The concept behind the 16:8 diet is simple – you eat whatever you want within eight hours a day and fast for the remaining 16 hours

Does it work?

Researchers from the University of Illinois worked with 23 obese volunteers to test the 16:8 diet.

Between 10 am and 6 pm the volunteers could eat any type and quantity of food they wanted. For the remaining 16 hours they could only drink water or calorie-free beverages.

Related: How fasting slows down ageing

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Results after three months

After 12 weeks, researchers compared the dieters’ progress to control group from a previous weight-loss trial on a different type of fasting.

They found that 16:8 dieters consumed fewer calories, lost weight and had improvements in their blood pressure.

They found that the participants, on average…

  • Consumed about 350 fewer calories
  • Lost about three per cent of their body weight
  • Saw their systolic blood pressure decrease by about 7 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), the standard measure of blood pressure.

All other measures, including fat mass, insulin resistance and cholesterol, were similar to the control group.

“The take-home message from this study is that there are options for weight loss that do not include calorie counting or eliminating certain foods,” says Krista Varady, associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and corresponding author on the study.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago via 

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