Blog Diets Fasting 16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

When it comes to weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, many people find that intermittent fasting (IF) can be an effective way to lose weight and hope to improve their overall health.

IF involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. During the fasting periods, you consume no calories. However, you are still allowed to drink water and other calorie-free beverages.

There are a variety of ways to do IF, but one of the most popular is the 16:8 method. This involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating only during an 8-hour window.

For example, you could choose to fast from 8 p.m. to noon the next day. This would mean that you would eat only between noon and 8 p.m.

What you eat during your 8-hour eating window can make a big difference in your results. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you are eating healthy, balanced meals that will give you the energy you need to get through your day.

What Can I Eat During 16:8 Fasting?

During the 16 hours fast, you should aim to consume only water and other calorie-free beverages. This includes coffee and tea, but be sure to avoid adding any sugar or cream.

During your 8-hour eating window, make food choices that are:

Nutrient-Dense

Nutrient-dense foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for good health. They are also generally lower in calories than foods that are not as nutrient-dense.

Some examples of nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and legumes

Read More: Alternate Day Fasting: Schedule, Benefits, Risks, And More

Have Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet. They provide energy and help your body absorb vitamins. Moreover, healthy fats can also help you feel fuller for longer, which can be helpful when you’re trying to lose weight (2).

See also
Water Fasting For A Week: Benefits And Dangers

Some examples of healthy fats include:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oily fish
  • Eggs

While healthy fats are an important part of your diet, it’s important to not go overboard. Fats are high in calories, so eating too much can contribute to weight gain.

Full Of Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. It passes through the digestive system undigested, which can help keep you regular and feeling full for longer. Constipation is a common side effect of fasting, but fiber can help keep things moving (1).

Some high-fiber foods include: 

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

Protein-Rich

Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss. It helps build and maintain muscle mass, which can help you burn more calories. Protein can also help keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating (6).

Some high-protein foods include: 

  • Lean meats and poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

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16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

This meal plan is designed to help you get started with 16:8 intermittent fasting. It includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods that will give you the energy you need to get through your day.

During your 8 hours window, you should at least have 2 meals, and you can also have snacks in between if you’re feeling hungry. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Day 1 

  • Break your fast with: Greek yogurt with chia seeds 
  • Meal 1: Salad with grilled chicken 
  • Meal 2: Salmon with roasted vegetables 
  • Snack (if needed): Handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg 
See also
How To Break A Fast The Right Way: A Comprehensive Guide

Day 2 

  • Break your fast with: Green smoothie 
  • Meal 1: Omelet with vegetables  
  • Meal 2: Chicken and quinoa salad 
  • Snack (if needed): Apple with almond butter 

Day 3 

  • Break your fast with: Chia pudding 
  • Meal 1: Turkey and avocado wrap 
  • Meal 2: Spaghetti squash with ground turkey and marinara sauce 
  • Snack (if needed): Cucumber slices with hummus

Read More: Water Fasting For A Week: Benefits And Dangers

Day 4 

  • Break your fast with: Fruit and yogurt bowl 
  • Meal 1: Vegetable and barley soup 
  • Meal 2: Grilled chicken with roasted sweet potatoes 
  • Snack (if needed): Boiled egg 

Day 5 

  • Break your fast with: Smoothie 
  • Meal 1: Egg salad on whole wheat bread 
  • Meal 2: Sautéed shrimp with zucchini noodles 
  • Snack (if needed): Carrot sticks with guacamole 

Day 6 

  • Break your fast with: Yogurt with berries 
  • Meal 1: Quinoa bowl with black beans, avocado, and salsa 
  • Meal 2: Grilled salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts 
  • Snack (if needed): Hard-boiled egg 

Day 7 

  • Break your fast with:  Fruit and yogurt bowl 
  • Meal 1: Salmon poke bowl 
  • Meal 2: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry 
  • Snack (if needed): Celery sticks with peanut butter

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan Vegetarian

Vegetarians can also reap the benefits of intermittent fasting by following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. However, their meal choices must be carefully planned in order to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need. 

Below is a 7-day meal plan for vegetarians following the 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol: 

Day 1 

  • Break your fast with: Overnight oats with chia seeds 
  • Meal 1: Lentil soup 
  • Meal 2: Veggie wrap with hummus  
  • Snack (if needed): Carrot sticks with peanut butter 

Day 2 

  • Break your fast with: Green smoothie 
  • Meal 1: Eggplant parmesan 
  • Meal 2: Quinoa bowl with roasted vegetables 
  • Snack (if needed): Grapes
See also
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women With Expert Tips to Reap Them Without Setbacks

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Day 3 

  • Break your fast with: Banana with almond butter 
  • Meal 1: Grilled tofu with roasted veggies 
  • Meal 2: Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce 
  • Snack (if needed): Plant-based yogurt with berries  

Day 4 

  • Break your fast with:  Chia pudding 
  • Meal 1: Minestrone soup
  • Meal 2: Grilled portobello mushrooms with roasted sweet potatoes 
  • Snack (if needed): Apple 

Day 5 

  • Break your fast with: Smoothie 
  • Meal 1: White bean salad 
  • Meal 2: Sautéed veggies with zucchini noodles 
  • Snack (if needed): Celery sticks with nut butter

Day 6 

  • Break your fast with: Plant-based yogurt with berries 
  • Meal 1: Black bean burger 
  • Meal 2: Roasted cauliflower with lentils 
  • Snack (if needed): Whole wheat crackers with guacamole 

Day 7 

  • Break your fast with: Fruit and yogurt bowl 
  • Meal 1: Veggie stir-fry 
  • Meal 2: Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas 
  • Snack (if needed): Grapefruit

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

What Are The Benefits Of 16:8 Fasting?

There are several possible benefits that come with following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan, including:

Weight Loss

Consistently practicing 16:8 intermittent fasting can lead to long-term weight loss. This is most likely because this type of fasting typically helps decrease your overall calorie intake (4). 

Ease Of Implementation

16:8 intermittent fasting is a relatively easy fasting protocol to follow. You simply need to restrict your eating window to 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16 hours. It’s easiest if you time your fasting period to be overnight while you are sleeping for a large part of it.

Increased Energy Levels

Some people say that 16:8 intermittent fasting can help increase your energy levels. This might be because when you fast, your body may better utilize stored energy, possibly leading to a feeling of increased energy (4). 

See also
Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50

Improved Brain Function

16:8 intermittent fasting has also been suggested to improve brain function. Animal studies have found that fasting may have benefits for the brain, but this has yet to be demonstrated in humans (4). 

Reduced Inflammation

Intermittent fasting might also help reduce inflammation. Losing weight through alternate day fasting has been seen to decrease levels of inflammatory markers in overweight people with asthma (4).

Improved Heart Health

Heart health might also be improved by following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. This could be because losing weight through this type of fasting might help improve blood pressure and other markers of heart health  (5). If you take blood pressure or any other medication, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a fasting regimen.

Improved Blood Sugar Control

16:8 intermittent fasting might also help improve blood sugar control. This is because weight loss can help improve insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance. This means that your body will be able to regulate blood sugar levels better (4). If you take blood sugar medication, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a fasting regimen.

16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

Tips For Successfully Implementing 16:8 Intermittent Fasting

If you’re thinking about implementing 16:8 intermittent fasting into your life, there are a few things you can do to help ensure success:

Choose A Convenient Eating Window 

Eating at the right time ensures you have a steady supply of energy and can stay on track with your fasting plan better. Make sure to choose an eating window that works best for you and your lifestyle. 

For example, if you have a busy work schedule, you may want to choose an eating window that coincides with when your work day ends. This ensures you have enough time to eat without feeling rushed. 

See also
3 Lessons I Learned Losing Weight With A 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Routine

Eat To Satiety 

Don’t restrict your calorie intake too much when following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. This can lead to feelings of hunger and make it harder to stick to your fasting plan. 

Instead, eat to satiety and make sure to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your diet. 

Struggling to differentiate satiety from overeating? Eating mindfully can help. This means being present when you eat and paying attention to your hunger cues. 

Prioritize Food Quality

Just because you’re fasting doesn’t mean you can have your fill of unhealthy junk food. When you do eat, make sure to focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods.

The occasional indulgence is okay, but don’t make it a habit. Eating too many unhealthy foods can offset the benefits of intermittent fasting. 

Talk To Your Doctor First

Always talk to your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting regimen or making any other major changes to your diet, especially if you have a history of any medical conditions or are taking medications. Fasting isn’t appropriate for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not do intermittent fasting.

The Bottom Line

16:8 intermittent fasting is a type of intermittent fasting that involves restricting your eating window to 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. This type of fasting might lead to weight loss, increased energy levels, improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and improved heart health.

When you break your fast, make sure to eat mindfully and focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods. Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about starting a fasting regimen, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking medications.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 4 intermittent fasting side effects to watch out for (2020, harvard.edu) 
  2. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion (2017, nih.gov) 
  3. Intermittent fasting: The positive news continues (2021, harvard.edu) 
  4. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without (2013, nih.gov) 
  5. Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.org) 
  6. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, pubmed.gov)
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