You may have heard about the “16-8 diet,” a strategy used by fitness professionals, actors and even some bodybuilders as a way to get shredded. What’s it all about? I’ll give you a simple explanation:
16-8 refers to the number of hours you fast and the number of hours you would typically eat when doing this kind of intermittent fasting. The typical practitioner would start his day by skipping breakfast. He would start eating some time in the early afternoon (though some may start by late morning), then only eat within that 8 hour window.
Does anything go as long as you only eat within set time period? No. Remember that fat loss always happens as a result of a negative calorie balance, and the 16-8 diet does not change this reality.
Why try this method if you still have to watch calories? There are a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, there seem to be some hormonal advantages to being in a fasted state. As I’ve mentioned before, fasting causes the body to increase the levels of certain hormones responsible for burning fat. These hormonal changes are especially helpful for helping the body tap into “stubborn” fat stores (like the “love handles” and lower abdominal region for men; hips and thighs for women).
This has been true in my case: eating breakfast usually leaves me hungry within a few hours, especially if a lot of carbohydrates are involved. Breakfast also tends to make me feel sleepy. But I usually have plenty of energy if I just drink coffee when I get up in the mornings. I wait and eat my biggest meal at dinner time when I’m ready to relax.
Check out the Renegade Diet if you are interested in trying this form of intermittent fasting. I really like the way Ferruggia explains everything and I’ve been able to follow this plan without feeling starved or deprived.