I’m sure many of you have heard of intermittent fasting. Am I right? Well if not, allow me to explain what it is. Intermittent fasting means that you only allow yourself to eat during a pre-set window of time. For example, a common timeframe is 8:16. This means that you allow yourself to eat food for an 8 hour window, then essentially fast for the other 16 hours of the day. This many seem difficult on paper, but in reality it’s not.
The 8:16 fast schedule looks like this. First, skip breakfast. Instead, have as much water, coffee, or tea as you like. You can drink essentially anything that has zero calories. If you’re drinking coffee or tea, make sure there is no cream, sugar, or honey in it. That is added calories and therefore would break your fast. Since you are skipping breakfast, your first meal of the day is lunch. You may eat lunch at your normal time whether it’s noon or 1pm. However, it helps to be consistent with your lunch time because it will only make the rest of the day easier to keep track of.
When you take your first bite of real food, that’s when the clock starts. You have 8 hours after that first bite to take your last bite before you go back into a fasted stated. So if you eat lunch at 12, you would be able to as much as you’d like during the times 12pm – 8pm. Anything you like, go ahead and chow down. Usually if you ate your lunch at noon, you would have dinner around 6pm or 7pm. That’s completely up to you, though. You can eat whenever you’d like. Just make sure it’s before 8. NO more food after 8pm.
Then after 8pm, you go back into fasting mode. You will fast for 16 hours and your next meal will be at lunch the following day. 16 hours fasting isn’t as difficult as it may seem. For one, you just ate dinner, hopefully eliminating your cravings for the night. Then a large portion of the 16 hour fast is sleeping. And that’s easy. So to put this in a much easier way, this diet should really be called “skipping breakfast”. Because that’s all you’re doing. You are skipping breakfast and eliminating any late night snacking. That’s it!
If you can skip breakfast and eliminate late night snacking, then you are essentially doing an intermittent fast of 8:16. If this is your first time trying anything like this, then you will be impressed at the results of such a simple change. If you were anything like me, then you had a hearty breakfast all throughout childhood and much of college. After I entered the workforce is when I started educating myself on various types of diets. And the one that stood out the most was intermittent fasting. This by far showed the biggest bang for your buck when it came to diets. It was the simplest to do and the smallest change from what I was already doing. It also yielded the best results, given the little amount of effort needed to follow this regimen.
Some of the concepts that convinced me to give it a try was that on the days that I skipped breakfast, whether it was from running late or not having anything available, I would feel more energetic at work during my mornings. A hearty breakfast would make me lethargic and I would get sleepy around 10am at my desk. When skipping breakfast, I felt much more awake. Then when I read up on intermittent fasting, I already understood the benefit of having more energy. It was as if I already convinced myself to do it before I knew about it.
Another impressive benefit is that it reduces calorie intake throughout the day. By cramming all of your meals in an 8 hour window, you will want to make sure you have two block meals like lunch and dinner. The idea is that since you can only eat in a short window, you will not have cravings to snack since you need to save your hunger for the real meals.
There are more benefits besides the obvious dietary ones though. I like not having to rush to make a breakfast in the morning. I started saving more money since I no longer needed breakfast foods and was simply eating less. I also could get to work quicker and perhaps sleep a little later if I wanted to. Since I didn’t have to wake up early to make breakfast, I could instead use that time to sleep a little later or get into work earlier. Both are great perks of this diet.
An intermittent diet like this one has so many benefits to it with such little attention needed. It’s so simple to do and can really make a difference in how your feel and look in the mirror. It should really be called “skipping breakfast”. But I guess it is a form of intermittent dieting. Nevertheless, this diet is the best bang for your buck and still allows you to eat what you want. You can eat whatever you want in an 8 hour window. By doing this, you will reduce your calories, have more energy in the mornings, lose weight, and increase your overall health. Why not give it a shot?