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Best Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: The 16/8 Plan

Best Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting is a commonly used method for weight loss. Various time ⌚ schedules are being followed, however, the 16/8 method is one of the most common and is considered as the best method of intermittent fasting for weight loss.

Losing those extra pounds is always essential for a healthy life and for this purpose weight loss has been a primary concern of many people around the globe. There are several proposed ways for weight loss including dieting, working out, cardio, etc.

But for some people these methods may not be easy to fit into their lifestyle e.g., exercising can be hard for people who have issues with their joints.

Intermittent fasting can be very efficient for weight loss and it can be squeezed into your lifestyle with ease as well.

As it is obvious, every practice needs consistency for better results. Once you are consistently practicing intermittent fasting, the results will shock you.

intermittent fasting for weight loss

What is intermittent fasting?

Also called intermittent energy restriction, this stands for several eating schedules that cycle between non-fasting and fasting periods in a given set of time. It can have effects similar to a calorie-restricted diet.

Intermittent fasting composes a small time span in which you can eat and a greater time span in which you can fast or consume a very low-calorie diet.


How Effective Is Intermittent Fasting?

The effects of intermittent fasting are well known. As stated by the American Heart Association, intermittent fasting can induce weight loss, and lower insulin resistance, and chances of cardiovascular disorders are also reduced.

This method of weight loss has been found to be efficient in decreasing the risks of disorders associated with diet.

Other disorders may include obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and inflammation. A longer life expectancy is a benefit of regular fasting.

What is The Best Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss?

One of the most popular and the best intermittent fasting plans for weight loss is the ‘16/8 method’. This method is known for its effects on healthy weight loss.

This fasting comprises two different periods, 8 hours and a 16-hour period. During those 16 hours, you eat nothing but zero-calorie liquids like water, tea, or coffee. During the remaining 8 hours, you can eat all your snacks and meals.

You can stay asleep for half of those 16 hours as it may otherwise seem like a pretty stretched time.

This method is popularized for its effective results in weight loss and its popularity is based on several successful results.


What is The Mechanism Behind the 16:8 Diet?

Working on an hourly basis, the 16/8 method makes you eat for 8 hours and fast during the remaining 16 hours. This sort of fasting enables your body to process the nutrients in food by giving it enough time.

At the same moment, it helps with burning those extra calories. It does not require you to restrict your calories during those 8 hours. But that surely does not imply any intake of unhealthy food.

During those 16 hours of fasting, your body is cleansed of toxins and your cells are working effectively which does not happen in the case of regular eating patterns.

As a lack of food means a lack of glucose for use in the body, this pushes your body to use other sources of energy (burning fat stores). Thus, helping in weight loss.

weight loss clock

What Can You Eat During 8 Hours?

Sticking to a healthy diet is the key here. Losing weight on an unhealthy note will lead you to many complications later in life as such food items contain no beneficial nutrients.

So, keeping this in mind eat a nutritious diet composed of food items from all food groups including whole grains (oats, barley, rice, pasta), vegetables (leafy green veggies), fruits (apples, peach, berries, bananas), lean meat (poultry, fish), nuts (almonds, walnuts), and healthy fats like olive oil.

People who complain about the 16/8 diet not giving the desired results are usually picking items like junk food and other calorie-dense foods during the 8 hours.


When Should You Set Those 8 Hours?

The 8 hours of eating can be at any time during your day. You can choose an 8-hour time span that fits your lifestyle. This period can be from 12 pm to 8 pm or 7 am to 3 pm.

It is preferable to fast at night as it helps you to subside those food cravings by staying asleep for most of the time.

Commonly, people choose to eat from 12 pm to 8 pm. You can still drink water while fasting to stay hydrated and zero-calorie drinks like coffee and tea are also allowed.

Best hours for intermittent fasting: 8 pm to 12 pm

How Frequently Should You Do The 16/8 Diet?

It can be practiced once a day or even for an entire week as each day of intermittent fasting shows effects independent of other days.

There is contradicting evidence about the effects of practicing intermittent fasting continuously, some believe that it helps to clean toxins from your body and some believe that it may cause an increase in cholesterol levels, low sugar levels, and dehydration.


Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Aside from Weight Loss:

As we know intermittent fasting helps in weight loss but its benefits are not restricted to only the loss of extra pounds.

Such benefits include low cholesterol levels. By lowering your cholesterol levels, intermittent fasting helps with enhancing your heart health, contributing to longevity.

Research has shown a lower incidence of heart failure associated with regular fasting.

Overeating can disturb your sleeping patterns. For this reason, intermittent fasting can be quite helpful in establishing a proper sleep schedule.

It helps with the prevention of several disorders including type 2 diabetes and obesity.

It is beneficial for your mental health as well since it can lower your cortisol levels. Helps with becoming more productive. It can also reduce inflammation.


How many Pounds Can You Lose?

Coupling intermittent fasting with exercise and healthy eating patterns can cause significant weight loss.

Research has suggested that people lose weight with intermittent fasting without losing muscle mass. You can lose up to 7 to 11 pounds in approximately 10 weeks.

Possible Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting:

Some side effects of 16/8 fasting include lethargy, constant hunger, and weakness at the start.

This is due to a shift from normal eating patterns to restricted ones. Not eating properly during the 8 hours can also be a reason for these side effects.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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