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The 16/8 Fasting routine is the most popular version of Intermittent Fasting (read here for the entire ultimate guide), and is the easiest to transition into if you’re currently eating the ‘traditional’ breakfast.
Its so effective, yet so simple.
Most people are going about their lives only doing a 12 hour fast every day, but when this is extended to a 16 hour fast every single day without fail, the benefits truly do compound over time.
I talk a lot at this blog about how your Intermittent Fasting diet must be a lifestyle, rather than a ‘tactic’ or a ‘hack’. Like anything, it’s the compounding benefits from your positive habits that truly lead to your long-term success.
Speaking of compounding benefits…
16/8 Fasting Benefits
The true magic of Intermittent Fasting is experienced when it’s a legitimate lifestyle for you. The true magic meaning – 8-10% body fat, >800 testosterone, a ripped six pack, low blood pressure & inflammation etc.
But here’s what you’re looking at over the next few months…
Faster Fat Loss
The 16/8 Fasting diet will reduce your appetite, when done correctly, and will speed up your fat loss results. It’s great because you won’t even want to eat loads of food. This is especially true if you drink black coffee or green tea during your 16 hour fast.
Furthermore, your Intermittent Fasting diet may well increase your metabolism, according to the following studies here, here, here, and here. This of course speeds up the rate at which you burn fat, so it’s almost a double-whammy of fat-burning.
The Intermittent Fasting 16/8 diet may just save your life, by protecting you against a variety of diseases.
Or at a minimum, elongate it by 10+ years. It’s not just your life span (how long you live), but it’s about your health span (the quality years you spend on this planet able to be strong, fit, mentally sharp, able to travel etc.)
Intermittent Fasting helps you with all of this.
By keeping your insulin and body fat levels low, it will protect you against:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Future heart complications & damage to arteries
- Certain cancers
All of these diseases by the way, completely destroying your ability to enjoy life. And your fasting diet will go a long way to protect you against them ALL, especially if you’re eating the right foods.
I show you which foods to eat and when, in personalised Intermittent Fasting meal plans.
In addition to protection against all life-threatening illnesses, there’s also studies showing immediate reductions in blood pressure from following a fasting plan (8 hour eating window).
How To Do Intermittent Fasting 16/8
Technically, you can pick any 8 hour eating window that fits you (meaning a 16 hour fast). This could be 12pm to 8pm (like I suggest for the 16/8 schedule, or it could be 4pm to midnight (if you’re a student), or it could be 8am to 4pm.
ALL of them work to some extent, as far as the faster fat loss and long-term health benefits are concerned. But it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you as an individual.
Having said this, in my vast experience the one that works best for the vast majority of the population, is the 12pm to 8pm variation.
Black Coffee Is Your Most Powerful Fasting Weapon
Black coffee is seriously useful when it comes to accelerating your fat loss results and reducing your appetite. It’s the best way to start your day, and make the morning fasting period as easy and effortless as possible.
But the problem is, you can’t have this in the evening without disrupting your sleep at least to some degree. Some people will be pinging off the walls, some may just sleep less deeply. Either way, it’s not exactly a recipe for sleeping like a lion.
The best way to burn maximum fat with minimal problems, is to spend the morning fasted, while drinking black coffee.
Your Social Life Improves With 16/8 Fasting
Time for some numbers.
The average person eats three meal per day, including breakfast. This means that on a diet of 1800 calories, they’re only going to be getting about 600 calories per meal, which means only 600 calories left for the evening, which is when 99.999% of socialising occurs, and 99.999% of dieting screw-ups occur (nobody cries into their bowl of cereal, or plate of eggs at 8am in the morning).
For you, the 16/8 Intermittent Faster, you’d have 900 calories in the evening following a two-meal-a-day approach. But then I actually suggest a slightly smaller meal for your meal #1, meaning that in reality you’re getting >1k calories available in the evening.
Meaning, while the average dieter is sat there suffering through sparrow portions while all their friends are eating ‘normal portions’, or their girlfriend/wife moans at them for ‘being difficult’, YOU get to feast on >1k calories of quality food, and you don’t even look like you’re on a diet!
So the problem with both ‘traditional’ three meals per day AND fasting in the evening, is that it leaves you wide open in a time where everyone loses willpower, AND experiences more distractions.
You need a buffer of calories during this time, in my strong opinion.
The First 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Point Of Attack
The first step to mastering this Intermittent Fasting schedule, is to push your ‘breakfast’ backwards by 4 hours – from 8am to 12pm (or so).
A) Condenses your eating window, and;
B) Extends your fasting window
If you keep this up every day, week in, week out, you’ll experience massive changes over the long-term. Changes to your appearance, your health and energy, and your entire life.
Recommended 16/8 Fasting Tips
In addition to following the eating window from 12pm to 8pm, there’s a few other points I’d like to make in regards to this Intermittent Fasting schedule.
Unlike most other people, I DO NOT recommend snacking throughout the day. This is a really good way to reduce self-control, accountability and control over your caloric consumption. It’s just way too easy to get into a calorie surplus (or at least screw up the deficit) if you’re always snacking.
Rather, you should be feasting on large meals at 12pm and 8pm, that are high in protein and satisfying to the point whereby you don’t want to waste calories on snacks.
The Caveman Foods
These are the foods that we are biologically-wired to eat, and have been gradually and consistently moving away from for centuries.
Now, it’s worse than ever.
Obesity is now the biggest threat to most people’s lives, and it all comes back to use shifting from our caveman biologies towards processed carbs and posionous toxins.
Vegans will tell you to stay away from meat and only eat greens, and Carnivores will tell you to only eat meat. Reality is, neither extreme is the answer.
You need BOTH meat & veggies. Plus fish, fruits and essential fats. These all fit within the ‘Caveman Foods’, and you should be packing your 16/8 Intermittent Fasting diet with them all (like this article suggests), at least every 2-3 days per food.
If you would like all of this being tailored to your needs, make sure you get a personalised meal plan right here.
Other Useful Tips
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is absolutely critical for general health purposes, and also for making the fasting periods much easier on you. I highly recommend drinking sparkling water too, as it fills your stomach up more.
- Staying active in the morning will be an absolute game-changer for you. Working towards exciting goals or doing something new and interesting, will make your Intermittent Fasting journey an absolute breeze.
- Don’t watch TV or scroll through Instagram or Pinterest in the morning – you’re FAR too likely to come across delicious images of food for this activity to be worthwhile. If you value 10% body fat and long-term health, make sure you’re staying disciplined in the mornings.
Feel free to read this article for more Intermittent Fasting 16/8 tips.