This month, I jumped on board the 8-Hour Diet trend.
The premise of the diet is really simple: eat whatever you want for 8 hours a day, and don’t eat anything else for the other 16. Of course the eat whatever you want part does come with the suggestion to eat as healthy as you can, but the nice thing about it is that I could still have some ice cream in the evening without having to feel guilty.
According to a lot of recent research, intermittent fasting is actually very good for our bodies. By only eating for a limited amount of time each day, our bodies are actually able to digest everything that we ingest, which leads to a decrease in overall inflammation in the body. And excess inflammation in the body has been linked to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t eliminate the possibility of developing any of these diseases, but if it decreases the risk it might just be worth it.
My experience with this eating plan has actually been pretty positive. 5 days each week I didn’t start eating until 12 pm, and every day I finished eating by 8 pm. I mostly ate healthy, but I enjoyed some sweets from time to time.
My only real struggle came in the mornings because I have always been a huge breakfast guy, and it was difficult some days to not eat until noon. But it was really amazing how easy it was to not eat, and how quickly the hunger pangs pretty much disappeared.
Once 12 o’clock rolled around, it was game on food wise. I mostly ate breakfast kinds of foods for my first meal, and then I’d eat again a couple of hours later. I don’t know that I ate again so soon because I was hungry, or if I just figured I needed to eat since I had the green light, but I was almost never hungry after that first meal of the day. And that made sticking to the diet in the mornings a whole lot easier.
I didn’t start this diet plan with any plans of trying to lose weight. However, I did end up dropping a few pounds from the start of the month until now. Honestly, I do think that this could be a great plan to help people lose weight since it is really hard to eat as much in an 8 hour window as most of us do in a 12-14 hour window. And that restriction of calories, as well as maintaining an active lifestyle, will lead to weight loss.
But even if you’re not trying to lose weight, if the health benefits of the reduced inflammatory response of intermittent fasting are true, it might be worth following the 8-hour diet three or four times a week.
At least that’s my plan going forward.