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Anyone who reads my blog very often knows I am not a fan of the term dieting. I believe moderation is the key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and body. So, when I heard about the 8 hour diet I was skeptical, and still am to a point. But, I do think this type of a diet is worth trying to lose weight and maintain good health.

So, the idea behind the 8 hour diet is that you eat all the food you plan to eat for a day in an 8 hour time frame, and then you fast for 16 hours. Why? Because, as we have been taught – eat small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. This idea also keeps your pancreas working, working overtime usually. When your pancreas continuously produces insulin – it in time will wear out. But, the idea is that giving your body a time of “fasting” allows your pancreas time to rest and heal. So, less insulin = less hunger = eating less= weight loss.  The book goes into greater detail, and discusses the cellular changes that take place with this type of diet.  The jury is still out on all that the book claims.

Now, the idea is not gorge yourself or overindulge the entire 8 hours – but to eat what you want during that time. It was even reported, you could eat anything you want. I would not recommend this. I would still recommend consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats during this time…. but if you want a treat eat… just don’t overdo it.  In order to get the optimum results, readers are instructed eat at least one serving of each of 8 “superfoods” each day:

  1. Turkey, chicken, eggs, fish and other lean meats
  2. Walnuts and other nuts
  3. Yogurt and other dairy
  4. Beans, peanuts, and other legumes
  5. Raspberries and other berries
  6. Apple, oranges and other fruit
  7. Spinach and other green vegetables
  8. Whole-grain breads and cereals (including oatmeal)

You decide the 8 hours that works best for you – I tend to eat like this anyway, so it hasn’t been a huge change. The theory that you have to eat a good breakfast when you get up in the morning is not supported on this diet or book. So, from 10am to 6pm I can eat what I choose when I am hungry. After 6pm, water, unsweetened teas and coffees are permitted – and encouraged. It is also recommended that you get in (as little as) 8 minutes of exercise prior to beginning your 8 hours each day, and the book states that is all the exercise you need. I too, am a skeptic that you only need 8 mins. of exercise a day. Numerous studies show that the average American needs 30mins of moderate exercise 5-6 times each week. I recommend 45mins to 1 hr. at least 3-4 days each week.

The book, The 8 Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore also says you only need to do this 3-4 times each week to reap the benefits.

Now, The NP Mom thinks that the idea of giving your body a 16 hour rest from food, most days of the week, is truly beneficial. Being able to eat WHATEVER you want – I would never recommend this. I would still encourage you to eat your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats – but in moderation if you want a splurge then do it! And I will always be an advocate for exercise – not just for weight management, but also for the benefits in your mood and overall health.

Here is a video from The Today Show – it is pretty evident that Matt Lauer is a skeptic, as am I to a point! http://www.today.com/video/today/50342637#50342637

As with everything, it is an important to consult your primary care provider prior to beginning any diet. But, I do think this is a promising diet…. lifestyle modification. So, give it a try and let me know what you think!