5:2 vs 16:8/14:10 Who has tried both?

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5:2 vs 16:8/14:10 Who has tried both?

This topic contains 35 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Chocolatemilkshake 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • I’m a big fan of the 5:2, it’s been working well (although slowly) for me and I feel more confident in the diet knowing it’s endorsed by medical professionals, however, I am now starting to see more and more people talking about the 16:8 (or 14:10 for women) diet. This is the intermittent fasting diet where you fast for 16 hours a day.

    I’ve read the 16:10 is a faster way to lose weight, and also a lot easier because you can still eat each day. I’m reluctant because it is often suggested that you skip breakfast (which I’ve always thought was a big no-no) and I cannot find any professional medical endorsement.

    Has anyone tried 16:8?
    Do medical professionals always insist on eating breakfast?

    Here’s a site you can check out for info & links. Link takes you to app page where you can sign up to participate, if you want. Click on science for videos, etc. https://mycircadianclock.org/
    From what the research suggests – exposing yourself to bright sunshine & eating most of your calories earlier in the day provide the best results as your body idigests food more efficiently in the morning. Weight loss is a secondary goal/benefit of this approach.
    Quote from recent article. “As often happens with nutrition research, results from fasting research have been borrowed and packaged into ill-informed fad diets. Panda’s research formed the basis of one such product, branded as The 8-Hour Diet. The book, cowritten by an editor at Men’s Health, which covered Panda’s research when it came out in 2012, claimed (right on the cover) that dieters who restricted their food consumption to an eight-hour window every day could “watch the pounds disappear without watching what you eat!” This idea, says Panda—who was not involved in producing the book—was unsupported by his research as of 2012. “We never claimed that we could make fat mice lean with the eight-hour diet,” he says. “In our first paper, we just prevented obesity from happening”
    “Extending the research into humans, Panda’s lab recently published a study of eight otherwise healthy people with body mass indices between 25 and 30 (in the “overweight” range, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). When the study subjects ate all of their food for the day in 10 hours, instead of 14 or 15 (as they tended to do before the study), they lost an average of 4 percent of their body weight and reported having significantly more energy and more satisfying sleep over the 16-week trial period, with the benefits sticking around for up to a year.”

    Full article here http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/49462/title/Running-on-Empty/
    Video that might prove useful

    Yes I’ve tried both.

    5:2, 4:3 AD, 16:8, 14:10 etc, all give you some days per week where you have a period of fasting of at least 12 hours (usually more). However these programs fall into 2 distinct groups.

    5:2, 4:3 and AD are examples of “intermittent fasting” that involve drastic calorie restriction on 2 or more days per week. They are intended to result in weight loss and have the side benefit of fasting periods that may be helpful to your health in other ways, such as cell regeneration.

    16:8 and 14:10 are “eating windows” and do not necessarily involve any calorie restriction at all, therefore they are not designed to be a weight loss diet. The restriction with these programs is not how much you can eat just for how long in any given day you can eat. I follow an eating window most days of 11am-7pm as this suits me and no I do not miss breakfast, in fact I can control my appetite much better if I don’t eat breakfast. However which meals each person feels they need is an very individual thing. With eating windows you get the health benefits of a period of 14-16 hours without food 7 days per week, without having to cut calories to achieve it. I believe there are also some gym programs focusing on body building that also recommend the use of an eating window – but I know nothing more about that particular use.

    You can combine an “eating window” with intermittent fasting. I do.
    I started 16:8 about a year before starting 5:2. I experimented with the 16:8 time frame a bit and found that most days 16:8 is fine, but I can extend it to 14:10 when needed (usually to accommodate the regular family Sunday morning brunch). When I started using the eating window I was happy with my weight and I was using the eating window as a tool to help with the side effects of immune-suppressant treatment. I also found that by restricting the hours that I ate it was easier to maintain my weight – probably because most of my overeating was previously done either in the evening after dinner or through the night if I couldn’t sleep. The eating window helped me control this behaviour as it gave me an end-point where I had to stop eating. Late last year I gained a few kilos so I started intermittent fasting, initially 4:3 and then 5:2 to those that weight. I’m now at a weight I’m happy with again. I continue to use an eating window and for the time being I am also using intermittent fasting when necessary to keep my weight stable – it allows me to over indulge at little social events without gaining weight as I can balance it out with a fasting day.


    The concept of having breakfast is a relatively new concept. If you follow it back it only goes back about 70 years and was started by breakfast cereal companies. No vested interest there, right? Eat when your hungry.

    I do both. 14/10 eating window starting with breakfast as the largest meal. I get strong sun exposure first thing in the morning. One fast day a week.

    Although breakfast cereal is a very recent development (and a bad one indeed) breakfast is an eons old necessity for human survival. Find food and eat it as quickly as you can when you wake up or die!

    Our bodies are hormonally primed to eat when we get up. Sunlight and food set our clocks to work in sync. when the sun goes down and melatonin gets us ready for sleep it also suppresses insulin production. It make total sense to eat when our bodies can best handle food processing.

    But you still need to control calorie intake to lose fat.

    Breakfast as a meal has only been around since 17th century and as bigbooty says the current favourite of sugar stuffed cereal was started by Mr Kellogg.

    The Romans used to eat one meal a day, usually at noon.
    Throughout history the poorer classes used to go to work without eating, and at one point would start their day with a mug of ale. If they had lunch it would be a hunk of bread left over from the night before.

    I don’t eat breakfast as eating first thing in the morning doesn’t agree with me. I am not convinced that adults need it as all that most of us have done since dinner is sit on the sofa then go to bed, so we’ve not used up much energy since eating dinner which is for most the largest meal of the day.

    I rarely eat before lunchtime and on FDs I only have dinner which means 23:1 and a substantial sized meal as dividing 500 calories into 3 doesn’t go very far.
    I usually have brunch and dinner on non FDs.
    I also eat dinner early and rarely have any food after 7pm.

    Not eating in the mornings has had no adverse effects as I have no problem working out at the gym in a fasted state even on the morning after a FD.

    Professional medical endorsement of limited eating windows is hard to come by as most of the medical profession are still telling us to eat the kind of diet that has caused a diabetic and obsity epidemic.

    One note: I do 10/14 where 10 hrs is he eating window and 14 hours are a water only fast.

    I have been doing both for 8 days now – that is three 600 cal fasting days, eaten in a 9 hour period and five days of eating and drinking as I wish in a 9 hour window. Normally on 5:2 I would be happy with a loss of 2 lbs a week. In the last 8 days I am down 7 lbs. This rate of loss is unlikely to continue, but as an introduction to the combined system it is impressive. Especially as physically I have been unusually inactive – no long walks or gym and too much time driving.

    I started off with the 16:8 diet for two weeks and lost four pounds. I was off for one day during that time. The on the 15th day I started to do the 5:2 fast by following 16 hours of fasting minimum sometimes 18 hours and 8 hours of eating. Then two days of 500 calories still staying within the 16:8 range for eating. I have noticed that it is much easier for me to focus on eating more sensible meals. So now it has been 19 days total on the IF program and I have lost a total of 6 pounds. I am feeling good about this approach. Much easier than focusing on eliminating certain foods. I just focus on eating healthy and bweing aware of processed foods. It also allows me to be more free about have a treat now and then. It is also great finding those foods that I can pick on that are low in calories that some of us don’t even consider picking on. I snacked on radishes (almost no calories) and a tomato. After all it is a fruit.

    Penguin, 7 lbs is amazing, especially since you don’t have a ton of fat to lose. My last week (actually 6 days) was 3.6lbs with one fast day and 10 hour morning eating window on NFD’s.

    Thanks Dog. A couple of weeks at your loss rate will see me on target. Already I am wondering if this was ambitious enough or if I should aim for another 7 lbs.

    This is amazing, but are you worried about putting it on again if you transition back to a normal (yet healthy) eating pattern? What times are your 9-hour window?

    What does everyone think about doing the 500-600 calories days for more than just the two for the 5:2 diet? I was thinking about just making an effort to do more than just the two fasting days at 500 calories. An long as I feel fine and don’t push myself. I am very overweight. I am 66 years old and need to loose about 90 pounds. I figure a few extra days of 500 calories are fine and slide into more calories when I feel hungry to do so.

    Penguin. How did you loose 7 lbs. in eight days? Three days of fasting at 600 calories and the other five days just regular eating just within a 9 hour window!? That is quite amazing and I think exceptional. Did you eat in any particular way to help loose the weight? I would love to loose that amount of weight in that amount of time!

    Tiggy, like regular 5:2 just cut out a fast day for maintenance and adjust calories on NFD’s. I have been eating on a 9 hour schedule with my first meal at 8:00 AM and I really like it. I intend to continue it indefinitely.

    Beforeallelse, every other day fasting is another way restrict calories. Dr. Christa Varaday did studies and wrote a book on it.

    Beforeallelse, when I wanted faster weight loss I did try 4:3 (3FD per week) and also AD (alternate day fasting). The weight loss will be greater providing you don’t suffer from a binge eating disorder. I do, and found that the more FDs I did the more likely I was to overeat on my NFD – effectively cancelling out the extra effort from those extra FDs. In then end I found that I had to have a minimum of 2 NFDs between FDs to minimise this risk and have any hope of sticking to my TDEE on the NFDs.
    If binge eating is not a long-standing problem that you have, then extra FDs should be helpful for quicker weight loss.

    TiggyBallantyne. If I overeat I will put it back on as quickly, but generally it stays off. It was my birthday yesterday and I had cake and an unwise amount of whiskey – no weight change. If I did that again today there probably would be.

    beforeallelse. I don’t really know. Fasting days are half a grapefruit and half an orange at about 8am ( if I have breakfast), a very small green salad and a few small pieces of pickled herring about noon (but I often skip that) and probably 2 eggs and some bacon at about 5pm. I have no idea how many calories that is; I have been doing this long enough to know that will work. Some weeks I totally fast – tea, coffee, no food – for two consecutive days On my NFD days I try to stay within 0800-1700 for eating and try for a balanced diet. I grow my own veg and I do the cooking so I know exactly what I am eating. The eating window can be shorter than that – I often skip breakfast. One day last week I tried a large breakfast and nothing else all day. It worked, but I felt stuffed all morning. The only vaguely sensible answer I can offer is that I am 6ft 4in tall with a TDEE of 2500, so 600 cal is a 1900 cal deficit and on my NFDs it is very easy to stay under 2500. 7 lbs isn’t as large a proportion of me as it might be for others. But having said that , I am only 7 lbs above target so it should be getting harder!

    diverdog – Thanks for the helpful information on Christa Varaday’s book. I may get that but for now just following the advice should suffice. You seem to have done a lot of reading about the IF approach to weight loss.

    LJoyce – More good information to help me. I think I might get carried away with trying to do the 500 calorie daily. I will take yours and diverdog’s advice regarding the every other day. Maybe I will shoot for 4:3 and 3:4 see if I can maintain that for awhile to start the weight to come off more easily. I have so far to go and I become impatient. So three fasting days on alternate days and when I feel really positive and able I will try four fasting days alternately. I will keep you all posted.

    penguin – I know what you mean about a large breakfast. I find if I do a large lunch I often skip supper or have soup or some veggies.

    Thank you all so much for the support. I have a long way to go and it is very helpful.

    Actually walked for 40 brisk minutes this morning. I don’t exercise. I have arthritis in my feet and one is very bad requiring an insert for my shoe and it is hard to stand for any length of time and walking is ok but I am a bit wobbly. I know that not being able to exercise properly will slow down my weight loss so that is one of the reasons to just cut out more calories if I can.

    Diverdog, penguin and LJoyce I think you are all from England because of the website and sometimes in how you say things. I am from Canada so I think we are writing on the blog at opposite times. While I was laying in bed last night my phone lit up to notify me that I had received an email. so I think that is when I received notification of your posts. Thanks again for responding. I do feel a bit like I am just hanging out here and it is nice to know I am connecting.
    All the best. Beforeallelse

    Beforeallelse, I am located in Las Vegas Nevada. Don’t worry about not exercising now. Most of the fat loss will always be from caloric reduction. Walking is great and as you lose weight it will be easier and less stressful on your joints. Perhaps swimming would be good for you.

    Good luck with your efforts and post often.

    penguin I responded to you but didn’t know how to respond to more than one person. you will find it in my postings.

    Diverdog – hello my American buddy. I have dual citizenship with the United States. I was curious about your name. Do you scuba dive?
    Thanks for the support. It is good to have someone out there that can respond sooner. I will focus on the calorie reduction then. Thank you.

    beforeallelse. You got me right. I am in the south west of England in The Forest Of Dean. As the name suggests – lots of trees and far too many large, aggressive European Wild Boar. I haven’t been to Canada in 20 years, but I do still paddle a Canadian Canoe.

    Diverdog – my husband bought me a six-month membership to the YMCA and it has a pool. I went a few times but it is difficult getting in and out of my bathing suit. I put the membership on hold and started to focus on loosing weight. Certainly, the pool exercise is very good I just have a tough time getting motivated to go and get into the bathing suit! A bit embarrassing and I am a bit shy. Excellent suggestion though. and I will get back to it when I loose a few more lbs.

    penguin – It is hard to imagine a small country like England having wild boar still. Your location sounds beautiful. Do you get much use out of your Canadian canoe where you live? That’s got to be good exercise and enjoyable activity too. Sounds so peaceful.

    Beforeallelese, yes I love to scuba dive and do so a couple of times a year. A bit more about me. I am a 66 YO man 5’10” tall and weigh 175 lbs. In my 40’s I weighed 240 and got motivated to get healthy by a heart attack scare. At 50 I weighed 180 lbs and have kept the weight off since then.

    My goal is to increase my healthy lifespan through good nutrition, exercise, reducing exposure to toxins, better sleep and a tranquil mindset.

    We didn’t have wild boar. About 10 years ago some fool turned a few loose in the Forest. We don’t have wolves any more so there are no natural predators and at the last count we had 2000 boar. They attack walkers and horse riders and if they get into your garden you can say goodbye to it. One got itself shot in the grounds of our village primary school. There are periodic culls, but they breed faster than they are shot.

    The Forest is that part of Gloucestershire that sits between the rivers Severn and Wye. I am about one mile from the Wye. The Severn is fine, but the Wye is one of the best canoeing rivers in UK. The water level goes up and down depending on how much rain they have had in Wales and much of the valley is very beautiful. It is why I live here. If I need more excitement, I take a kayak into Wales for the white water.

    We did 5:2 from April 16 and I hit target on 20th September, since then I lost another half stone. I’ve switched to 16:8 and maintaining well. I just omit breakfast and eat first around 1pm.

    That way I find that I can eat what I like.

    Diverdog – Congratulations on getting yourself to a healthy weight and a healthy plan for your life. congratulations. You are a good example for me to follow. I am just a little slower at doing something about it!

    Penguin – How exciting. Sounds very beautiful and the idea of white water canoeing is more than just exciting it sounds a bit scary too. Is it safe in a canoe? It’s a pitty they didn’t find the guy that let loose the boar in the forest. what a thoughtless thing to do. Canoeing must be very good upper body exercise I would imagine. thanks for sharing. I enjoyed hearing about it.

    Pollypenny so you followed the 5:2 to lose the weight and then followed the 16:8 to maintain and again lost some weight? So you only do the 16:8 now? Are you done losing the weight you wanted to lose?

    I follow the 16:8 program daily. Then for losing the weight I do two alternate days of fasting eating no more than 500 calories. The other five days I try to keep my calorie count at the level that it should be for maintaining my goal weight. That’s about 500 calories a day less than it takes to maintain my current weight.

    The first two weeks I just did the 16:8 and lost four lbs. Then I started the two alternate 500 calorie fast days for nine days. so for a total of 23 days I lost 12 lbs. On the 23rd day I ate 2000 calories and gained back a few lbs. Dissapointed but I assume that will balance out in a few days.I just didn’t think I would gain 3 lbs in one day! High price to pay for one day of eating.

    Any suggestions on how to eat a normal meal like a two pieces of roast beef and vegetables and my other meal was a small chicken breast in a Greek salad. I don’t get how I could gain so much. I am a bit peturbed.

    Hi all, I’ve been doing 5:2 and 16:8 combined since May 1. I was losing about a pound a week and then, last Sunday, threw low-carb into the mix and suddenly lost 2.5 pounds in 6 days! I’m having trouble getting my mind around it, though I have one of those scales that tells you your body composition and water %, so it doesn’t appear to be water loss.

    LJoyce I think I might have made the same mistake you talked about with doing the fasting days (500 calories or less) back to back. I had 500 calories then the next day it just turned out that I only ate 800 calories. Unintentional. Then the third day was my official fasting day so I did 500 calories again. I felt fine. but as you can see by my post above, I had two meals. One was a Greek salad with chicken and the other pork lion two pieces with vegetables and the calories showed to be about 1900 for the day. It could have been my poor calculations on the calories but I still gained three lbs. back. Ugh.

    White water in a Canadian canoe requires a skill level and acceptance of risk that I don’t have. In a kayak (Inuit style boat) it is more manageable. Most days my preference is to enter the river higher up and let the current drift me down whilst I steer and watch the wild life.

    I’m trying to work on 5.2 and 16.8…. almost managed it yesterday…my new day 1 after a rubbish week.x

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