Is the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Diet Effective for Losing Weight?

Weight loss diet fads have remained in the spotlight for decades and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
With so many variations in the mix, it can be tough to determine which ones are worth the time. Intermittent fasting is a fairly new diet that has been receiving a lot of attention from various fields.

This is an umbrella term that refers to any diet with a period of fasting followed by one of non-fasting and vice versa.

The 16:8 is one such diet. The numbers simply refer to the period of fasting and the period of eating.


Therefore, adherents to this diet would go 16 hours without any food and then eat during the 8 hour window.


What kind of diet is the 16:8 style?

The 16:8 intermittent fasting diet is designed to have an 8 hour, non-fasting window during the day. This timing is recommended to start in the morning and end sometime in the evening. For example, you may choose to eat from 9 AM to 5 PM.

As your blood sugar control and metabolism are increased during the morning, many people believe it is more beneficial to start the eating window close to this time. One peculiar component of the 16:8 diet that separates it from other diets is the lack of a caloric limit.

Because the body is in a fasted state, you are allowed to eat as many calories as you desire during this 8 hour window.

During the other 16 hours of the day, you’ll either be sleeping or drinking water to stay hydrated.

Other liquids such as black tea, diet soda and coffee are fine and can even help curb hunger.


Researchers conducted a recent study surrounding the impact of the 16:8 diet on obese adults. The study followed 23 adults during a 12 week period as they adhered to the parameters of this intermittent fasting diet.


They only ate from 10 AM to 6 PM, but were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. At the end of the trial time, it was discovered that these adults ate a daily average of 350 calories less than the control group. They also lost a bit of weight.

The results of this study do not make any incredibly promising conclusions about the impact of the 16:8 diet on weight loss. It had been shown to correlate with a small amount of weight loss.

However, other forms of dieting may be more effective for these goals. It is also important to note that researches found a possible disruption in circadian rhythms caused by drinking caffeinated beverages during the fasting period. This can also affect metabolism.

A majority of other studies surrounding the 16:8 diet have been tested on animals, not humans. The researchers concluded that the study suggests the 8-hour eating window resulted in mild calorie restriction and a small amount of weigh loss in the obese subjects.


This was all achieved without counting calories. They stressed the need for larger studies that extend over a longer period of time in order to draw further and more concrete conclusions.


Should you try the 16:8 diet?

With all of the diet fads circulating around, it can be difficult to determine which one is effective and worth trying. Even after seeing a substantial amount of data and research, the choice may still not be clear.

The reality is, the decision is up to you. After researching the relevant literature and consulting a healthcare professional, the decision may be easier to make. First, let’s see what can be said about this type of intermittent fasting.

The 16:8 diet has been shown to correlate with a lower average caloric intake on a daily basis as well as a small amount of weight loss. Researches have also noted possible disruptions in circadian rhythms if caffeinated drinks are consumed during the fasting period.

However, there are also some definite social downsides to this form of diet. Going out to eat with friends later in the night can cause complications with the execution of the diet.
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