ANDIntermittent fasting is a nutritional system that involves regular refusal to eat food for a certain period of time. One of the more popular regimens is the 16/8 schedule – no food intake for 16 hours followed by 8 hours of eating.

The 16/8 diet rules imply no breakfast, a hearty lunch, an afternoon snack and an early dinner – in fact, food is allowed only from noon to 8 pm. The advantage of intermittent fasting is the normalization of metabolism. According to reviews, this diet is especially effective for women.

// The 16/8 diet – what is it?

The 16/8 diet is a dietary system of fasting for 16 hours daily. Since most of this time occurs at night, such a diet is easy enough to follow. In addition, although a reduction in caloric intake is desirable, it is not necessary.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are based on the fact that periodic refusal to eat is a method of normalizing the body’s reactions to carbohydrates. In particular, we are talking about normalizing glucose levels and improving the processes of insulin production¹. The 16/8 diet can also optimize the production of the hunger hormone leptin².

Animal studies show that intermittent fasting is an effective way to extend their lifespan and boost immunity³. However, we note that in this case, the benefits are achieved not only due to compliance with the 16/8 intermittent fasting system, but also due to calorie restriction.

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How does it work?

Eating carbohydrate foods leads to an increase in blood glucose levels. If the energy of this glucose is excessive, it is sent to fat stores. Avoiding carbohydrates (or eating in principle) lowers glucose levels, forcing the body to use up reserves – this is the principle behind the work of the carbohydrate-free keto diet.

First of all, the 16/8 diet helps fight insulin resistance syndrome and related diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure. Research shows that intermittent fasting reduces the amount of microinflammation in the body and lowers the stress hormone cortisol³.

In addition, the hormonal changes mentioned above are of particular importance – low insulin and high growth hormone provoke the release of the powerful fat-burning hormone norepinephrine into the bloodstream. On average, intermittent fasting increases your metabolic rate by 3.6 to 14%.

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Intermittent fasting 16/8 – reviews

Intermittent fasting and the 16/8 diet are an effective method to combat sugar addiction. Often, the feeling of hunger is not real hunger at all, but only a signal from the body that the level of glucose in the blood is low. That is, the urge to snack is often associated with the habit of regularly consuming high glycemic carbohydrates.

At the same time, a full-fledged transition of the body to a hunger strike requires about 30-40 hours of refusal from food. Only after this time will the mechanisms of real hunger turn on, characterized by a sharp increase in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the hunger hormone leptin, which makes the brain think exclusively about food.

In other words, intermittent fasting optimizes metabolism (primarily the response to simple carbohydrates) without triggering the negative processes associated with a complete refusal to eat.

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Feedback from readers Fitseven

Zinaida:

I’m 60, and I have never played sports. Now I do not work, I am constantly at home. Started intermittent fasting a week ago, three moderate meals a day: at 10, 14 and 18. At 17 o’clock – an orange or an apple. At 9 am, gymnastics to music for 20-25 minutes. After each meal, I actively walk around the apartment for 30 minutes, listening to any music. The body has tightened, the volume is gradually disappearing. I don’t feel like eating at all in the evening. The mood is great! Highly recommend!

Nicole:

It helps a lot if you stick to this diet, then it will become like a daily routine. I eat at 10-12 (at 10 – coffee or tea, at 13 – lunch, at 15-16 – an afternoon snack), no exhausting diets are needed, but the result is excellent. You will lose weight, and even if you stop following this diet, you will not gain weight quickly.

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Intermittent fasting for women

The intermittent fasting system is especially beneficial for women. If you follow a 16/8 diet, reducing the daily calorie intake by 15-20% and avoiding fast carbohydrates helps to quickly get rid of both obsessive hunger and excess weight – even in the absence of fat burning workouts.

It is important to remember that intermittent fasting forces the body to use fat reserves not at all by restricting nutrition, but by optimizing insulin secretion and reducing sensitivity to carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.

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Contraindications

Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. First, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. Second, a 16/8 diet can worsen chronic illness. Plus, ultimately, the impact on health will be determined by the composition of the diet.

In other words, the timing of eating (or not eating) always plays a secondary role in comparison to the total calorie content and the balance of the BJU. At the same time, a sharp reduction in caloric intake (more than 20% of the norm) in itself can pose a health hazard.

Drying rules on a 16/8 diet

Intermittent fasting changes the way metabolism works – instead of processing food, the body switches to using existing reserves. As a result, hormonal levels change, and cells begin to get rid of the accumulated “debris” – this process is called autophagy.

Studies show that with intermittent fasting, the level of growth hormone (remember that it is responsible for gaining muscle mass and burning fat) increases by about 5 times. At the same time, insulin levels decrease – helping the body to quickly extract energy from fat stores.

Athletes reviews

Initially, the intermittent fasting system and the 16/8 diet were used by athletes as a way to gain lean muscle mass without fat. The key training rules for following this diet are to increase rest between sets and the mandatory use of belay when exercising.

In the case of using the 16/8 diet for weight loss, it is recommended to carry out a low-intensity and long-term fat-burning workout in the morning. This can be either spinning the pedals of an exercise bike for at least 40 minutes, or walking at a brisk pace.

Kirill:

I have been training on an empty stomach for 3 months now. Honestly, I feel much better than raw training. There are no problems with force. 16 hours of hunger for the body is not a period. I have dinner at about 20:00 and train the next day at 10-11 in the morning. Recommend. Fat burns power build up.

Andrew:

Great system. I tried it once – the result was good. By the way, scientists have tested empirically that even athletes, in the right scenario, do not lose muscle mass using this method of losing weight.

Practical advice

On a 16/8 diet, the most effective time to exercise is in the morning when your blood glucose levels are at their lowest. Note that at first, training on an empty stomach may seem difficult (especially for people with a low level of physical fitness), but gradually the body will adapt.

In particular, the mechanisms of energy storage from carbohydrates into glycogen (fuel for muscles), and not into fat reserves, will improve. We also mention that training with intermittent fasting allows the use of BCAA amino acids – they stop catabolic processes and reduce appetite.

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***

The 16/8 diet is an intermittent fasting scheme originally used by athletes for drying. This diet helps to normalize the body’s response to fast carbohydrates – which normalizes blood sugar levels and helps to lose weight (by reducing appetite).

Scientific sources:

  1. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease, source
  2. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without, source
  3. Intermittent fasting: Surprising update, source

Date of the last update of the material – March 15, 2021

 
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