I have been doing the 16:8 diet/fast for a long time now; for years in fact; way before I knew about it, way before I even heard about it and definitely way before it became diet sexy. So how effective is the 16:8 diet/fast for your waistline and health and how hard is it to stick to?
Prior to becoming vegan, I had begun taking an interest in eating a healthier diet and trying to lead a healthier life. Without much research, I started to think about what I was eating and its effect on my body, my health and wellness.
My transition to a healthier diet was a progressive experience, over a number of years.
Initially, I did simple things, like improving the quality of food I ate, cutting out preservatives, trying to eat organic as much as possible and cooking more healthy food at home.
The journey was long and, I as educated myself further, I continued to cut out a lot of my previous dietary staples.
Like many, I thought nothing of having a can of Coke, for a quick energy fix (and probably, because like many, I didn’t realise how bad it is). I loved the stuff and was probably addicted to it.
I won’t got into the negatives of drinking sweet carbonated drinks, as there is enough information available about this, but, cutting it from your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health (and weight).
The journey wasn’t linear, but progressively, I cut out various things from my diet; Fast Foods went, so, no more Maccas, store bought Pizzas, etc.
I am fortunate, in that I have been blessed with a high metabolism and throughout much of my working life, have worked physically hard jobs.
I could smash down more food than most family’s could and not even get a bulge to show for it.
When I was working in construction in Tropical Queensland, I used to eat an entire loaf of bread, made into salad sandwiches every day (plus other food to go with it), yet was fortunate, to burn all of it off through the physical activity of the job.
Cut forward several years and taking a different path, I found myself gaining weight that I didn’t want.
The extra weight came quick and easy and, for the first time in my life, I had to worry about how this would end. If I didn’t change something, the outlook didn’t look good.
I thought if I didn’t do something about this soon, I would end up comfortably fat, which was something I had never had to worry about previously.
When I say comfortably fat, I don’t mean this as something negative, as, gaining excess weight, was something I had never had to deal with, so this was a new experience for me.
Gaining weight had suddenly become so easy.
The foods I used to eat without question had suddenly become my enemy and started to impact me physically.
Getting back on track of the topic of this post, that being the 16:8 diet, I decided to do something about my weight gain.
I decided to cut out as much sugar and sugary carbs and starches from my diet as possible.The basics of what I cut from my out, included:
- Sugar – Directly, by not adding it to coffee, etc
In conjunction with cutting these staples from my diet, I also cut normal meal patterns from my diet; without any knowledge of the 16:8 diet. I stopped having smoko, or lunch, as we know it.
I decided to implement a semi-fasting diet, thinking that this would help me lose weight fast.
You know what happened?
The Secret To An Easy And Effective 16:8 Diet
Rather than go completely without sustenance, I thought I could have have healthy, low fat, low carb, low sugar juices and smoothies during the day, to maintain energy and mental clarity and rely on one healthy meal at night time to sustain me.
Having a healthy, freshly made juice, or smoothie won’t impact on the 16:8 diet in any way, as it is just nutrients you are taking in snd won’t negatively impact your fast, but will make it so much easier to get through any hunger pains you may feel.
Sticking to this, religiously, with no rewarding myself with sneak treats, resulted in my losing 12kg (26.4 pounds) in 10 weeks.
I know, you may be thinking this is amazing, but it really was that simple and that hard.
Realistically, the first 2 weeks can be difficult, you do feel hungry, although, not all the time, as your body adjusts to the new regime. I tell people, that when they feel those hunger pains and ignore them, that is when the body starts to feed on its reserves.
It also takes willpower not to give in; like when someone is having a celebratory morning tea or something and there are cakes and other less than healthy treats on offer. In the future, you won’t have to stick to this diet religiously, but it is best to stick to it at the beginning.
The 16:8 diet/fast can be done for short periods and does not require that you stick to it for the rest of your life, although once you do it long enough, it becomes natural, just like your previous eating habits.
I tend to stick to this eating pattern, without thinking almost every day. Some days I won’t even have a smoothie or juice, such as on the weekend. I generally only ever eat one meal a day and have been this way for years.
Having stated all of the above, it is also important that your one meal a day is still healthy; there is no point doing the 16:8 diet/fast, if you gorge yourself silly on unhealthy foods in the period you are eating.
There are plenty of tasty, healthy nutritious meals available on vegan diet, both savoury and sweet, that will satisfy the biggest appetite, so why not give it a go and see the amazing results that can be achieved.