The 16/8 Diet

Are you a snacker? The kind of person who’s always within arm’s reach of a potato chip or maybe a cookie? Is it possible that this behavior is making it difficult for you to lose weight? What if you restricted your eating to just 8 hours out of the day? As for the rest of the day (and night)? Nothing by mouth. This is the underlying concept behind the 16/8 Diet. Fast for 16 hours, then eat for 8.

The 16/8 Diet is closely associated with the Leangains program. The Leangains people call their eating plan intermittent fasting, and there are other diets with the same general approach. Leangains focuses mostly on a rigorous exercise regimen coupled with a very specific meal plan to burn fat and build muscle.

With the 16/8 Diet, you chose the 8 hours of the day to eat. Outside of that window, you get no calories. None. You can drink water, green tea and diet beverages (this is controversial among the true believers, so be careful where you say this) during your fasting period.

Most people open their eating window around noon. That is when the metabolism is really cranking up, plus in most cases our lifestyle demands strength and endurance in the afternoon. That means that you can eat what you want until about 8:00 in the evening. Not a bad deal unless you can’t watch those sit-coms without crunching on a snack.

Many people combine fasting and exercise with the 16/8 Diet. That means that they exercise during their 16 hour fasting window. Although this sounds like adding insult to injury, many people report that their exercise is more enjoyable and they don’t think about the food that they can’t eat while they’re exercising.

During your eating time window, you are pretty much wide open as to food selection and calorie intake. The diet’s designers recommend that you eat at least 1,200 calories a day, which mirrors the FDA’s recommendation. They recommend eating a low glycemic index diet if you can. That way you don’t flood your blood stream with insulin surges brought on by simple carbs, which can lead to fat deposits.

Could the 16/8 Diet work for you? Always consult your doctor first, of course. People with Type I diabetes are probably not good candidates, nor people with long, physically demanding jobs. Otherwise, it could be just the structure and simplicity that you need to shed those pounds! Let us know how it works for you!

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