The 16:8 diet: everything you need to know

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16:8 diet
The 16:8 diet has been one of the most popular diet plans we've seen in years - and with good reason!

We've had the 5:2 diet; where you eat normally for 5 days out of 7 and then eat 500 calories in any 2 days of choice. And while it's proved effective for most who've tried it, there's now a newer diet that's even more simple - the 16:8.

It's an easier and more consistent way of fasting that avoids those 2 days of stomach growling hunger!

If you found the 5:2 too hard, read on for an easier plan!

How does the 16:8 diet work?

The 16:8 works on an hourly basis. So each day you can eat within an 8 hour time frame and fast for the remaining 16 hours. The best part? You don't have to restrict yourself to 500 calories at all - as long as you eat healthily in your 8 hour time frame, you'll see the weight drop off.

Experts say that this restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burns away calories. Plus, you won't go hungry like you do on those two fasting days on the 5:2 either.

Hugh Jackman reportedly uses the 16:8 to get in shape for his role in the Wolverine movies

Even the celebs are getting involved. Hugh Jackman uses the 16:8 to get in shape for his Wolverine films (it's even been named The Wolverine Diet!) and Jennifer Love Hewitt is also a fan!

Where does the 16:8 diet come from?

The diet stems from the book 8 Hour Diet by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Men's Health Peter Moore, who suggest that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away extra fat stores.

When can I eat on the 16:8 diet?

The 16:8 is an intermittent diet that, for most of it, you actually sleep through (phew!) You can pick an 8 hour window to suit your day - so it could be between 10am - 6pm or 11am - 7pm, for example. Plus, you can still drink tea and coffee outside of those hours too, so it's not just water!

What can I eat on the 16:8 diet?

This diet isn't suggesting you cram all the food you can into 8-hours. But you do need to make sure you're eating a balance of fat busting and health boosting foods. Experts have suggest making sure you get a balance of lean meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, nuts and beans each day. It really is that easy!

Are there any health benefits?

Luckily for us, it's not just about losing weight. There's also a whole bunch of health and wellbeing benefits from the humble 16:8. It can help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, reduce cortisol levels (that means less stress!) and help reduce inflammation. Plus, since you won't be dealing with hunger for two days a week, it's better for your mental health.

Those who've tried the 16:8 say how much more productive they are during fasting hours, spending less time stressing over food and more time channelling their energy into other beneficial tasks throughout the day.

Need inspiration? We've got plenty of healthy recipes that will fit perfectly into your 16:8 plan - so you can get started right away.

Continued below...

Have you tried the 16:8? Let us know how you got on in the comments below...

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I’ve been doing the 16:8 Diet for about 4 days now, I started at 146.9 now I’m at 145.9 It’s fantastic and easy! I love it


So. 2 years have passed. How did it go?

Grace Venters

I did this diet for two months and lost 6 kg...I was 70 kg and went down to 63....I ate breakfast and lunch and an Apple at and water after that. Bfast is important to me...and I can skip dinner. After holidays and socializing a lot I put on 3 kg so I'm back on 16.:8 and I have lost a kilo after a week. Love this diet.


Intermittent fasting is the most enjoyable and sustainable way of losing weight. People will tell you that skipping breakfast is bad for you but there's zero scientific evidence to back this up. Just don't make the mistake of lowering your carb intake. There's a common misconception that you have to cut out carbs to lose weight but this isn't true. I recommend checking out Nate Miyaki's 'Half Day Diet' - His method is basically a tweaked version of intermittent fasting to maximise fat loss. Here's a link to his guide: HalfDayPlan.Com


Why did I not hear about this diet years ago. It is the best and easiest thing I've ever done. I've found that my portions have got smaller as my stomach shrinks in the 16hour window so when I do eat I get full quickly. It's a no brainer. Have lost a stone without even trying.

Jean Wilson

Just two weeks in on 16.8. Eating healthily easy to do and list 3 lbs in weight so far. Happy with that! Have joined 2 facebook groups but everyone seems to be trying to reduce eating window to one meal a day. 20.4 or even 22.2! Have no intention of doing this. I'm also concerned some people may be heading for an eating disorder. Good food should be one of life's pleasures as well as nourishing your body!

Dr Johnty

I have been on the 16:8 for 3 months and have lost 11lb without trying and am still eating my curries, pizzas and drinking beer. I usually have a snack at 6pm and dinner at 9pm it is working well for me and I am vastly more productive at the office. After the first two weeks you don't get hungry in the day and I have no issues with my workout which is normally around 5pm.

Cha Cutajar

Can you pls tell me exactly what i can eat in this 8hr


you can take BCCA won't break the fast

Dave Salvatore

My problem is that that I can only workout in the early morning, about 12 hours into the 16 hour fast. I'm not hungry so that's not an issue, but I'd like to take a pre-workout drink. Will the pre-workout make my body end the "fast" and change modes into the feeding cycle?


I have combined the 16 8 with slimming world. So far a loss of 6lb in 1 week. Its great and I'm not hungry and sleeping better.

anamika nair

You can fight nutritional science and lose weight with the LCHF fad but my goal is long term health so I consume whole plant-based products as the long-living population in the Blue Zones and my weight has stabilized in the correct place.

paul adams

Me and the Mrs Started Wednesday as have a 3 week competition at work. 5'10 Male 40 year old. 13st 5.... will come back to say how i get on. 1 week on. I have lost 4lbs. I have eaten healthy meals and no alcohol but zero exercise. Most evenings I have eaten desserts in the form of Yogurts and even small chocolate brownies. I have even had a roast dinner on Sunday (less roasties than normal). The Mrs has stopped as it didnt suit her lifestyle and is marathon training anyway. 2 weeks on. I have lost another 4lbs. Meals were the same as above. plus a HUGE home made Sunday roast (7 roast Pots) and Pudding!! Its now a 4% weight loss. 3 weeks on and finished. I have lost another 3lbs. That's a total of 11lbs in 3 weeks. Overall feedback. If you can live without alcohol (although you don't have to give it up if you dont exceed your daily calorie allowance) and Breakfast then you will smash this. Add moderate exercise and you will be VERY happy with weight loss. Started back at the gym yesterday and will continue to eat sensibly during the week. Happy to maintain or even gain if its muscle. This does mean (assuming i keep it off) i dont have to buy any new holiday clothes :)


Hello, My husband an I have only been on the diet for two days and we have already lost 3lb each. We even had a little binge last night and still lost 1lb today. The trick is to keep busy when your not eating. Good luck :-)

Dombhoy 67

I did this before my wedding last year and went from 14st 11lbs to 12st 10lbs in aroun 2/3 months. Started it again on the 2nd of January as put on a bit of festive beef. Already dropped 3.5lbs in 2 days. As long as you eat healthy within your 8 hour window the weight will fall off. I recommend doing dry January as same time. The drink is one of the worst for trying to shift weight.

Steven Irvine

Hi going to start this 16.8 diet today.6.0 17.6 stone.good luck dale


Just started today 54 years old Male 5ft 10" 17st 10lbs I'll keep posting results

Karen Sutherland OConnor

So 6 months down the track... please let us all know how you got on


i have been on the 16:8 for a week now and i have lost 6lbs i love this diet because i can eat what ever i want in the 8 hour window, then exercise before bed because i work all day. all and all this is a very good way to fast and diet. It works for me.


How'd you make out?

Ryan Bathory

I've been doing this 16:8 diet for about a week now. I think it's probably the best diet out there, especially for getting rid of fat. Personally, I like to do maintenance diets where every couple of months or so, I'll go on a quick diet to lose a few pounds and maintain my desired weight. I'll come back and post my actual results in another week or so, this way to give this diet a full two weeks.

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