Intermittent fasting is taking the health and wellness industry by storm as of late, and for good reason too.
You can often find this type of diet paired with the ketogenic diet. While it’s recently becoming a popular diet trend, the truth is that fasting has been in place for thousands of years. Inf act, there are many different cultures and religions around the world that practice fasting.
The 16/8 method is of the more popular methods of fasting today.
But what is the 16/8 method exactly?
The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours each day. This will restrict your window to an eating window of about 8 hours each day. However, if you’re new to fasting you may want to start with a 14 hour fasting window in order to avoid discomfort or hunger pains.
This method can be a great first step if you’re new to fasting in general!
It can be as simple as eating dinner earlier in the evening (with it being the last thing you eat in the day) and then skipping breakfast the following day. For example, if you finish your last meal of the day around 6 in the evening, then you don’t eat again until 10 am the next day, you would technically be in a fasted state.
This means no calories in between, not even creamer in your coffee, or else you may break your fast.
While some individuals may struggle with skipping a meal in the morning, this way of fasting might be a much more instinctive way to eat.
If you are an individual that gets hungry in the mornings, there are a few ways to help ease into this type of fasting. Drinking water, coffee or other non-caloric drinks can be a great way to negate hunger pains.
Benefits of the 16/8 Method
What are the benefits of the 16/8 method?
Some of these benefits include:
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Improved weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved metabolic health
- Possibly improved longevity
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Research has found that intermittent fasting can help reduce insulin levels and even lower blood sugar by up to six percent. This could have potential to decrease your risk of diabetes. (1)
Improved Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting isn’t for just one lifestyle. This type of fasting can be beneficial for both healthy or overweight individuals. Research trials have shown that intermittent fasting is efficient in weight loss and body fat loss. (2)
Intermittent fasting (or restriction of calorie consumption in general) has been shown to help lower markers of inflammation. (3)
Why is this important?
While inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal, it can become harmful when it comes chronic, lasting for weeks, months or even years. This type of inflammation is the foundation of many diseases you see and hear about today.
Possibly Improved Longevity
All of the benefits provided by intermittent fasting may possibly contribute to a longer life and healthier aging overall.
Different Types of Fasting
There are several different types of fasting methods. Some of the different types of fasting one can practice include:
- 5:2 Diet
- Alternate-Day Fasting
- The Warrior Diet
For some individuals who can’t imagine skipping breakfast every day, there are other options. The 5:2 diet involves five days of normal eating with the other two days being in a severe caloric deficit (only consuming 500-600 calories in a day).
This fasting options allows for one to practice their normal eating habits for the majority of the week, while choosing two days to practice discipline and caloric restriction in order to replicate particular fasting benefits.
The “Eat-Stop-Eat” method involves a 24 hour fast once or twice a week. This method is fairly simple as long as you’ve been practicing fasting for a while. Otherwise, a 24 hour fast can be fairly difficult for some people.
It’s recommended to begin with shorter periods of fasting (14-16 hours) before working up to an entire 24 hour fast.
This type of fasting involves fasting every other day. However, like the “Eat-Stop-Eat” method, this can be extremely difficult (especially for beginners).
It’s recommended that the days of fasting still include 500-600 calories to mitigate any potential hunger pains or uncompromising discomfort.
The Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet is a different type of fasting.
This involves fasting during the day (with only a small amount of fruit and vegetables) with a large meal at night. The bottom line is, you’re able to fast all day and feast all night (within a four hour time window).
Now that we know more about fasting, the bigger question is – how does intermittent fasting and ketosis relate and work in conjunction with one another?
As it turns out, fasting can, in fact, help you get into ketosis quicker!
In simplest terms, being in a state of ketosis can be somewhat compared to being in a fasted state. Your body IS fasting in some sense.
In order to enter ketosis, you can approach it a couple different ways. The first option would be the more common approach: Keeping your carbs extremely low. In other words, take part in the ketogenic diet.
The second option would be to fast! Instead of cutting out carbs drastically, you simply don’t eat at all for a particular amount of time.
Being in a ketogenic state or “ketosis” simply means your body is breaking down fats for energy instead of carbs. In fact, many people who look to start the ketogenic diet will often incorporate fasting in order to get into ketosis faster.
Whether you’re looking to start the ketogenic diet or just looking for fasting schedule that fits your needs, the 16/8 method is great method to incorporate into your daily habits.
For beginners it’s recommended to start with a 14 hour fast and skip breakfast in order to get an idea of what fasting for longer periods of time will feel like.
Remember, you can still consume water, black coffee and other non-caloric beverages to get you through and help suppress your hunger pains.