What is 16:8?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  bigbooty 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • I haven’t started with the fast days yet but I’ve noticed I can skip breakfast fairly easily, which results in me not eating for about 15 hours before having lunch. Is this anything to do with 16:8 (I just noticed that figure whilst quickly browsing). Does anybody here not do fast days and instead skip break-fast everyday?

    Hi Martie

    I fast 2 days per week in line with the 5:2 program, but I also follow a 16:8 eating pattern every day.

    16:8 isn’t about cutting calories it’s about not spreading your eating out over a long period, but confining it to an 8 hour period each day. I find I don’t feel like eating breakfast, so I usually confine my eating from 11:30-7:30. Because I have a 16 hour period every day without food I am getting some benefits of fasting.

    If you just want some fasting benefits but don’t want to lose weight then 16:8 is an option. If you want to lose weight then 16:8 isn’t enough – you do have to cut calories as well. 5:2 gives you both benefits – fasting and reduced calories for weight loss.

    You eat your last meal at say 6pm on Sunday and then have your first meal at 10 am Monday. 16 hours without food. So basically skip one meal per day.

    Thanks for the replies. Has anybody tried a combination of the two, for instance skipping breakfast on the five non-fast days then fasting for two?


    A large number of people follow 16:8 on non fast days. Many of us are interested in the health benefits of fasting and doing so for 16 out of every 24 hours is a good routine to adopt.
    It is also harder to over-eat in an 8 hour eating window and helps retrain our appetites and improve eating habits.

    Thanks, I might give that a try. I do have a thought I’d like to get off my chest though:

    I was brought up to believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I guess that kinda stuck (like do many other things that may or may not be true).

    Any thoughts on the importance of Breakfast?

    I am not hungry first thing in the morning so I don’t eat. It has made no appreciable difference to my ability to do anything and I never feel lacking in energy and I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.

    There are numerous reasons given for eating breakfast but none of them hold water IMHO.
    If I’ve been sleeping all night I’ve not had the opportunity to burn the energy that the previous nights dinner provided so eating more doesn’t make sense to me.

    There is one group of people that need to eat breakfast and that is children as their growing bodies need regular sustenance although whether a bowl of sugar covered cereal is sustenance is a matter of opinion.

    Thanks Amazon, it’s really interesting to think that I’ve spent a lifetime (50yrs) eating breakfast whether I’m hungry or not, purely out of habit. And yes, that habit was formed eating rubbish loaded with sugar that I saw advertised countless times a day on TV (which, I’m glad to say, I haven’t watched for years).

    And I’ve noticed that on the days I’ve not eaten breakfast I’ve been absolutely fine, and enjoyed lunch all the better for it. Now I understand that I was also (literally!) breaking a fast, whether I needed to or not, almost purely out of habit, whilst also understanding the benefits of fasting I’m definitely going to start the 5:2 diet (on Monday) whilst also Skipping breakfast every day.

    Thanks again 🙂

    Hi Martie

    You are not alone! I used to never eat breakfast throughout my teenage years, then I succumbed to the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” mantra. For the next 20 years I forced myself to eat breakfast, even though I was rarely hungry at that time of day.

    Now, I do the 5:2 diet, fasting twice a week and not eating breakfast. I don’t worry about trying to stick to a 16:8 hour routine, as I often eat my lunch about 11.30 am and have dinner around 7 – 7.30pm. I like the 5:2 for its flexibility; if I derive any extra benefits from eating within an 8-hour window, to me, that’s just a bonus.

    Thanks Penz. You know, the more I think about it, the more I realise just how much I have done the whole breakfast thing out of habit and am really excited to see what results I get, especially with the middle-age spread!

    Well I’ve started the 5:2 today. I had a meal last night (Sun) at about 6.30pm, then a cup of tea with hardly any milk at 7am, about 150g of nectarines at 8am and just water since! I have planned chicken/spinach & veggies for dinner to bring me up to the 500 cals, which will be at about 6pm, but have had no carbs, so hopefully my body is in ketosis now!
    Is it ok to have a sugar-free drink tonight?

    It is highly unlikely you will be in ketosis if this is the first time you have done 5:2 and are currently overweight. You will preferentially run down your glycogen levels which could take 48+ hours. Additionally you had 150 grams of fruit in the morning. That in itself would have been a big carb hit (glucose is a carb). If you are really keen on getting into ketosis there are lots of meters you can buy that measure blood glucose and ketone bodies. I use a Freestyle Optium Neo. They are very cheap to buy. The loose definition of ketosis is a reading of 0.5 mmol/L ketone levels.

    You do not need to be in ketosis to lose weight, so don’t worry too much about it. As long as you run a deficit you will lose weight.

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