Switching from 5:2 to 16:8

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  dykask 4 years, 10 months ago.

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  • I was losing weight nicely on the 5:2 diet but kept feeling tired on NF days and my mood was going up and down.

    Switched to 16:8 and feel much better.

    Question: Has anyone else done this and if so is the weight loss the same? can I still lose weight?

    also with the 16:8 can you still eat 3 meals a day and lose weight? some people speak of only eating 2 meals a day.

    Thanks 🙂

    I haven’t done it this way, but there was just a great review in Science about all the types of fasting. The authors categorize 16:8 as a time-restricted feed, and it looks like it really does work with lots of ancillary benefits, even if you eat the same amount of calories as you would in a normal 24 hour period. Here’s the link: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6416/770
    Let me know if you hit a paywall or have any other trouble accessing it, and I’ll figure out a way to send you the pdf. How’s 16:8 going for you?

    Hi Sarah

    Just finished reading article, thanks!
    I have actually gone back to 5:2 but trying to adjust eating times to manage brain fog and low feeling when fasting.

    My experience with 16:8 was not bad at all but psychologically I found it hard to switch as I felt as though I wanted more of a break from eating. Anyway I’ll see how I go.
    It has thrown me out of balance a bit so I am still trying to figure out what I want to do.
    I am not a fan of the anxious feeling that comes with eating less, also the tired feeling the next day after a fast. These are all obstacles to fasting for me at this time, I see suggestions for water, salt, magnesium but I am not convinced… I had a similar feeling years ago when I was in my 20’s and watching what I ate.. then over the years I started to eat more balanced and as a result I felt relaxed in my body and mind, the anxiety was gone! so I see it was food related (for me anyway). So to be feeling the same feeing now I am fasting concerns me as I just want to live well. I am hoping I can find a way to fast.. yesterday I tried breakfast, lunch then coffee in the afternoon.. it worked out ok.. this morning I feel tired in my eyes and slightly tense in my body, maybe others feel this way also but just get on with it.. Making sure I eat enough and drink lots of water, but it feels like my body doesn’t like having less. How do your fasts go?

    Sim, maybe the tiredness you experience on a Slow Day [i assume the day following a Fast?] is due to what you eat on that day. My husband seems to have a bit of that too. Are you eating a high-carb or high-sugar breakfast? perhaps the fatigue is a sugar-crash.

    “Making sure I eat enough…” what does that mean? Trying to get up to 6oo cal on a Fast Day? or trying to reach some other calorie total on the Slow Day? Please explain.

    Hi Sim,

    My husband and I started with 16:8 last February and managed to lose 10 kg each. Made us really happy, certainly me, with 40 years of dieting behind me…
    I also tried the 5:2 system for a week, but the fast days reminded me too much of all those diets from the past. The regularity of 16:8 felt very easy, compared to two fasting days with their 500 calories and all the frustrations!

    So now we always skip breakfast, not because we’re aiming to eat two meals, but because after some weeks it just went that way. We got used to eating less and for us it works, in several ways.

    I can’t see how you’d fit in three meals with the 16:8 strategy. We stopped having breakfast when we started 5:2 and now maintain on 16:8.

    Our appetites soon reduced when we began IF.

    I think @fasting_me hit the nail on the head. Brain fog, tiredness, etc are more likely from what is being eaten and not from not eating. Those systems align well with eating too little fat and too much carbs. (sugars)

    As far as 16:8 goes, it really depends if it is much different than 5:2. If you eat the 500 to 800 calories per fast day, then it is probably a toss up. If you water fast on fast days and don’t take in any calories then it is a different comparison. For must adults it takes 20 to 24 hours to completely deplete the liver of glycogen which marks a period when the body is forced to depend only on fat reserves. (There is likely always some fat use, just less than when glycogen is depleted.) On 16:8 one probably rarely hits that point unless perhaps they couple 16:8 with a very low carb diet. However then one with faces long-term nutritional issues as it quite difficult to maintain good nutrition once carbs are extremely restricted. However that is a long term issue and not one likely noticed in a period of a few months. Anyway, it is more a definition issue of what is really fasting.

    Personally I think one has to judge what works well for them personally. For myself I found the most beneficial thing was getting my refined sugar consumption under 20g/day. However it took months to adjust to that. Some things just can’t be rushed.

    Dykask, good nutritional advice. We find 16:8 the easiest way to maintain. However, neither of us could manage 500 or 600 calories Fast Days with longer windows for eating. Of course, we were only restricting calories on FDs.

    We enjoy potatoes about once a week now, ditto pasta, which I love.

    What is the 16:8? 16 hrs of fast and 8 hrs of regular eating?

    Yes 16:8 is just only eating during an 8 hour window each day.

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