11 Ways The '8-Hour Diet' Changed My Life

11 Ways The '8-Hour Diet' Changed My Life

A "diet" that doesn't involve dieting? Sign me up!

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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.

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Explaining Wawa To Someone Who's Never Heard Of It

An inevitable and surprisingly frequent topic of conversation.

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Those familiar with Wawa will inevitably come to a time when they mention the store and are greeted with blank stares of confusion. Most have at least heard of the store, often in comparison with Sheetz, but trying to actually describe it is a frustrating process which might go something like this:

"What the heck is a Wawa? That doesn't even sound like a real word?"

They have the little picture of a goose in their logo just to help explain this portion, nonverbally.

"Why are you excited about gas station food?"

It's a convenience store with a gas station. Just because it has gas and has largely become known for its sale of gas does not make the gas the main component of the store. Plenty of locations still exist which are solely the market component of Wawa. Also, there are fruit and vegetables in Wawa in comparison to the mostly pre-packaged goods at some gas stations.

"But, still — it can't be that good?"

I can get a kale salad, a hoagie, and a donut all in one place. They don't even have to go together, it's just convenient, wide-ranging in food type, and they're all individually delicious.

"What do you mean they advertise with airplanes?"

It's almost guaranteed sitting on the Jersey Shore beach that you will see planes flying overhead with banners advertising for hoagiefest.

"What the heck is hoagiefest?"

It's a yearly sale featuring annoyingly catchy marketing jingles and overplayed advertisements, but it's also a time for discounted hoagies — so it's worth it. Also, if you call hoagies, subs or sandwiches, or anything else of the sort, you probably had the "What is a Wawa?" conversation with someone.

"Are you from Philadelphia, then?"

Wawa territory is actually decently large, with answers to this question ranging from "Yes," "Not really, but kind of" to "No, Florida."

"Why do you miss it?" (Or "Stop complaining.")

This question (or outright statement) probably followed you complaining about how long it's been since you went there, even if you were just there this morning. In the event that it has been a decent length of time since you made it there, you might just be entering Wawa deprivation.

How is it different from Sheetz?

To quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning "Let me count the ways."

To quote my friends, "It just is!"

"Do you want to go there now?"

Yes! (Time is irrelevant to this answer.)

Cover Image Credit: Forbes

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The Difference Between Vegan, Vegetarian, And Some Other Diets

I get asked what it means to be a vegan all the time, so in light of those who have trouble understanding, here's an article defining a few different types.

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Coming to a college full of new people, I couldn't tell you the number of times I hear, "Wait, are you vegetarian or vegan?" It's a question we all get, and sometimes people don't even know what those phrases are. Another, "What does that even mean?" They get mixed up, thrown around, and ranted about in my daily life, and it's quite a trip. I explain over and over again the differences, what I am, and why I am vegan, but the questions always come again.

For those of you who are still confused, I'll help you out a little.

Here is a list of some different dietary types, and what they mean.

Vegan

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Veganism, easily defined, is the lack of meat, dairy, or any animal product from your diet. Honey, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon, pork, steak, beef, etc., are all items vegans don't eat. Many go even further by buying only animal-free and cruelty-free (not animal tested) makeups, body products, clothing, and more. A devoted vegan checks every product used or consumed to make sure it's free of anything animal related. The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, "A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

A vegan diet can also be referred to as a plant-based diet, with all the same aspects, but some plant-based people may not focus on any other products than food.

Vegetarian

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Sweet and simple, vegetarians just don't eat meat. This does not include dairy or egg. They can still eat macaroni and cheese, just no more cheeseburgers or steaks. Vegetarian is pretty straight forward in the fact that they only lack the meat aspect of a diet!

Pescatarian

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Similar to vegetarians, pescatarians eat no meat except fish. They allow themselves to consume kinds of fish, just not beef, pork, or other types of meat.

Flexitarian

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My definition of a flexitarian is someone who keeps to a mostly plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. These could be people who are transitioning and trying out the vegan or vegetarian diet but are not fully committed to it, for various reasons. Flexitarian could also be someone who just choices to eat mostly meat or dairy free but every few meals will eat something from an animal.

Although this is not technically a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's a great way to start the journey to becoming a vegan.

It's a tricky thing trying to navigate all the diets out there these days.

If you're ever interested in trying out these diets there are incredible amounts of resources available to help you on that journey. Do some research, get an understanding of why people choose these diets and then find somewhere to help you! Good places to start are PETA, The Vegan Society, Vegan Action, and many more. Just type into a google search, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other diet and you'll get loads of information! I encourage everyone I talk to, consider these types of change because they're great for yourself, the animals, and the environment.

I hope these brief definitions have helped you to understand some more what these different words mean, and maybe they have you thinking about ways you could change your diet!

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