suitable for everyone?
While 16:8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable lifestyle choice for many individuals, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any new dietary regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
Can I drink liquids during the fasting period?
Yes, you can consume calorie-free beverages such as water, black coffee, and herbal tea during the fasting period. However, it’s recommended to avoid adding sweeteners or creamers that may break your fast.
Will I feel hungry during the fasting period?
It’s normal to experience some hunger during the fasting period, especially when starting out. However, over time, your body tends to adjust, and many people find that their hunger levels become more manageable.
Can I exercise while fasting?
Yes, it is generally safe to exercise during the fasting period. However, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity if needed. Some individuals may prefer to exercise during their eating window to fuel their workouts.
How long does it take to see results with 16:8 intermittent fasting?
The timeline for experiencing results may vary from person to person. Some individuals may notice changes in hunger, energy levels, and weight within a few weeks, while others may take longer. Consistency and patience are key when adopting any new lifestyle change.
Can I combine 16:8 intermittent fasting with other diets, such as keto or vegan?
Yes, 16:8 intermittent fasting can be combined with various dietary approaches, including keto, vegan, or others. However, it’s important to ensure that your food choices align with your chosen diet’s principles during the eating window.
Are there any potential side effects of 16:8 intermittent fasting?
While many people experience positive effects with intermittent fasting, some individuals may initially experience symptoms such as hunger, fatigue, or irritability. These symptoms often subside as the body adapts to the fasting schedule. If you have any concerns, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional.
Can I continue 16:8 intermittent fasting long-term?
Yes, 16:8 intermittent fasting can be maintained as a long-term lifestyle choice if it suits your needs and preferences. However, it’s important to periodically reassess your health and dietary goals to ensure it continues to align with your overall well-being.
Can I consume medications or supplements during the fasting period?
It’s generally acceptable to take prescribed medications or supplements during the fasting period, as they are necessary for your health. However, if you have concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist for specific guidance.
Can pregnant or breastfeeding individuals practice 16:8 intermittent fasting?
Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals have unique nutritional needs, and fasting may not be suitable during these stages. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your individual circumstances.