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What is 16/8 intermittent fasting? Detailed diet, benefits and side effects

Currently, there are many fasting methods for weight loss, round which 16/8 intermittent eating is being used the most. This diet is easy to follow, flexible in time, easy to maintain to lose weight and improve overall health.

What is 16/8 intermittent fasting?

The 16/8 intermittent fasting is a means of losing weight by limiting the consumption of calories during the day.The numbers 8 and 16 represent the timeline for consuming food, including high-calorie foods and beverages, for 8 hours of the day and complete fasting for the next 16 hours. Intermittent fasting cycles can vary from 1 to 2 times per week to every other day depending on the weight loss needs of the individual.

The 16/8 intermittent fasting is believed to provide health benefits (such as controlling blood sugar, enhancing brain function and increasing longevity) by metabolic switching that causes the body to deplete stored sugar energy and start burning fat, especially subjects who want to lose weight and burn fat. The advantage is known to be less limited in foods and more flexible in time than other diets, you can adjust to your schedule and preferences. But it’s important that you stick to the same schedule every day.

Implementation and reference menu of the 16/8 intermittent fasting method

The first, you need to determine the time frame of 8 hours of eating and 16 hours of fasting. You can experiment on many different time frames to choose the time frame that best suits your work and rest schedule.

To get the best effect from the 16/8 intermittent fasting method does not only come from the division of eating time and fasting, also influenced by the menu in the process. The diet that provides adequate nutrients will increase endurance with 16 hours of fasting and enhance other health benefits. Some suggestions for the 5 main food groups that make up a healthy meal according to the intermittent fasting method are:

  • Protein sources: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, seeds, nuts…
  • Whole grains: Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, corn
  • Healthy fats: From vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil…
  • Green vegetables and fruits: Broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes…
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, avocados…

About non-calorie beverages such as water, tea, unsweetened coffee,… may help control appetite. However, it is not recommended to overdo this diet with junk food, which can reduce the benefits or even cause more harm.

What does 16/8 intermittent fasting do?

This method is often used because it is easy to implement, flexible, and easy to maintain in the long run. Even for those who have busy schedules and it reduces the time and cost of preparing food each week.

In terms of health, 16/8 intermittent fasting can bring the following benefits:

  • Weight loss: By burning excess body fat and visceral fat to promote weight loss.
  • Improve cardiovascular health: Lowers blood cholesterol, improves blood vessel problems. Intermittent fasting can prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
  • Improves neurological health: Enhances brain function, improves memory, prevents neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s disease).
  • Beneficial for diabetics: Reduces insulin resistance, reduces fasting insulin levels by up to 31% and lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Anti-aging, prolonging life: Fights cellular oxidative stress – one of the steps leading to aging and chronic disease.

What are the limitations of 16/8 intermittent fasting?

Despite the great benefits, the 16/8 intermittent fasting method still has drawbacks that need attention as follows:

  • Gaining weight due to trying to fast during the set time frame, many people tend to eat more to compensate. This will be counterproductive to 16/8 intermittent fasting.
  • Some mild digestive disorders and unhealthy eating habits.
  • Asthenia, fatigue: this condition will gradually decrease as the body gets used to this diet.

In addition, intermittent fasting is not recommended for certain populations, including:

  • Children and adolescents under the age of 18
  • People with a history of eating disorders
  • People with type 1 diabetes who must take insulin or people with type 2 diabetes who are taking medication and a strict diet is required
  • People who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are trying to get pregnant
  • Athletes or other individuals with high performance needs

Remember to consult of the doctor before attempting intermittent fasting or make changes to your diet to avoid potential health problems.

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