Intermittent fasting: lose weight with the 16:8 diet – 8 kilos in 4 days?

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Of: Juliane Gutmann, Jasmine Farah


Intermittent fasting is all the rage. Lose weight without starving yourself, even if you don’t eat – that’s the promise. But how does it work? You can find the instructions here.

Intermittent fasting: lose weight without starving?

Intermittent fasting is, so to speak, “fasting 2.0” – the only difference: here you no longer starve for days (as with therapeutic fasting), but only within a certain window of time (also called fasting periodic). The remaining hours outside this period can be consumed normally.

The reason given by proponents: After all, hunters and gatherers had to endure periods of fasting (out of necessity) when by far nothing edible was available. Therefore, our body is also adapted to longer meal breaks.

There are different time patterns for conscious (intermittent) fasting, depending on taste, type and daily routine. Some swear by a 16:8 time split, others 36:12, and still others a 5:2 daily rhythm between fasting and eating.

Intermittent fasting as a 5:2 diet: Eat for five days, quit for two days

With the 5:2 method, you normally eat five days a week and fast two days a week. It is advisable to always put the two fasting days on the same days of the week or on weekends in order to have enough energy and nerves of steel for your work during the week. But you don’t have to go completely without food during the two fasting days:

  • The following applies to women: a maximum of 500 kilocalories per day
  • The following applies to men: a maximum of 600 kilocalories per day

Unlike other fasting variants, it doesn’t matter when you consume this amount of calories during the day. However, you should make sure to use lean protein sources and vegetables as well as low-sugar fruits such as berries or citrus fruits. You don’t have to do without sports – but it’s still advisable not to do intense training or strength training on these days. Instead, focus on gentle exercise like yoga, Pilates, or moderate exercise like bicycling or swimming.

The shape you feel also depends on the women’s menstrual cycle. A former national player explains how to adapt your training plan accordingly.

With intermittent fasting, the fasting phases are prolonged: However, if you plan the fasting periods well, you can eat as a family without any problem. © Angel Santana Garcia /Imago

Instructions: Here’s how 16:8 works during intermittent fasting

The most popular variant is the 16:8 clock. As the name suggests, care is taken to ensure that you only eat within eight hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours. It is therefore advisable to dine early and have breakfast late. After all, the eight hours of sleep per night ideally count as part of the fasting period.

During this period, it is advisable to drink plenty of fluids in the form of water or tea (preferably two liters) and/or unsweetened black coffee. Coffee in particular is popular with fasting people because of its appetite suppressant effect.

As studies have now shown, coffee is not as unhealthy as many think. Additionally, the recommendations have been raised to two to four cups of coffee per day. But beware: It is best to drink your last cup before 5 p.m. After all, the caffeine it contains stays in the body for about eight hours before breaking down. Otherwise, you’ll have a restless night – and too little sleep inhibits fat burning.

more on the subject: Drink as much coffee a day – and you will burn huge amounts of fat.

Lose eight pounds in four days: is it possible?

According to American fitness expert David Zinczenko, you will be able to see the first results very quickly with the 16:8 diet: “If you take your daily energy within eight hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours, you can lose up to ‘to five kilos in a week,’ he told Wunderweib Online.

In general, people who are extremely overweight lose weight faster at the start of a diet than people of normal weight. This is mainly due to the fact that the body of the first group generally stored a lot of water as well as a lot of fat. If you start with an interval fasting cure in this state, the body loses a lot of water right from the start. Successes on the scales can be correspondingly good. But once the water has been flushed out of the cells through more exercise and reduced calorie intake, the pounds usually don’t drop as quickly as they did at the start of the diet.

Lose eight pounds in four days: This may be possible in individual cases. However, this is usually associated with loss of water retention. In general, you should not aim to lose pounds as quickly as possible, but as long as possible. Crash diets, for example, promote the so-called yo-yo effect because they cannot be sustained for long. The cabbage soup diet is probably the best known example here.

weight loss survey

It is better to avoid sweets and white flour

Best of all, you can eat virtually anything and as much as you want during that eight-hour window. However, one should not overdo it, extremely high calorie intake is not the goal of intermittent fasting and leads to weight gain in the long run.

Therefore, you should try to continue to follow healthy eating recommendations within eight hours. It’s best to avoid sweets, white flour, and refined carbs because they can spike blood sugar. This can lead to ravenous hunger pangs and slow fat burning. How TV chef Tim Mälzer lost ten pounds in just nine days reveals

Would you like to do without industrial sugar completely? Presenter Anastasia Zampounidis has been sugar-free for more than 15 years, which has “made her a friendlier person”, according to the 50-plus-year-old.

An ideal 16:8 shot looks like this:

  • 7:00 a.m. Get up, drink a glass or two of water, and go for a jog.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Start of work. Treat yourself to your first coffee or tea now.
  • 11 a.m.: Coffee break
  • 12 p.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch break. Eat a balanced meal with enough protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates like fish or meat with brown rice or pasta.
  • 1:30 p.m.: After-dinner espresso to revitalize your spirits.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Last cup of coffee of the day.
  • 6 p.m.: Start training now, preferably strength training or bodyweight exercises. Your body and muscles are warmed up from the day and you are at your peak.
  • 8 p.m.: Dinner. Go back to a meal of protein, vegetables and good carbohydrates. From now on, you can also treat yourself to a dessert made from fruit and cottage cheese. If you like to have a beer or a glass of wine once in a while, you should do it now. Consumed later in the evening, it could seriously disrupt sleep.
  • 11 p.m.: In bed.

Study Proves Intermittent Fasting Melts Fat Faster

During the fasting period, the body finally consumes the existing fat stores in order to obtain energy. As soon as “fasting” is interrupted by a meal, such as breakfast, fat burning also stops.

An American study from the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center seems to confirm these results. Researchers found that subjects who ate only eight hours for a limited period of time lost weight faster and better than subjects who ate the same amount of calories throughout the day.

For whom intermittent fasting is not suitable

However, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. At-risk groups that should abstain are:

  • (small children
  • pregnant women
  • chronically ill, e.g. diabetics
  • the elderly
  • people with eating disorders

According to nutritionists, the following groups should also avoid intermittent fasting:

  • People who have thyroid problems
  • People who have blood sugar problems
  • People with other serious illnesses

The following applies: As soon as you notice that you are hungry during the fasting period, you should also eat something. After all, the growling stomach is your body’s signal that it needs food – if you ignore it, you’re just stressing it out unnecessarily. So if you realize that you should not be able to complete the 16 hours, you can break the fasting period after twelve hours.

People who want to lose weight also like to use the low carb diet to lose weight fast – but does it really work? Learn more here.

Intermittent fasting: Exercising on an empty stomach boosts fat burning

After a few days, however, healthy people should no longer feel hungry and should be used to skipping breakfast or dinner.

If you then exercise on an empty stomach in the morning, you will boost your metabolism and shift your body to peak fat burning in the morning. In the end, you will get rid of fatty deposits even more effectively and quickly.

The above information does not replace medical advice. If you want to start fasting, discuss this plan with your doctor. By taking into account your health condition and your body weight, he can decide if and how intermittent fasting can develop beneficial effects for you.

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