The principles – 16:8 diet

Also known as The 8 Hour diet, the 16:8 diet is an intermittent fasting plan where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours in any 24 hour period.  It is based on the idea that the human body will function better with periods of eating followed by periods of fasting.  It is believed that it is a more natural way for us to eat, before artificial light extended our hours of activity and the abundance of food meant that we tend to eat for 16 hours now and fast for only 8!

The version of the diet that I am following is based on the book ‘The 8-Hour Diet‘ by David Zinczenko (editor of Men’s Health magazine – US).


The rules

The 8 hour food window

All of a dieter’s daily calories must be consumed only during their predetermined 8-hour eating window.  For example, if your calorie window is from 9 am to 5 pm, you must eat during that time period only.  The window can be adjusted depending on a person’s schedule and can be different during different days of the week. Dieters should eat this way at least 3 days a week at the beginning of the diet and gradually increase towards the ultimate goal of 7 days a week.

Eat Whatever You Want
There are no forbidden foods on The Eight Hour Diet, but Zinczenko does advise that this diet is not an excuse to overeat. Portion size must still be considered.  The only exception to this rule is sugary beverages since the 8 Hour Diet discourages drinking calories.

Delay Breakfast
Dieters should delay eating breakfast until the beginning of their food window. For example, If you can’t start eating until 10 am, Zinczenko recommends starting the day with a cup of tea, water, or coffee and doing some light exercise before any calories are consumed.

Eat as Often as You Want
Snacks can be eaten as often as a dieter wants as long as all eating is within the 8 Hour Diet window.  Portion size should be considered when choosing snacks.

Supercharge the Diet
The 8 Hour Diet shows dieters how choosing 8 healthier power foods instead of processed and refined foods can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the diet and the dieter’s overall good health.

1. Turkey, chicken, eggs, fish and other lean meats *
2. Walnuts and other nuts
3. Yogurt and other dairy *
4. Beans, peanuts, and other legumes
5. Raspberries and other berries
6. Apple, oranges and other fruit
7. Spinach and other green vegetables
8. Whole-grain breads and cereals (including oatmeal)

* I will veganise these 8 hour superfoods.

Only 8 Minutes of Exercise
To be successful on the 8 Hour Diet just eight minutes of exercise is required to turbocharge the fat burning process.

This all sounds so much less painful than the 5:2 diet and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sceptical, however, if it works it could be the magic bullet I’m looking for.

Wish me luck!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. After a chat with a friend,
    I realised that due to my ridiculous love of early nights (and the fact that I work from home so am able to cook dinner at a reasonable hour) I actually am not far off this most of the time. I get up at 5:45 but I don’t eat breakfast until about 9am, and then I always finish my evening meal before 7pm. (I’m then in bed asleep by 9-9:30 most nights because I am THAT cool!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mawil1 says:

    Mmm. I’m thinking about it because it sounds too easy!! In my life I’ve often had days where I’ve skipped breakfast and lunch and effectively done all my eating between 5pm and 10pm- it didn’t make me thin. Usually because it started with chocolate at 5pm! But if it was planned properly with healthy food, I can see that it might work. I will wait and see how you do on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it doesn’t sound too easy! At least 5:2 was difficult but this is just a case of a bit of organisation. I am a bit sceptical but I’ll see what the scales say and keep my fingers crossed that it will work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry that should read it DOES sound too easy!! 🙂


      2. mawil1 says:

        I’ll be interested to see how it works out!


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