What is the Best Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Schedule?
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Figuring out the best intermittent fasting 16/8 schedule will depend on several factors. What works for you may not necessarily work for others. The most important thing is that you do follow some type of schedule and stick to it.
I personally have made intermittent fasting part of my health journey … along with eating healthy, getting proper exercise, quality sleep, and managing stress.
Intermittent fasting has been such a powerful tool on my path towards minimizing my autoimmune disease … which is psoriasis.
Since this form of calorie restriction is a big part of my life, let’s take a look at my current intermittent fasting schedule.
My 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
While I can’t really comment about the absolute best intermittent fasting schedule you should follow … I can explain what I use. The hours and days that I end up fasting fit best with my work schedule, family, and social life.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you though. So it is important to build your schedule around your work, family, and life.
Here is a look at my 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule –
Intermittent Fasting Schedule
For the most part, I try and do intermittent fasting 7 days a week. Most of the time I can hit this goal … although not always. But overall, I would say I fast 9 out of every 10 days.
The schedule I follow is actually very simple … which is the way I like to build my life. Most days it looks something like this –
- Start Fasting – 8:00 PM
- Stop Fasting – 12:00 Noon
My eating window is 8 hours … basically I start eating my lunch around 12:00 noon and stop eating no later than 8:00 PM. That gives me 16 straight hours of fasting. Followed by an 8 hour window where I am eating.
There are days when I will eat a late dinner or have a healthy snack where my fast won’t start until 9:00 or 10:00 PM. I simply adjust my fasting window by an hour or two later to get the full 16 hours in.
Then there are instances when I try and fast for at least 20 hours. On the weekends especially, when I am busy during the day I can usually carry my fast closer to dinner. In a given weekend, I have been able to fast from 8:00 PM until 4:00 or 5:00 PM the following day … which is 20+ hours.
Every once in a while I may break a 16 hour fast (that 1 day out of 10 I mentioned earlier) if I am hungry. But I always make sure I am fasting for a minimum of 12 hours … every single day.
What Do I Allow During my 16 Hour Fasting Window?
This is even simpler to answer … I only allow myself water, black coffee, or tea. Basically I only consume non calorie drinks in order to stay in a fasted state.
While some people who follow an intermittent fasting protocol may drink their coffee with a healthy fat … I have decided to keep it simple with black coffee only.
And just to be clear … it is critical to make sure you stay hydrated while you are fasting.
So make sure to drink plenty of water.
Can I Exercise During a Fast?
Based on my work schedule, I don’t always have time to exercise during a fast … especially during the work week.
However, when I do have the opportunity I try and take advantage of exercising in a fasted state.
I have found that my fitness results are better when I am in a fasted state.
Note – Please consult with your doctor before exercising while you are fasting. I find a lot of benefits of mild exercise while fasting, but your body may not agree.
So part of my intermittent fasting 16/8 schedule is to include exercise on the weekends … or on other days when I have the opportunity. However, I don’t go out and run 10 miles or do exercises that burn a ton of carbohydrates either.
I try and do weight training exercises when I am in a fasted state.
For example, I make sure to do my 10,000 push-up challenge exercises each and every morning after waking up. As soon as I finish my 12 oz. glass of water in the morning … I start on my push-up reps … which means I am still in my fasting window.
I also plan to start experimenting with adding some squat reps each morning and 4-minute plank exercises to work more areas of my body.
Other Considerations for a 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule
One important thing to consider is now that you are following a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule … you don’t want to mess it up by eating an unhealthy diet.
It doesn’t make sense to fast for 16 hours and then turn around and eat a bunch of processed, sugary foods. There is no reason to sacrifice potential results from intermittent fasting by eating low nutrient dense foods.
Personally, I like to follow the paleo diet most of the time … or in some cases add in a Whole30 round a couple times per year.
Both of these types of eating eliminate foods that cause inflammation in the body like – alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and soy.
I recently have started experimenting with the Autoimmune Protocol, which eliminates additional questionable foods from my diet. This is an attempt to try and minimize my psoriasis symptoms by figuring out what foods I don’t tolerate.
Slowly I have been eliminating foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades.
The whole point about healthy eating is to start eliminating inflammatory foods in combination with intermittent fasting.
Getting proper sleep is another thing to consider when you are fasting. I know this can be hard with kids, work, and other family responsibilities … but getting quality sleep is an important pillar of good health.
Lately, I have made it a priority to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night … this is a big improvement from the 5 to 6 hours I used to get. And if I can eventually push a little past 8 hours … I will be very happy.
Finally, one last thing you will want to consider is proper stress management. As I have personally experienced, lack of managing chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body and life. Stress was likely the cause of me developing an autoimmune disease several years ago.
The Best Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Schedule
There really is no best intermittent fasting 16/8 schedule. I prefer to fast 7 days per week (most of the time) between the hours of 8:00 PM and 12:00 Noon.
That is what works for me and my schedule. But that might not work for your schedule … and that’s okay.
As long as you figure out what schedule works for you and stick to it … you will likely see some positive results of your health.
And don’t forget to eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, quality sleep, and manage your stress.
What Intermittent Fasting Schedule do you follow? What are the benefits of following your routine compared to other schedules?