Choosing a plan to follow is one of the most core things you should do when deciding to get started with intermittent fasting. Each method of fasting has effectively the same benefits, but generally the longer you fast, the better the benefits. In this post, I will focus on the 16-hour intermittent fasting benefits and whether this plan of attack is right for you.
First, we will explore who this plan is suitable for, then how to set up this fasting plan, followed by the benefits that you can experience in following this intermittent diet plan. We will not necessarily focus on all the benefits, but the ones that I believe are most beneficial in my opinion. Those benefits being, reduced overall fat, better vitals, increasing brain health, lower risk of cancer, and a longer life. This information is culminated from a variety of sources, but is my original interpretation of the information.
So without making this introduction to long, let’s get started!
Who Is A 16-Hour Intermittent Fast For?
A 16-hour intermittent fast is perfect for those wanting to reduce overall fat, extend their life, lower risk of cancer, and live a more healthy lifestyle. There are other fasting schedules available to follow such as a 12-hour, 20-hour, or even 24-hour, so the 16-hour fast is more of an intermediary fast.
You should choose this fast if you have previously tried a 12-hour fast and are ready for a new challenge or if you are ready to jump straight into the middle of the fasting revolution and give yourself an advantage over those beginning a 12-hour fast.
With all fasting, you will most likely need to try different plans out and see which one will fit your lifestyle and comfort level the best, but do remember the most important consideration is that you find a plan you can make your lifestyle. Forget the idea of a diet. Diets are for people that want short term results, but don’t or can’t continue to live that way. We want something sustainable for our lives, so make that your top consideration.
Getting Setup For The Fast
So how can we get setup for the 16-hour fast? The first thing we need to do is to figure out what hours during our day we are going to make eating times and when we will be fasting. In the 16-hour intermittent fasting plan, you will only eat during 8 hours a day and then fast (stop eating or drinking calories) for 16 hours.
For me, I like to eat during the middle of my day when I am also the most active and most likely to need to be social with other people and not ostracize myself from them. So this would mean that I would allow myself to eat between 11am and 7pm. This gives me time to have lunch with colleagues if needed and dinner with the family.
Your plan could be different, but just make sure the focus is on having one solid block of 8 hours for you to eat and that it fits the times you are most likely to eat so that you don’t experience difficulties with being social.
Since the fasting is on the longer side in terms of intermittent fasting being at 16 hours, I found that it has been helpful to use some raspberry ketone drops to curb my appetite and I remember how effective when I did the HCG Diet a few years back. My wife and I just went and bought the “Couples package” because we can get a 60-day supply at the lowest price, and they include some great bonuses for free. It might not be for everyone, but it seems to be working well for us and is much better than taking a bunch of pills.
Reduced Overall Fat
So why do the 16 intermittent fasting plan? For me, the first and most desirable benefit is reducing my overall fat. Most people looking at doing a fast like this are probably seeking the same benefit, so I put it first, so we can discuss it.
So how can fasting do this? By allowing us only a certain amount of hours during the day with which we can eat, we reduce the possibility of overeating and better focus our attention on giving ourselves the right energy during that time. Try to keep meals smaller in nature and be aware of things that might be higher in calories. I am not saying you need to count calories, but do be aware of them and try not to overindulge too often.
Hopefully, you will plan your meals to include proteins, fats, and a small amount of carbohydrates. I would try to limit the amounts of carbohydrates as they are more likely to trigger the body to retain food as stored energy (fat), which is our enemy at this point. All food can cause this, but carbohydrates like sugars, potatoes, rice, bread, and root vegetables are the main culprits here. So be careful of them.
Besides the outside appearance of health, we also need to consider the inside health of our body. Things like blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and the like. These things are generally looked at as signs of internal health and are used to determine your risk of heart disease, possibility of stroke, and other health concerns that may cause permanent damage to your body.
Luckily for us, intermittent fasting can help in reducing these risk factors over time when you focus your diet on “slow, healthy food” versus “fast, unhealthy food”. I say it like that because not all slow food is healthy and not all fast food is unhealthy.
Who doesn’t love a healthy brain? Because of any number of factors, including age, diet, genetics, and lifestyle we can become subject to neurological (brain) conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or have inflammation which can cause other complications with the proper function. Intermittent fasting can help to suppress or reduce these inflammations and thereby lower the risk of the occurrence and frequency of complications with these diseases.
Lower Risk Of Cancer
This is also the case for cancer. Intermittent fasting can decrease inflammation and linked insulin levels which often can lead to cancer. Also, in reducing obesity and having a more restrictive diet, the formation of tumors can be possibly be reduced. For me, this is reason enough to get started and keep going. I think most people today have someone in their family or know someone who has faced cancer in their lives and seen its effects.
Longer Life Is Possible
I am techno-nerd, admittedly, and love to buy new technologies or have the latest and greatest things to come out. I can remember when I bought my first brand-new computer and opted for the top of the line processor, memory, and RAM, so I would never need to worry about outgrowing it. But, over time and with use, the computer got slower. It didn’t seem to run as fast, the parts started to wear down, the keys stuck, the graphics card would sometimes flicker, it just wasn’t like it was when I bought it.
The same thing goes for your body. The more you use it, the more it has the chance to break down if not exposed to the right conditions. By fasting, you allow your body to take in food, process it properly and then rest, recover, and prepare for the next time it needs to do its job.
Constantly feeding and abusing the system greatly diminishes its ability to work properly, and thus we age and break down and have health concerns earlier in life. So if you want to live longer, it makes sense to me that we reduce how much we use our system, and thus we can live longer.
Go For It!
I am one to encourage everyone to do some sort of fasting due to the many benefits I’ve listed here, but also countless other benefits to be had and to which I have written about previously and will continue to do as I too increase my own knowledge and begin seeing real results.
As for doing a 16-hour intermittent fast, I say, “Go for it!” if you think you will be comfortable giving up one meal a day, can resist overeating, and can stick to the plan day in and day out. No cheating. No trying to make up for the lost meal during your 8 hours of eating. You can avoid bread, sweets, rice, potatoes, and root vegetables like carrots.
If you can do all that, then the 16-hour plan may be for you, and you can be successful if you stick with it. If it seems a bit too challenging at this moment, then start with a 12-hour plan to “get your feet wet”. However, if you are up for a real challenge, join me in the 20-hour intermittent fasting plan and let’s lose it together!
As always, if you need any help or have any questions, please comment and I will do my best to help you.