The 16:8 Diet or Intermittent Fasting – A Good Idea for Healthy Eating?

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For foodies, going on diets can be an ordeal. We can totally relate to people who wish to eat healthy, by going on diets, but are terrified of failure. Food is life and the sheer idea of shunning it makes us break into a sweat. But like all good things in life, one needs to know where to draw the line. Asking our body to toil hard continuously all day, every day, is a disaster waiting to happen. It is important to give it a break every once in a while and let it process the food we eat in a healthy manner. By that, I mean fasting.

Our culture has always associated fasting with religious rituals and traditions. But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Fasting can be good for you and also come with the added advantage of knocking off those extra kilos! That is the basic thought behind the 16:8 Diet. According to new studies, the 16:8 Diet is a form of intermittent fasting that might facilitate weight loss. Now, what does that entail? It means that one is supposed to fast for 16 hours a day and eat only in the remaining 8 hours. While one can eat whatever they wish to in those 8 hours, it is advised that it be healthy food. It can comprise of foods such as vegetables, nuts, lentils, beans, fruits, dairy and lean meats, as per preference. Coupled with a light exercise routine, it just might help with weight loss.

So, what of the 16 hours of plain fasting? Well, one doesn’t have to become all parched but, indulge in water, good ol’ black coffee (it doesn’t have any calories and provides energy!), black tea, coconut water. They keep you hydrated and help stay active.

The time frame during which one fasts and eats can be set by the individual following the 16:8 Diet. The most preferred time duration by followers, as per research, is the 10 am to 6 pm window. Since, one is asleep for half the 16-hour fasting window, following the diet becomes a little easier. But, like I said, the prerogative is entirely yours. Choose a time frame that suits your routine and stick to it.

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What does our body undergo when we fast? It essentially goes into a state of ketosis, which means the body burns the fat reserves stored for energy rather than carbs. Since, we are not feeding the body carbs to burn, the body starts working for itself and burns fat. But, the 16:8 Diet, like all diets, is hard to maintain and it is difficult to stick to the regimen. It all depends on perseverance and willpower. According to research, some of the benefits of the diet include lower blood pressure, combat obesity, improve metabolic health, reduce cancer and heart disease risk.

All said and done, does the 16:8 Diet actually work? Well, the outcome depends on several factors such as, the duration of the fast, amount and kind of food eaten during the 8-hour window, and exercise routine (if any). While the diet may help reduce a little weight, is it a sustainable long-term option? The answer is maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Without extensive research into the field, it is hard to ascertain if the diet is tenable or not. Suffice to say, one can give it a whirl and see for themselves.

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