Weight loss can be pretty hard- not eating some of your favorite foods and restricting your calorie intake is no easy task. Some studies suggest that the ket to weight loss might just be creating an 8-hour eating window in a day, and fasting for the rest of it.
The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Diet
The 16:8 diet doesn’t restrict what you eat, but it limits the number of hours that you eat per day.
The best part is, you can personalize this based on what your day typically looks like. If your day starts early, and you prefer to have a nice big breakfast, you can do that, but just make sure you last meal ends 8 hours afterwards.
For example, you can have a big breakfast at 10am, lunch at 1 or 2pm and dinner that ends at 6pm, but make sure you don’t eat anything from then till the next morning. Luckily, you’ll be asleep for most of that time.
You can also personalize this based on how well you respond to fasting. Don’t worry if you don’t respond well at first. With practice, you can learn to fill up on foods that you know keep you full for a long period of time.
How To Get Through The Fasting Portion
There are some sneaky tricks you can pull to keep yourself full. One main piece of advice that nutritionists give is not to fall in the junk food trap. When you eat foods that are high in calories but low in actual nutrients, your body goes through what is called “hidden hunger.” It ends up hungrier later, even though you just ate- and it’s because it didn’t get what it needed.
This is another secret weapon you could use: A recent study has pinpointed the brain cells that help control your appetite- a type of cell called tanycytes. These were found to be particularly triggered by the amino acids lysine and arginine.
These amino acids are found in high concentrations in the following foods: apricots, avocadoes, almonds, lentils, pork shoulder, chicken, beef stirloin, mackerel and plums. Fill your meals with those and see if you end up feeling less hungry later!
Other tricks include spicing your food often. Adding herbs such as garlic, rosemary, ginger and turmeric can give you the sensation that you’ve just had a heavy meal
Does The Research Support It?
There hasn’t been much scientific support for fasting until recently, and none on human participants. However, there have been some findings that show promising results about intermittent fasting with regards to hormonal balance, cholesterol control, muscle mass maintenance and weight loss in mice.
One recent study compared the weight, cholesterol levels, and hormone levels of mice that were either allowed to eat freely throughout the day, or restricted to eating just 8 hours per day. Both groups were subjected to resistance training to see how the diet affects their muscle mass maintenance.
The intermittent fasting diet group was found to have decreased fat, increased muscle mass, as well as improved health-related biomarkers.
It is important to note that mice’s bodies are still very different from humans’. Therefore, more information is needed in order to fully confirm that 16:8 intermittent fasting diets are healthier and more effective for weight loss. But there’s definitely no harm in trying!