Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Pros and Cons of The 8 Hour Diet?

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By Ryan J James

People looking for a simple and straightforward weight loss plan are in luck - the latest book by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore entitled "The 8-Hour Diet: Watching the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat!" is now available on Amazon. The basic principal behind this weight loss program is that you are allowed to eat for 8 of the 24 hours in a day. In other words, you will be fasting for 16 hours every day. The diet also calls for a short 8 minute burst of physical activity once a day. Although fasting to lose weight is not a new idea, the notion of fasting for intervals is unique.

8-Hour Food Window

The first thing for dieters to decide is when they want to eat. More specifically, lifestyle will dictate when to start and stop the fasting phase. In all likelihood, most people who try this diet will skip breakfast and start eating in the late morning. The authors suggest that your food intake be from a short list of lean, healthy "power foods". For people who have never fasted before, the authors recommend starting the diet for 3 days, then taking a 'cheat' day every 4th day until your body becomes accustomed to the new eating plan. With time, dieters can increase the length of time they stay on the program.

The Pros

There are four obvious advantages to the 8-Hour diet:

- fasting is a proven way to lose weight.

- with no restrictions on food, dieters can still enjoy their favourite foods, albeit restricted to certain times of the day.

- by its very nature of fasting and eating phases, it cuts down on 'mindless' late night calorie consumption.

- the 8-minute physical activity component will achieve results.

The Cons

As with most diets, there are a few drawbacks:

- because the authors don't forbid any foods and only encourage the "smart foods", some people may interpret this as permission to have an 8-hour fast food binge every day.

- the 8-minute exercise segment may become harder to perform as the diet goes along given the fact that your body is in a net calorie deficit.

- any diet is simply a short term switch from a regular eating pattern. It is far better to have a regular pattern of healthy eating integrated into your lifestyle. Having said that, this program can initiate a change in behaviour that could last a lifetime. Many people gain back their weight at the end of a diet, and it is important to develop healthy eating habits while on the 8-hour diet to ensure that does not happen to you.

Final Thoughts

This is a very simple plan to help people break out of a cycle of unhealthy eating. The 16-hour fasting window teaches your body to consume during times of activity and to stop eating late at night. Fasting is a proven weight loss technique, and restricting the times of your caloric intake will keep people from snacking at night (when they are bored, not hungry). If people are able to transition their diet towards the "power foods" and away from unhealthy choices, then this diet will have accomplished something important.

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