8 hour diet

This topic contains 20 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  feret 5 years ago.

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  • Hi,
    I’ve just started on the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet – I already lost 8kg before this due to regular healthy eating but I saw the show and was convinced. My wife has started what she called the ‘8 hour diet’. This is where you diet for 16 hours every day, eating all your food each day between 12pm and 8pm. She says that according to this diet, you can eat all you like during those hours. I think it comes from “Leangains” and I think their website is so confusing, unlike your simple and easy to follow prescriptions for the 5:2 diet.

    I’m also a bit suspicious as I would think that to get some benefit from any fast, you’d have to allow your body to ‘starve’ in some manner so that it switches to healing mode. Also, this diet sounds very similar to what many fat unhealthy people do – skip breakfast and lunch then eat too much food at dinner, every night.
    What do you think?

    Good question, Brownbag! I am also interested in that. I would like to know more about the 8 hour diet. How is your wife doing?

    Regarding the eating too much food at dinner issue, I don’t know what to think… It has always been said that it’s not a good idea to eat too much at dinner, that your body stores fat if you do so. Just as it has always been said that it’s not good to eat carbs after 5 pm and you should stick to vegetables and lean protein.

    However, I have also read some articles – one of them at Leangains, incidentally – that bust the myth that skipping meals is bad for your metabolism. According to those articles, what matters is your total calorie intake throughout the day, no matter how you split this intake. So you could have five 400-calorie meals, four 500-calorie meals, two 1,000-calorie meals or one 2,000 calorie-meal, that you would be burning the same amount of fat.

    I think this theory makes sense and there is a science behind it to back it up but I don’t really know how to explain it. Something about a metabolic process called thermogenesis. I suggest you to go to Leangains and look it up, because maybe you’re interested.

    Congratulations on your success with your fasting, by the way! 😉


    Good point sylphadora and I agree. I’m no making a comment about when you eat. I’m just concerned about my wife’s 8 hour diet plan (actually I found out it is not Leangains but somebody who referred to them), which says that you can eat all you like in the 8 hours. This what reminds me of people who skip breakfast and lunch and then pig out all afternoon and night, in the end going over a healthy calorie range and getting overweight.
    I can’t imagine any diet that says “eat all you like” for 8 hours a day can be good for you. Is there any real ‘fasting’ if you’ve pigged out until 8pm then can start again midday the next day.
    But I’m happy to be proven wrong!

    I think if you watch the show they have evidence in mice, that when both mice are fed the same amount of food-one can eat whenever it wants throughout the day and the other can only eat whatever it wants in a small time window the restricted one is skinny and the other one is fat.

    brownbag, I am starting 5:2 tomorrow, but I tried the 8 hour diet for about a month. I did not lose one single pound, and I did it every day, not just the minimum of 3 days a week like the book suggests.

    I feel almost instinctively that 5:2 will work for me, because we are forced to reduce calories to a bare minimum twice a week. I am positive I wasn’t cutting calories at all on the 8 Hour Diet.

    Oh well, one size does not fit everyone. 8 Hour certainly was not for me!

    Hi Brown Bag, I’ve been doing the 8 hour diet for just over a week and have lost 1kg. Prior to that I had been doing 5:2 for 11 weeks and lost 4kgs. I find the 8hr diet easier because I am completely sated by eating 2 decent sized meals within an 8hr period (sometimes with a pre or post-dinner snack) and am too full to over eat. I don’t have breakfast and don’t miss it as I went without it on my 5:2 fast days. I eat lunch around midday and dinner between 6-8. I don’t count calories but I know that I am eating significantly less than I was on some of my 5:2 feed days and I don’t have the struggle of the 500cal fast days. If I’m going out at night, I change the eating window to 2-10pm or thereabouts. I don’t use the 8hr window as an opportunity to gorge myself just as many people on the 5:2 diet don’t gorge on the 5 feed days. So it may work for your wife and I hope it does.

    Hi there

    Not sure if this will help but after years of yo yo dieting this way of looking at food and understanding your body really seems to work for me. Over the years i have read so much about, lets call it, food intake and this is what i have found works for me.
    I generally fast Monday and Thursday though this has to be flexible around my work and i don’t beat myself up if i have to change days wrecking the routine.
    On fast days i don’t eat breakfast and i have lunch and dinner but within 8 hours of each other. If i can, i try to have 16 hours between dinner on Sunday and Wednesday night and lunch on fast day.
    Reading around the subject the longer you can fast the better your body can do what it needs to and 16 hours seems to be the optimum time and certainly works for me. Again i don’t beat myself up if i dont make it but 12 hours is my absolute minimum i have to achieve.

    I don’t stick to the 8 hour window per se on non fast days i just listen to my body but i have found that actually my body has adapted and seems to like this regime.

    This week i have done a third fast day and on that day cycled 30 miles before lunch and i feel great.

    Hi there

    I myself have adapted the 8 hour diet for quite some time now, too, but always had problems tracking the hours I was allowed to feast and fast.

    Luckily, I know how to create iPhone Apps – so I built an App just for that: Tracking your 8 and 16 hour phases.

    It’s for free and really easy to use so I would like to share it with you guys. You can find it by searching for “8 16 hours” in the App Store or go to http://816hoursapp.jimdo.com

    I’m looking forward to your feedback – if you like it please spread the word!


    I tried the 8 Hour Diet for 6 weeks and only lost about 4 pounds during that time. I too, did it more than the 3 days recommended, migrating my eating to an 8 hour window 5 days a week – Monday through Friday. During this period, I also exercised at the gym for an hour a day with a mix of cardio and weight resistance exercises.

    After the 6 weeks, I started the Fast Diet and have lost a total of 12 pounds so far since late June. I even skipped two weeks from following the diet during a cruise vacation, and found that I didn’t gain any additional weight.

    I think with a lot of these “eating regimens”, you have to be sensible and try to eat healthier foods if you want to see the benefits. Although they say you can eat whatever you want, you really should be aware of what the bad choices are and try to avoid them whenever possible. Getting enough exercise and sleep figures into this equation also.

    I’m doing 4 3 diet but on feed days doing 8 16. This is about health for me. Weightloss is an added bonus!

    “Vet272 – I’m doing 4 3 diet but on feed days doing 8 16. This is about health for me. Weightloss is an added bonus!”

    Would you say more about you lifestyle combining both disciplines?

    I’m intrigued in that it may work well for me, as I’m currently doing the 5:2 only.

    Can we drink drinks after 9 o’clock and after 5 o’clock?

    I also do 5:2 / 4:3 (depends what I feel like doing) combined with 18:6 (although in practice it tends to be more like 22:2). It’s extremely easy to do actually. I just eat one meal a day, every day. On fast days this meal contains 0-500 calories, on normal days it contains around 1300. This meal takes a while though, I basically spend 2 hours at night eating because if I hork it down in one go I’ll get full too quickly and not eat my daily allowance of 1300.

    I’m going to combine this with Insanity (HIIT 6 days a week) every day, so I’ll work out on empty every day. I’ll eat immediately after exercise to get my body the protein it needs.

    I am having some energy issues sometimes, I feel like my legs are jelly some days – so I’ll re-evaluate my calorie intake on normal days because they may be on the low side. I guess I’ll just complement any missing calories with bacon, that works 😉

    Hi Gavin,

    I agree with you that eating whatever you want isn’t healthy, but I owe a lot to that claim (the “eat what you want” claim) because it’s that freedom that got me started on intermittent fasting and the 8 hour diet (it made the diet seem easy to adhere to).

    I wasn’t fat to begin with, but I lost 8 kgs on the 8 hour diet in about 3 weeks (eating whatever at first but have since gradually been eating healthier). I’m a pretty small built guy…I went from 73 kgs to 65kgs. I’d encourage you to give the 8 hour a go – bare in mind that eating whatever you like its NOT a requirement – just try the 8 hour diet and eat healthier while on it. I swear by it. I found it incredibly easy to stick to, seeing it’s daily you have the benefit over other intermittent fasting schedules of easy daily habit forming. Your hormones also adjust so (if you’re like me) by day 3 you wont really feel hungry before your eating window (I eat between midday to 8 at night but I’m not too rigid about it, if I’m a few minutes or even an hour off schedule here and there then that’s cool – after all, sometimes things come up in life, but in saying that I do find that life accommodates the 8 hour eating window VERY well). I really cannot fault the 8 hour diet, I’ve been on it for a few months now and can’t see any reason to stop. I do like The Fast Diet as a game-changer now and then (I’ll do it whenever I plateau if I want to cut a bit more weight for the beach or whatever).

    As a side note, I’ve figured out a small modification, if you can even call it that, to the 8 hour diet that makes it essential like traditional eating, that goes something like this: Finish eating dinner around 8pm. Watch tv or do whatever you do. Sleep. Wake up. Apon waking up eat a 50 calorie or less morning “meal” (this is my modification and 50 calories or less doesn’t break the “fasted state”. 50 calories or less is sometimes recommended during the fasted state by another intermittent fasting protocol called “Leangains”, yet I think with leangains, their 50 calories is not solid, but mine is – for example, I’ll eat a carrot or something in the morning which weighs in at about 35 calories or so). Then at “lunch” time your eating window starts, and you can eat lunch, snacks, dinner (and even an entrée and dessert if you want) and be done by 8pm. the the next fast state begins, and in this way with my modification the whole diet becomes like “normal” eating (breakfast,lunch,and dinner – only difference is my morning meal is much tinier than most peoples breakfasts).

    Sorry, I see I’ve rambled on a bit, but there you have it. I’d really recommend the 8 hour diet (with or without a 50 calorie meal in the fasting window). The Fast Diet’s great too but I’m sure you already know that seeing you’ve tried it. I really appreciate the immense amount or work done by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer…The Fast Diet’s an awesome book and a valuble resource on the benefits of fasting in general – regardless of whichever fasting method you use…

    Hi Gavin,

    Did you follow 16:8 everyday? Or certain number of days per week?

    Hi Massive. I think seeing the thread is so old the poster may be long gone (though I may be wrong). I can answer your question though. 16:8 is supposed to be done daily (it is just the longer fasts like Eat Stop Eat where you go for 24 hours that it’s not supposed to be done daily). I lost 8 kgs doing The 8 Hour Diet daily. The 8 Hour Diet also says you can do it just 3 days a week and see results but I have never tried it just 3 days a week so I don’t have any anecdotal evidence about weather or not it works when done 3 days a week. “Leangains” that Gavin is talking about is a 16:8 protocol that is intended to be done daily, and also requires you to workout a few days a week. Hope this is helpful, best of luck!

    Thanks 88888888, really helpful. Those are pretty impressive results, given you’ve hit your goal do you still follow the 8hr or do you combine 5:2 for maintenance? I am finding the 5:2 a bit difficult, followed it for 6 weeks with some results but found I came to dread Mondays and Thursdays (fast days). I’m finding this much more “up my street” and fits better with my active lifestyle – I tend to run a far bit and didn’t like to on fast days as was famished and didn’t like the restriction of not being able to run if I fancied it! Grateful for your story on what you follow now. Cheers

    Hi again, I still follow intermittent fasting daily for the health benefits (longevity etc). I still fast daily minimum 16 hours (so 16:8 in other words) but now and then at will I’ll go up to maximum 20 hours (20:4 fast).I go to 20 hours fasting when it’s convenient for work and what not. My weight has plateaued to be honest (it’s a good thing). I’m the same as you when it comes to the 5:2 diet – found it very hard psychologically – something about it made my brain think that I could always squeeze in a bit more food, then a bit more, then before I knew it I went way over the 500-600 calories. Eating within timeframes (like 16:8, 19:5, 20:4 or anything inbetween) works better psychologically for me, seeing I seem to think of eating at certain times as not an option. You say you came to dread Mondays and Thursdays – I hear that! I was like that when I did 24 hour fasts twice a week – never again! How are you finding 16:8 so far? Do you find yourself adjusting and not really getting hungry? I agree with you – 16:8’s great for an active lifestyle (I’m painting houses (while I find a way to use my degree haha) which is pretty physical and 16:8’s working well still. Let me know how you get on with it all.

    Like you say, the psychological part is what throws me with 5:2. Did you generally follow your TDEE within the 8/6/4hr periods? And still lost weight? I eat healthily most of the time anyway, I might have the odd treat but stick to TDEE or below. You said you lost wright within three weeks, did it take that long to see any weight loss or did it gradually fall off? I’m not looking for a quick fix, I only have about 4kg to lose so in no rush. I also will probably only follow it for 5 days per week as I like to have breakfast with my husband and children over weekends…could do 6 days if I must!

    Nope, didn’t and still don’t follow TDEE. I mean, I know about calories but try and use intermittent fasting as a way to not think about calories too much (within reason). I’m just not really a fan of counting them, though it would be useful if I did I’m sure. To be honest I hover around 65/66 kgs now – so not still losing – might get back into exercise which I haven’t done in a while – some small change like that would help I’m sure. I actually can’t remember how long it took exactly for the 8 kgs to come off but it was to the tune of about a month and a half or so. 5 day’s a week will still work very well I’m sure. Who knows, it might even help you lose easier throwing your body slightly off schedule for 2 days a week). I reckon it’s all about not letting your body get used to a weight loss strategy – that might be why my weight loss has stalled (I also have started bingeing a bit which I need to get out of the habit of), but I want it to stop seeing im a skinnyish guy already so don’t want to get below 65 or so. Good luck, hope it goes well! I might take a page from your book and start thinking more about calories (I’ll try and do that without getting obsessive which will be the challenge haha).

    Leangains method of fasting was designed specifically for bodybuilders to help them build muscle mass while not gaining body fat. It’s not the best fasting plan for people who do not involve in professional bodybuilding/fitness activities. If you want to learn the basics of Leangains method, here they are – http://www.eatstopeat.org/introduction-to-the-leangains-method/

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