Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

Intermittent Fasting? Not On Board.

55 Comments

Clearly, the health and fitness world is full of trends and fads. A few years ago, marathon/long distance running and and minimizing animal products seemed to be the thing to do in order to be healthy. Right now, the ideal seems to be heavy weights and high protein diets (not pointing fingers, because clearly I engage in the latter).

And the actual diets…Oh goodness. You’ve got the Grapefruit Diet, Atkins, South Beach, the Dukan Diet, Paleo, etc. In the healthy living atmosphere, research is always looking for the next great thing. This diet/approach didn’t work? Let’s try something else!

I’ve been noticing a new diet trend pop up lately around the Internet, and it was a feature in the latest edition of Women’s Health that showed up on my doorstep.

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Intermittent fasting, or the 8 Hour Diet as mentioned in WH.

Has anyone heard of this? The premise is this: you have an 8 hour window to eat whatever you want. The other 16 hours, you’re fasting. “Don’t let the f-word scare you. In this case, fasting is about eating whatever you want, but staying within a sensible eight-hour window” (Women’s Health, January/February 2012).

 

Umm…no.

How is only eating within an 8 hour time frame sensible?

First off: the idea that you can eat whatever you want and lose weight? That sounds gimmicky to me. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Second: In order to make this diet work, you’d probably have to skip breakfast. Or eat when you get up, and stop midafternoon. Neither sound particularly pleasant to me.

Third: What about it social situations? You get invited out to dinner, but your ‘eating period’ is over. “Sorry guys, I can’t eat until tomorrow.” No.

Fourth: Is it just me, or are you just asking for disordered eating patterns with this? You either realize that you only have half an hour left to eat, so you stuff your face (heaven knows I would), or, you stare at the clock counting down the minutes until you can eat again. Yea, this is starting to sound really sensible to me.

Fifth: You’re going to be hungry. A lot of the time. And stuff yourself the rest of the time.

(source)

I really just needed to rant about this and how stupid it sounds. I’m really hoping it goes the way of the Grapefruit Diet and “What the hell were we thinking?”

Dinner

What I am on board with, however, is last night’s dinner.

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Chicken with avocado, steamed broccoli, and spaghetti squash with marinara sauce. Awesome.

<—Have you heard of this ‘diet’ before? Thoughts?

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55 thoughts on “Intermittent Fasting? Not On Board.

  1. This sounds crazy..I totally agree with you.. don’t get me wrong though I love grapefruit!

  2. I completely agree. My mom told me about this and you can’t eat “whatever you want” and still lose weight. Sorry, but if that’s what you think you need to go back to school and learn some basic math. Calories in=calories out. Simple as that.

  3. Oyyyyyy are you serious??? Thank you for explaining that one because someone mentioned it in a post last night and I had no idea what they were talking about….why in the world would you think that you could eat whatever you want in 8 hours and lose weight?? You could choose some incredibly unhealthy (I use that term loosely, thinking McDonalds big macs and large french fries, etc…and I’m not trying to say there’s anything wrong with that if that’s what you want every once in a while, but it’s not going to help you lead a more healthy lifestyle if you’re eating it 24/7 and stuffing your face with other stuff too) options in that time, which wouldn’t serve your weight loss goals so much and seriously 8 hours?? I would love to know who comes up with this stuff…and your dinner last night looks amazing! I love meals like that haha…so tasty 🙂

    • I mean, they put emphasize on eating as healthy as possible, but if you know it’s your last chance to eat for 16 hours, who would do that? Some people even go to 19/5 or 20/4 splits…insane! Just eat the way your body tells you!

  4. Yikes this sounds like quite the diet. I guess each to their own but no way would I follow this or promote it others. For starters, any eating plan which has a name automatically raises red flags in my mind. While I could pinpoint various things which seem off with this plan, a biggie is that it fosters a binge mentality- eat enough because of fear that you can’t eat for another 16 hours.

    Oh and I love your tag “stupid diets” 🙂

  5. That is the worst idea I have ever heard of. Who comes up with this crap?! Just eat real food people!! haha

  6. Wowza. That actually sounds terrible and it is kind of depressing that anyone in the world would think that this diet is a good idea. Jeesh. Totally rant-worthy. But your dinner on the other hand looks anything but a bad idea…yum!

  7. ya I don’t get this, I know when I have to work more hours and don’t have food I get crabby. it just doesn’t seem livable… or realistic for actually enjoying life

  8. :shock:…. 😆 😆 I haven’t heard of this one before, but wow… just wow. I hope this is some kind of joke, because I honestly don’t even understand how something like this would work. Most diets put some kind of a food restriction over your head, but this one puts a… time restriction? How depressing. I’d rather not live with any kind of restriction placed over my head. And I’d definitely rather live without any fad diets. Eat real food, move around once in a while, and you’re good.

  9. This sounds so crazy and unhealthy – what is the purpose of eating everything at once when it all goes to the same place?? So silly and not safe :/

  10. I totally agree with you Sam, this diet just seems like a great way to kickstart bad eating habits and binges. Not cool at all. There’s another diet here (UK) that advocates eating 500 calories max for two days of the week. Crazy, crazy stuff and so dangerous – there is no calls to check with a doctor or nurtritionist or take your current weight/activity level/requirements into consideration.

  11. Ugh I hate that fasting idea…or maybe I’m just jealous I could never do it but I.could.never.skip.breakfast.period.

  12. Agree with you a million percent. Um, yah I can’t even imagine. Plus I have hypoglycemia (it sucks) and that would just not work at all, I’d be passed out on the floor haha. I understand it may work for others, but to me it just seems like another extreme dieting trend. I don’t get why we can’t just promote healthy living and eat when we’re hungry, stop when we’re full instead of coming up with all these rigid plans. Ah, well I guess this is how society works these days.

  13. I saw this diet on the Today Show and thought the exact same thing. So stupid, and just asking for disordered eating. The theory is that you’ll lose weight because you won’t be able to physically overeat in the 8 hour time frame, since there won’t be enough time. Ummmm I personally could eat A LOT in 8 hours if I was really trying to haha. Eat when you’re hungry, it’s not that complicated! No need to reinvent the wheel here…

  14. not quite sure if you understand the idea of IF…there are legitimate reasons to engage in intermittent fasting which is what is involved in this diet. Also it CLEARLY states that there are certain “fat burning” foods you should be eating (lean proteins, healthy fats, legumes, veggies, certain fruits) so you’re not just eating crap for eight straight hours. Additionally you’re not supposed to do it every single day (three days per week is fine) so if you’re out with friends for dinner you don’t have to say “sorry i’m not eating until tomorrow.” Just think you should probably try to get the facts correct before bashing an eating style that you clearly do not understand.

    • I appreciate your comment Meg, but I feel like people will see this advertised and jump on it as a weight loss miracle that they can eat whatever they want, when they want to. The headline in the Women’s Health article states: “Eat Anything (yes Anything) and Still Drop Pounds-Fast!” so to the average reader, how does that read?

      Clearly, I can only speak for myself and my own opinion, but I think this style of eating sounds like binge/restriction to me. I realize that’s not the intention, but if the seed has already been planted in someone’s mind, it can lead to dangerous territory. I understand if it works for some people, but the way it seems to be promoted does not sit well with me.

      And my understanding is that no, you don’t HAVE to do it every day, but there’s nothing that suggests that it’s not a good idea to do it everyday. What’s presented on bodybuilding.com is very different to what is presented to the general public.

      • I see where people with eating disorders or who have struggled with them in the past would see it as binge / restriction territory and I agree with you there. I have never struggled with an eating disorder so I cannot speak for people who have. I do have an autoimmune disease and began using IF to help with that and it has helped in a BIG way so I guess I am a little sensitive when people say it’s stupid / unhealthy / ridiculous or whatever. Bottom line is everyone has to find a healthy way that works for them individually!

      • That makes sense, and thank you for responding. We are all sensitive to our own experiences – my experiences are with eating disorders and disordered eating, so my inclination is to speak to that. If the post came off as rude or insulting, I apologize – I tend to get my back up about this sort of thing. As you say, it is about what works for the individual, so if this method helps keep you healthy, than I’m happy for you.

  15. I’ve never heard of this! I can’t believe Women’s Health is promoting it. I guess it can’t be so bad. The weird thing is that I don’t see how you can lose weight if you have 8 hours to eat whatever you want. I was actually talking about this idea over the weekend after eating way too much at my Aunt’s feast. I didn’t eat again until late lunch the next day because I was still full. I was wondering if my body was using all of the calories and such that I had eaten the night before, kind of like animals who stock up on food for hibernation. Anyways, just an interesting thought although maybe not a good idea for fitness peeps like us!

  16. Oh gawd haha, I can’t help but laugh 😛 Really?! I totally agree with the 5 points you made and think this idea is completely ridiculous! I’ve heard of all sorts of silly diets but stuffing your face for 8 hours then no food till the next cycle… That sounds insane! Was this something WH was promoting or just sharing is the new “latest and greatest”?

  17. When I got my issue of this magazine I was excited to read what the diet was all about. Like you, after reading the article I was totally disgusted. Who could possibly be healthy by eating only 8 hours a day? This sounds like a binge/starve fest and could seriously mess up your metabolism. Usually I love WH but this article made me upset. It supports disordered eating and while it had some good points about making your snacks balanced with protein and fruits/veggies, overall it’s awful and I’m surprised they would even choose to discuss or publish this.

    • My thoughts exactly! Yes, they did mention fruit and veggies/protein, but to me it came across as: “as long as you eat these at some point in the 8 hours, everything else is free game!” So awesome, as long as I have a salad in there and some yogurt/berries, I can eat whatever the eff else I want to in 8 hours. Overall, it does promote the binge/starve mentality and I was not impressed at all.

  18. I just eat when hungry. Works for me!

  19. Just one thought … have these people never heard of metabolism?! This is ABSOLUTELY insane.

  20. I read about that diet in WH too and all I could think was “WTF?!” while reading it. I would be starving if I ever did that. Not to mention I’m pretty sure that if you ate 6000 kcal/d in an 8 hour window, you definitely wouldn’t lose weight. So I don’t think the idea that you can “eat anything you want” is correct at all. Honestly I’m just so sick of diets and eating plans. Just eat mostly whole foods. Enjoy treats. Don’t think about it too much!

  21. Yeah, no way. I love eating every few hours. I’m eating right now. It’s all about making smart choices, planning ahead and NEVER getting too hungry. If I had an 8 hour window to feel like I needed to get all of my food in I would end up STUFFED, sluggish and probably eating the wrong things.
    SoFitandSoGreen.blogspot.com

  22. This is HILARIOUS because I have been watching some bloggers go on with this fad/trend and literally each and every single one of them states how they are gaining weight in all the wrong ways (fat). I am one to cleanse, juice cleanse and fast but for an everyday lifestyle it is ridiculous. I know when I skip meals how hungry I am and how I don’t take a step back and actually eat, I fork it down so that means MORE calories and a SICK digestive system. So happy you shined the light on this crazy diet! Love + Shine Court

    • It is ridiculous, right? I mean. every other research on the subject has pointed to the importance of eating breakfast and eating every 2-4 hours, so turning that completely on it’s head seems silly.

  23. This is seriously just DUMB. Beyond the whole idea of it being an absurd one… to me it shows that they are simply running out of weight loss/diet related topics to post about! I mean come on, who would read this and think “what a GREAT idea! The answer to my weight problems/over or under eating has come!” Well on that note actually, I bet there are people who are thinking along those lines and to me it comes from a place of some ignorance, and also those looking for something else to do… a quick fix and all of that. The magazine is playing into what our society demands of, what we want to see, BS weight loss tips that are quite a bunch of crap.
    Okay rant over… for NOW. haha

    • Ugh, I could rant all day about this, seriously. Not impressed, Women’s Health! And that is true, nothing else seems to work to create this “ideal” diet, so now we’re stretching and moving into realms that science has specifically argued against for years.

  24. Umm yeah that sounds horrible, you’re right.

    My mom did tell me this thing about fasting that I thought was kind of interesting. Apparently, if you fast for more than 12 hours in a day, your body starts to burn your extra fat from your fat stores for energy instead of burning what you’re currently digesting. They did a study and the people who fasted for 12ish or more hours a day lost a bunch more weight than people who didn’t do that. Although, I’m assuming that the people who were fasting were also eating a healthy diet (not pigging out for 8 hours like this crazy diet).

    It might sound really bad but, when you think about it, it’s really not. Say you sleep for 8 hours a day… just don’t eat for the four hours before you go to sleep. Or break it up and don’t eat two hours before bed or until two hours after you get up. Whether or not it works, I just thought it was an interesting concept. And I think it’s way healthier (and makes way more sense) than the whole 8-hour window thing. That is just ridiculous. I guess it’s basically the same concept, except that they want you to fast for 16 hours, not 12. I think 16 is way too much, but 12 is pretty reasonable. Plus, the 8-hour thing is just another stupid fad diet. At least my 12-hour fast study is actually based on science and sounds like it might actually be plausible.

    • To each their own, I suppose! I’d rather not have time limits on when I can eat, especially now that I’ve gotten used to having a snack an hour or two before bed…and eating breakfast an hour after I wake up.

  25. I picked up and read this issue too! So bizarre. I was just like, “literally, what the hell” and then I got sad because some people actually fall victim to this! No thanks I will eat at 7am when I get up and 12am when I get to bed. Thank you very much

  26. That meme is hilarious and SO TRUE! Ugh I tried so many of those stupid by teh clock diets when I first started trying to lose weight and “tone up” in 2010. All they did was make me WAY too preoccupied with food and yes I did later develop an ED, not all because of that but it’s one contributing factor (there are many). I read this issue of WH (I still read a lot of these magazines, take a lot of their sayings with a grain of salt tho) and I skipped right over that article.

    • It reminds me of when I was disordered and would have my “designated” meal times. I would stare down the clock and refuse to take a bite until it hit the exact minute. Ridiculous.

      I read a lot of them too, which probably isn’t ideal, but as long as I remember that they don’t exactly have the ideal advice for me.

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