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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 intermittent fasting (IF) to be an effective way to lose weight and hope to improve their overall health.

IF is an eating plan that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating periods. During the fasting period, you consume no calories. However, you’re 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 8pm to noon the next day. This means you would only eat between noon and 8pm.

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

What Is a 16:8 Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan?

As the name suggests, this is a meal plan that outlines when and what you can eat while following the 16:8 intermittent fast. Having a well-outlined meal plan is a great hack for success for any eating goals. Some benefits include:

  • Saves time, money, and effort – Not only do you not have to wonder what to cook every day, you’ll no longer buy ingredients to have them go bad in your pantry or refrigerator because you don’t use them in time
  • Helps you eat healthier – Planning your meals in advance ensures that you always have meals (or at least prepped ingredients) ready to go whenever you’re hungry. If you’re disciplined enough, this will help you eliminate buying, ordering, and consuming unhealthy meals, drinks, and snacks.
  • Reduces stress – This ties in with point 1. A fun meme online is that one of the worst parts about being an adult is always having to plan what to eat. With a 7-day meal plan, you already know what to eat, so you really do not have to think about this.

In addition, if you’re keeping up with your macros, a 7-day meal plan takes away the issue of counting your intermittent fasting macros on a daily basis.

If you’re meticulous in your planning, you can calculate the calories and macros ahead of time for meals, drinks, and snacks. In this way, you know your exact calorie and macro contents for each day of the week.

  • Reduces food waste – According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 30 to 40 percent of food ends up as waste in the US (10). According to the United Nations Environment Programme, global food waste is up to 1 billion tonnes of food each year (11).
See also
Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Weight Gain?

Reducing food waste will positively impact food security, the environment, and climate change. It also saves you money, and who doesn’t appreciate a little extra money in their pocket?

  • Helps with portion control – While portion control and calorie counting aren’t usually included in the intermittent fasting 101 guide, they’re particularly helpful if you’re using the eating plan to help with weight loss management. 

Portioning out your meals and snacks beforehand ensures you don’t eat too much or too little, which helps you achieve your goals faster.

If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!

What Can I Eat During 16:8 Fasting?

During the 16-hour fast, you should aim to consume only water and other calorie-free beverages such as unsweetened coffee and tea. Once the fasting window opens, healthy food choices are better and healthier than simply eating whatever you want.

Some food options that are best to eat during this 8-hour eating window include:


Nutrient-dense foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for good health. They are also generally lower in calories, which is great for weight loss and weight management.

Some examples of nutrient-dense foods are:

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

Healthy Fats

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

Some examples of healthy fats are:

  • 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. However, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, high amounts of fat are acceptable, but you should try to mainly consume good and healthy fats.

16 8 intermittent fasting 7 day meal plan  


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).

See also
How To Break A Fast The Right Way: A Comprehensive Guide

High-fiber foods include: 

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


Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss. Not only does the body burn more calories in order to digest and process it, it also helps build and maintain muscle mass, which can help you burn more calories.

Similar to fiber, protein also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating, which prevents unnecessary snacking that increases your calorie intake (9).

High-protein foods include: 

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

Read more: Why Stop Eating Oatmeal – A Breakfast Revolution

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-hour window, you should eat at least 2 meals and you can also enjoy snacks in between if you feel hungry. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Day 1 

  • Break your fast with: Greek yogurt with chia seeds 
  • Meal 1: Bulgur wheat and vegetable salad with grilled chicken 
  • Meal 2: Salmon with roasted vegetables 
  • Snack (if needed): A handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg 

Day 2 

  • Break your fast with: Green smoothie 
  • Meal 1: Omelet with vegetables and whole-wheat toast  
  • Meal 2: Chicken and quinoa salad 
  • Snack (if needed): An 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 

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): A boiled egg 

16 8 intermittent fasting 7 day meal plan  

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 and potatoes
  • Snack (if needed): A boiled egg 

Day 7 

  • Break your fast with:  Fruit and yogurt bowl 
  • Meal 1: Salmon poke bowl 
  • Meal 2: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with whole-wheat noodles
  • Snack (if needed): Celery sticks with peanut butter
See also
Intermittent Fasting By Age Chart: Is It Real? How Does It Work?

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 to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. 

Below is a 7-day vegetarian intermittent fasting guide and meal plan for any vegetarian  who is following the 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol and is uncertain about what to do or where to start: 

Day 1 

  • Break your fast with: Overnight oats with chia seeds 
  • Meal 1: Lentil soup 
  • Meal 2: Vegetable 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 

Day 3 

  • Break your fast with: A banana with almond butter 
  • Meal 1: Grilled tofu with roasted vegetables
  • 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): An apple 

16 8 intermittent fasting 7 day meal plan  

Day 5 

  • Break your fast with: Smoothie 
  • Meal 1: White bean salad 
  • Meal 2: Sautéed vegetables 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: Vegetable stir-fry 
  • Meal 2: Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas 
  • Snack (if needed): A grapefruit

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What Are the Benefits of 16:8 Fasting?

There are several potential benefits when 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 because this type of fasting typically helps decrease your overall calorie intake (5). Working out through cardio and weight lifting exercises can increase how much weight you lose and decrease the weight loss period.

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’re asleep for a large part of it.

See also
6 Types Of Fasting: Their Benefits And Possible Drawbacks

Increased Energy Levels

Some people say that 16:8 intermittent fasting helps increase their energy levels. This may be because when you fast, your body better utilizes stored energy, potentially leading to a feeling of increased energy (5). 

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 is unconfirmed in humans (5). 

Reduced Inflammation

Intermittent fasting may also help reduce inflammation. Losing weight through alternate-day fasting has been found to decrease levels of inflammatory markers in overweight people with asthma (5).

Improved Heart Health

Heart health may also be improved by following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. This could be because losing weight using this type of fasting may help improve blood pressure and other markers of heart health  (6). If you’re taking blood pressure or any other medication, make sure you talk to your doctor before you start a fasting regimen.

Improved Blood Sugar Control

16:8 intermittent fasting may also help improve blood sugar control. This is because weight loss can help improve insulin sensitivity in people who are resistant to insulin. This means that your body will be able to regulate blood sugar levels better (5). If you’re taking blood sugar medication, make sure you talk to your doctor before you start a fasting regimen.

16 8 intermittent fasting 7 day meal plan  

Tips for Successfully Implementing 16:8 Intermittent Fasting

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

Choose a Convenient Eating Window 

Eating at the right time will ensure 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 could choose an eating window that coincides with when your work day ends. This will ensure that you have enough time to eat without feeling rushed. 

Eat to Satiety 

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

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

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

See also
Fasting Detox: Foods And Drinks To Detoxify Your Body Safely

Prioritize Food Quality

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

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

Talk to Your Doctor First

Always talk to your doctor before you start an intermittent fasting regimen or make any other major changes to your diet, particularly if you have a history of any medical conditions or are taking medications. Fasting isn’t appropriate for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and children or adolescents should not try intermittent fasting. 

Read more: Green Tea Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Side Effects

Is It Safe to Fast 16:8 Every Day?

For most healthy, nonpregnant adults, it is. As long as you eat enough during the eating window and stay hydrated throughout the day, the 16:8 protocol is completely safe. This is true for most of the general population. However, some demographics are discouraged from fasting at all, let alone doing IF, as it can be detrimental to their health. These groups of people include (6):

  1. Anyone below the age of 18
  2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  3. People suffering from Type 1 diabetes – while IF has shown positive effects in people with Type 2 diabetes (3), these benefits do not extend to those with Type 1 diabetes, and they are at greater risk of experiencing dangerously low blood sugar levels when fasting
  4. Anyone with a history of an eating disorder – according to Psychiatric News, the practice of limiting eating to certain hours of the day has been shown to increase the possibility of eating disorder behaviors in adolescents and young adults (7)

As it can trigger eating disorders in those who have not experienced fasting before, those with a history of ED should not attempt it.

16 8 intermittent fasting 7 day meal plan  


  • How much weight can I lose with 16:8 fasting in a week?

Healthy weight loss using any meal or eating plan is 1 to 2 pounds a week (8). Any extra weight loss is likely due to water weight loss and not fat loss.

If you notice that you’re experiencing rapid weight loss (more than 1 to 2 pounds a week), or you’re losing weight without trying, please consult a doctor as it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

  • What happens after 1 month of intermittent fasting?

The most obvious benefit is weight loss. However, IF may also help improve your metabolic health, reduce cravings, control appetite, reduce inflammation, increase energy levels, and much more.

  • What happens when you stop 16:8 fasting?

If you do 16:8 IF protocol the right way, then you’ll probably continue experiencing the same weight loss and health benefits that you experience while on it. However, if not, you could end up regaining all the lost weight.

It’s important to remember that IF is not necessarily a meal plan and is a way to help you improve your relationship with food.

If you learn how to manage your portions, exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat the right kind and amounts of foods while on IF, then ending the fasting and eating cycle will not negatively affect your weight or health. As long as you continue using these tips even after IF, you’ll be completely fine.

  • Can you stay on intermittent fasting forever?

Research on the long-term use of IF remains limited. Instead of relying on this eating plan forever, we advise you to use it in the short term as a stepping stone for kickstarting your weight loss and fixing your eating habits. Once these have improved, wean yourself off it and carry the lessons you’ve learned into everyday life.

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 may lead to weight loss, increased energy levels, improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and improved heart health.

When you break your fast, make sure that you eat mindfully and focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods. You should talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about starting a fasting regimen, particularly if you have any medical conditions or you’re taking medications.


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!


  1. 4 intermittent fasting side effects to watch out for (2020, 
  2. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion (2017, 
  3. Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians (2021,
  4. Intermittent fasting: The positive news continues (2021, 
  5. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without (2013, 
  6. Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (n.d., 
  7. Intermittent Fasting Linked to Eating Disorder Behaviors (2023,
  8. Losing Weight (2023,
  9. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, 
  10. Why should we care about food waste? (n.d.,
  11. Why the global fight to tackle food waste has only just begun (2022,
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