I learned about the 8-Hour Diet (aka "16/8 Fasting") after hearing about some of the amazing benefits from a friend. The part that really sold me on this "diet" was that it's not a diet at all! It's more of a lifestyle choice (which sounds totally cliche, but it's totally true).
The "diet" involves selecting an eight-hour period of the day in which you are allowed to eat and then fasting (no eating and only drinking water) for the other 16 hours. This may sound difficult but think about it — if you're getting eight hours of sleep per day (which you should be), that means just eight waking hours of fasting. If you're like me and skip breakfast often, this might sound similar to what you already do BUT I can't believe the differences I'm noticing just by being a little more strict with my eating schedule.
Here comes the best part — I don't have to limit what I eat and how much I eat as long as I stick to eating within I selected 8-hour window. That means all of the pasta, burritos, cookies, and lattes I could ever dream of. I feel like there's definitely bonus points for the days that I'm committed enough to actually "diet" during my eating window, but it totally isn't required.
Here are 11 ways the 8-Hour Diet changed my life!
1. I have more energy.
I honestly don't know the science behind it but ever since I've been on the 8-Hour Diet, I've had so much more energy.
2. I drink more water.
Whenever I start to feel hungry during my fasting period, I drink water. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are really just dehydrated. I almost always feel better after drinking some water.
3. I appreciate my food more.
Before this "diet," sometimes I would eat just because I was bored. I didn't always appreciate and enjoy the food that I was eating. Now that I only eat within an eight-hour window, I really appreciate my food on a deeper level.
4. I lost weight.
My goal in trying this "diet" was NOT to lose weight. However, I have certainly noticed my pants getting a little looser these days. It really is just an added perk.
5. I don't snack just because I'm bored.
Bored snacking is the worst because it always ends with regret, guilt and an uncomfortable overstuffed feeling. Now that I can't eat after a certain time, I don't have that option to snack. Instead, I drink water, which is even more fulfilling!
6. I can still eat my favorite foods...
I love that I don't have to give up some of my favorite foods (pasta, pizza, cheese (I'm obviously Italian)) for this "diet." I'm noticing the benefits of a typical diet without limiting myself.
7. ...but I also feel motivated to eat things that are good for me more often.
Even though I can still eat my favorite carb-packed foods, this "diet" has motivated me to challenge myself even further and eat some of my favorite healthy foods more often. It magnifies the benefits!
8. My digestive system loves me.
My digestive system has been SO happy ever since I've been on this "diet." It's so much easier for my body to not have to worry about constantly digesting food. Talk about self-love!
9. I can sleep better.
Speaking of digesting food, we've all heard that it's not good to eat right before bed. I usually set my eating time from noon to 8 p.m. so my body is done working by the time I go to sleep around 11 p.m. which equals better sleep!
10. I spend less money.
This is another benefit that I wasn't necessarily looking for but it's certainly nice. I find myself spending less money on food and morning coffee when I can only eat within an eight-hour period.
11. I am happier!
All of the benefits mentioned above have made me a happier person overall. Just as with any "diet," everyone is different and it is important to find what works for YOU. However, I would encourage anyone to give this "diet" a try.