Trend or sustainable?

Interval fasting has become one of the trend diets and is becoming increasingly popular. With this method, it should be possible to lose weight very quickly and still be able to eat everything you want. While other diets often make strict regulations and prohibitions regarding the nutrition plan, everything is allowed with the new 16 to 8 diet. But is this method really that effective? And what about muscle building during interval fasting? You will learn all this in this article.

What is interval fasting?

Interval fasting is, as the name suggests, fasting at certain intervals. Interval fasting is therefore often called “intermittent fasting” or short term fasting. The aim is to give the body time for fat burning in order to lose weight. Our body is primarily always busy digesting and processing the last meal we eat. Only when this process is completely completed does our body make use of the stored fat reserves. However, since we eat far too much and also far too often nowadays, this process does not usually occur at all. Therefore, by means of a given fasting interval, the body should be given the chance to help itself to the body’s own fat reserves, which should ultimately lead to weight loss.

The most popular method: 16 to 8 interval fasting

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There are two common methods of interval fasting. These are known as 5 to 2 and 16 to 8 interval fasting. The far more popular method, however, is the 16 to 8 method, as it relates to the daily routine and can be easily integrated into everyday life for many. 

With the 5 to 2 method, fasting is two days a week and normal food is eaten five days a week. However, the 16 to 8 method is based on the 24 hours of a day and specifies that about 16 hours a day is fasting and only 8 hours of food is taken. The fasting interval includes the night, so that this period is not as long as it may seem at first glance. The times of day can be chosen freely. It is very popular in everyday life to fast from 18:00 in the evening until 10:00 in the morning. This means that the first meal of the day must be taken at 10:00 a.m. at the earliest and the last meal until 6:00 p.m. at the latest. 

However, the times of the day can be changed at will, for example, the fasting interval can also be between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. or between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. However, it is important that no calories are taken during the fasting. Therefore all snacks and calorie-heavy drinks are also taboo. Also a cup of coffee with milk and sugar in the morning represents an interruption of the fasting interval and may be drunk therefore only in the foreseen meal time. During these eight hours you may eat and drink whatever you like. The focus of the 16 to 8 diet is clearly on adherence to the fasting periods.

Muscle building 16 to 8 diet: Does it work?

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This approach may well make sense in terms of weight loss. However, athletes in particular ask themselves whether muscle build-up 16 to 8 can be combined. After all, in order to grow, muscles need building blocks in the form of nutrients and, according to fitness experts, around the clock. Some sportsmen explain however that the muscle structure does not have to suffer under the interval fasting necessarily. 

However, there are a few important rules to be observed. In order for the body to really break down fat and no muscles during the fasting interval, there are two important prerequisites above all. These are firstly exercise and secondly sufficient protein. The body should learn through the training that muscles are needed and therefore must not be broken down under any circumstances. 

Furthermore, the body should have enough protein available, especially during Lent, so that it does not have to fall back on its protein reserves. That is why a large portion of protein is recommended in an athlete’s diet, especially for the last meal before the fasting interval. At the same time, the training should be placed in the eating phase and not in the fasting phase if possible. Ideally, you should train for two hours after the end of your fasting interval. 

For example, if your fast would be between 18:00 and 10:00 o’clock, then it would be ideal if you trained around 12:00 o’clock. At that time you will probably have eaten a meal and have enough energy. However, the next fasting interval is still a few hours away so that you can continue to supply your body with nutrients after training.

How effective is the 16 to 8 interval fasting?

How effective interval fasting really is is widely disputed. In any case, it is certain that this diet has very good results in terms of weight loss. Critics doubt however that the weight acceptance is to due actually to chamfered. Who instead of 12 or 14 hours, only 8 hours on the day for the meal has available, eats often also less, with which the weight acceptance could be to due also to a reduction of the taken up calories.

Other forms of nutrition

Learn more about different types of nutrition in the following articles: