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Today’s fast-paced life has led to the development of a multitude of innovative exercises and diet plans. People generally have to try out various techniques before they settle on a health plan that suits their needs and lifestyle. There is a way to eat to your heart’s content and still manage to lose weight, with the help of the ‘8-hour diet’. It focuses on eating during an 8-hour window, while avoiding food for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
What do you eat on the 8-hour diet?
The amount of food a person plans to eat during this diet plan completely depends on the appetite. One can eat their favourite meals, yet to attain the best results. However, maintaining some decorum can be helpful.
Here are some specific food items to include to stay energized throughout the day:
1. For non-vegetarians –Eggs and fish
It is suggested to avoid consuming red meat as that can be heavy for the body after a long period of fasting.
Eggs will not only keep the person full but also help with the protein intake.
Fish, on the other hand, is rich in Omega 3 as well as vitamin D, which helps keep the brain functioning upright.
2. For vegetarians – Green leafy vegetables, potatoes, avocados, whole grains.
Vegetables provide a suitable amount of iron, calcium and vitamins for the body, whereas potatoes and avocados can help in satisfying hunger pangs. Whole grains provide a complete diet that ensures proper health throughout the day.
3. Other options – Dairy, nuts, probiotics, berries, grains, seeds and legumes.
Consuming nuts, dairy, probiotics and other options will fulfil any missing nutrient requirements that the diet may have failed to complete.
Also, nuts and seeds are easy and quick to consume. Legumes and beans are highly rich in protein thus enhancing muscle build-up.
Can you lose weight on the 8-hour diet?
The body creates energy gaps when restricted to eating within a limited period of time. These energy gaps can assist in losing weight. Though it can be difficult to notice any significant weight loss in a short span of time. This dietary plan is better suited for people who are unable to control their urge to eat food, especially obese people. With a limited supply of calories to the body, the 8-hour diet has additional health benefits, but they are limited to certain individuals, which means it can be unsuitable for certain people.
Reports and studies suggest that people can lose up to 0.25 kgs of weight per week, i.e. a total of 3-8% of their body weight in a span of 3-24 weeks. A higher percentage of weight can be lost by indulging in a more healthy eating habit.
What can I drink while fasting?
Fasting also implies refraining from eating, this includes consumption of sugar, sweetener or any artificially flavoured drinks.
Listed below are some drinks that can be consumed throughout the period of fasting:
1. Water – There are no restrictions on the amount of water an individual can consume.
2. Unsweetened coffee and tea – Drinking tea and coffee is completely fine during fasting.
3. Lemon water – This is acceptable until and unless the water isn’t artificially flavoured
4. Apple cider vinegar with water – This drink is completely safe to use as a thirst-quencher.
5. Pure fruit juice – Until and unless there is no added sugar to the drink, this juice is a great drink to sip on.
6. Other options – vegetable or chicken broth, as well as vegan milk are some other suitable options.
How often should you do the 16/8 fasting?
There are many benefits of the 16:8 intermittent fasting method, but there are some cons with the pros as well. With the fear of losing something for a long period of time, it is rational to keep it close for as long as one can. Similarly, the 8-hour diet can start encouraging people to overfeed themselves during the 8-hour window. The overeating can raise blood pressure and impact the metabolism of the person.
It is advisable to stick to a more flexible dietary plan. People can choose to continue the fasting on alternate days once they reach their target weight. The impact of continuous 16:8 fasting can be harmful on the health, thus it is advisable to break the routine when feeling unwell or experiencing any other health-related problems. Fitting in 1-2 days of this diet plan in a week is a healthy decision.
Is the 8-hour diet suitable for everyone ?
Just like every other exercise and diet plan, the 8-hour diet plan has some flaws too. These flaws comprise of uneven eating habits such as excessive eating in a short span of time. For people who already have a healthy diet, it is advisable to avoid further experimentation with their bodies. The 8-hour diet plan is a more suitable option for people who have unhealthy eating habits, which may have led to obesity.
How does it help those with Obesity ?
In the case of obese people, they are already suffering from an irregular eating pattern. The 8-hour diet helps them put an end to their constant struggle with food. This will also help in controlling their blood pressure levels, which are often high due to the excessive weight gain. Thus, it can be concluded that following the 16:8 intermittent diet plan on an everyday basis is not suitable for every person.
The additional health issues that could follow up because of the constant restriction of food consumption can be harmful in the long term. Hence, one should only try intermittent fasting once or twice in a week to get the benefits as well as avoid side effects. It is advisable to completely avoid this diet plan in case a person is suffering from a chronic illness or is physically unfit.