16/8 7 days a week vs 5/2

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  • Does anyone know which method is more effective for weight loss

    They both have the potential to achieve weight loss but with 16:8 you are ‘calorie counting’ while you are doing 16:8, with 5:2 you only really have to stick to your 500 calories 2 days a week. Ostensibly you can eat what you like the other 5 days but of course if you exceed your TDEE (calculator in the “How” tab on this page), you will gain weight instead. With both WOEs you will lose weight if you stay below your TDEE (but not your BMR which is what you need to eat anyway to maintain your body),

    If the 16:8 diet a just calorie counting, what is the point of restricting food to the 8-hour window? Just curious.

    16:8 is not calorie counting, although it may result in reduced calorie intake as it is harder to eat as much in 8 hours as you would in 12.

    The important bit is not the 8 hours when you eat, but the 16 hours when you do not. Depending on what your last meal was, and how much you ate, 16 hours is long enough to use up the energy from food and start burning fat. Longer fasting windows without food reduce insulin and studies show for example that eating 2 meals in a restricted period may be sufficient to reverse/ ward off diabetes (when compared to grazing all day).

    I lost weight on 5:2 combined with 16:8 and am now maintaining my weight by practising 16:8 most days of the week. I am not naturally hungry early in the morning so it suits me to break my fast at maybe 11am.

    I suspect if you want to lose weight using 16:8 alone then you would need to calorie count to ensure you achieve a calorie deficit. However, if you want to maintain but still get the benefits of a fast then you may not need to calorie count. I certainly don’t, but then I didn’t when on 5:2….

    Thanks for posting this I have wondered about the two diets. I’m doing the 5:2 mainly but find myself skipping breakfast now and again (usually as I’m not hungry). Sounds like a bit of both could be beneficial. Especially as I’m not really calorie counting.

    My next aim is to fast on a Monday then tues morning before breakfast do some form of exercise then begin eating again later on in the day. Hoping to see some results when I begin that.

    I’ve tried the 16:8 without calorie counting & didn’t lose any weight. I have however had good results on the 5:2 without calorie counting on my non-fast days (I stay within the 500 cal limit of my fast days) – I prefer the 5:2 lifestyle because of this flexibility it can offer!

    It sounds like it is important to fast for up to 16 hours, so will give that a try.

    How many days of 16:8 do you have to do in a week to get the health benefits? I don’t need to lose weight but would like to improve my health.

    Hi LouLou:

    I am not aware of any clinical studies that show following 16:8 provides any health benefits to healthy individuals. The book that started the 16:8 craze states: “In The 8-Hour Diet, bestselling authors David Zinczenko and Peter Moore present a paradigm-shifting plan that allows readers to eat anything they want, as much as they want—and still strip away 20, 40, 60 pounds, or more.” I always am skeptical of diets that say you can eat as much of anything you want and still lose a lot of weight.

    It is mostly used by people to try to reduce their eating, and if (when) it does not work, they often reduce the length of the ‘eating window’. I have seen everything from 17:7 to 23:1.

    It won’t hurt you to eat all of your calories for the day in an 8 hour period, so if you want to and think it will be beneficial, enjoy! The book even says you will lose weight doing it.

    I follow 16:8 on non fast days. I can’t eat first thing in the morning, and I find two meals a day suits me well.

    I exercise first thing most mornings on an empty stomach, and I haven’t encountered any problems doing so, even the morning after a fast day.

    As Happy Now says, the longer the fasting window the better.
    I also agree that it is hard to eat as many calories following 16:8 than if you start eating in the morning, so it can be beneficial in weight control.

    I’m really not wanting to lose any weight, but I was under the impression that 16:8 gave you the same benefits as 5:2 – like the possibility of reduced chances of developing diabetes, cancer and dementia? Is this not the case?

    LouLou22, it’s my understanding that 16:8 gives you the same benefits – it’s all down to the length of the fast. The benefits kick in after 12 hours so any fast period over and above 12 hours is a bonus. We all must remember, however, that research on the benefits of fasting is limited (and I’ve read tons on the subject – most of which is health professionals’ personal experiences, not hard scientific evidence from trials). I wouldn’t imagine that grazing throughout the day is at all helpful – it takes the body out of its fasted state (consumption of any more than 50kcals at any one time) and should almost certainly be avoided for the initial 12 hour period of the fast otherwise the suggested health benefits of fasting will be lost and it becomes nothing more than calorie restriction which will aid weight loss but maybe won’t benefit the body in the way complete fasting does.

    LouLou, Might I suggest that you read the book. The fast diet is about the health benefits of fasting which comes with a bonus of weight loss. There is plenty of information for those who want health benefits without weight loss.

    Thanks all, I’ve been googling and my head is mashed from all the conflicting information haha! I will have a read at the book, thanks Amazon 🙂

    i did a kick off of a one day water fast, which nearly killed me haha

    then i have done a few days of 16:8 because my husband hasn’t been out shopping for my 5:2 days, but i reckon i will try them both together as i kind of like stopping eating at the end of the day and having my brain perk up.

    because of my sleep patterns, i prefer to fast at the end of the day.

    i am sure hoping that this works for me… on the water fast day i lost nothing, but have noticed that i have moved a couple of lbs on the 16:8 days… probably because i eat less during my eating window…

    thanks for the topic

    I have been on the 16:8 diet fot just over a week, and find it easier to do than. The 5:2, i have loss a1lb so far, so am happy with that, I start to eat from 1pm till 9pm and drink water the rest of the time, i found it hard to get in 3 meals so am on two with a couple f healthy snacks, i do this 7 days a week, and wonder if this helps or as i have read is it better to do it five days, I. Prefer 7 days as I get so much more done in the mornings, my question is should i lose a good weight loss and health benefits on this and do also check my calories to stay within my limit, I usually burn about between 2000 – 4000 cals a day, with dog walking and gardening, I like. To have an odd cake, but I bake my own as I hate to have to much sugar, just wondered if anyone else has been on the 16;8 longer than the just over a week I have, thank you

    As previously stated, 16:8 is not a diet it is a restricted eating window. If you are restricting calories you will lose weight.
    Are you sure you can burn up 4000 calories a day? You would have to do several hours of strenuous exercise every day to do that, and gardening and dog walking don’t fit the bill. I am asking because the amount of exercise and its effect on weight loss are generally over estimated and because it takes me more than an hour of cardio at the gym to use around 500 calories.

    You burn about 100 calories per mile walking. So that’s about a 40 mile walk with the dog to burn 4000 calories. If what youre doing is working keep doing it. If it stops working re-evaluate.

    I personally don’t buy into the 12 hours of fasting is enough to deplete the glycogen in the liver. There is always some lipolysis occurring and while it is probably higher after 12 hours I don’t think the bigger shift starts until about 20 to 24 hours of fasting for most people. Perhaps sooner if someone has a smaller liver. In my own fasting I can feel a shift generally around 20 hours in, strangely I often notice it in how my face feels. However I’ve often checked and that is about the time my blood glucose tends to dip for a while. My last fast I didn’t workout and I didn’t feel the shift until about 23 hours into the fast. I realize this is just my feelings, but it something I’ve learn to expect. (I do zero calorie fasting.) I’m pretty sure this shift I feel is related to the dip in blood glucose that I’ve measured and that is probably related to my liver running low on glycogen.

    Anyway the 16:8 intermittent fasting was first pushed by people doing weight training. If you couple a 16 hour fast with HIIT or weight training you’ll might have something that has additional benefits beside weight loss.

    There isn’t anything wrong with weight loss, but longer fasts have additional impacts that I’ve noticed.

    * I’ve really been able to build muscles much easier. Probably have higher levels of HGH and testosterone. It seems likely I have lower insulin levels now too. (Judging by waist size)
    * I always notice I burn about 15% to 20% more calories on days after fasts, at least by my activity tracker. Sometimes I even get as high as 3200+ … but I haven’t gotten close to 4000 calories/day yet and I’ve tried. 🙁 Too old and weak I guess. Today I’ve done 7.3km, 117 floors of stairs and 130 pushups and on pace to burn about 2750 calories for the day.
    * Much more healing, for example I had golfer’s elbow and that has healed. I had bad plantar fasciitis and that has healed.
    * While fasting I feel peppy! That kicks in more towards 20+ hours.
    * I’m sleeping better, but that took months to happen.
    * I crave real food, although that could be from greatly reducing added sugars in my diet.

    Anyway my feeling is 16:8 without hard workouts is more of just calorie restriction, hopefully without the long term metabolic adaptions that plague people depending on calorie restriction. If there are other benefits it probably takes many days to equal one longer fast. I’ve also fasted up to a week and I think it probably takes many 36 hours to get the benefits of one mult-day fast.

    Short fasts are probably great for weight but I’m pretty sure that 6 16 hour fast won’t provide the benefits of one 96 hour zero calorie fast. Maybe 60 or more 16 hour fasts would be need, I don’t know and I don’t think there has been any research on that.

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