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The 8 Hour Diet is a popular weight loss plan from David Zinczenko the author of the best-selling book Eat This Not That.
With this diet, David promises readers that they can lose 20-60 pounds or more and still eat whatever they want.
The key to the 8 Hour Diet is only consuming calories within an eight-hour window each day.
Zinczenko himself lost 7 pounds by eating according to this method.
His concept isn’t entirely new as there have been several diets over the years that promote intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight. Here’s how his version works.
8 Hour Diet Basics
This diet works on the theory that the human body is designed for periods of eating and then periods of fasting.
This involves consuming calories over an 8-hour period and then fasting for a 16-hour period each day. During the 16-hour period, the human body should be focused on repair and rest, rather than continually digesting food.
8 Hour Food Window
All of a dieter’s daily calories must be consumed only during his/her predetermined 8-hour eating window.
For example, if your calorie window is from 9 am to 5 pm, you must eat during that time period only.
The window can be adjusted depending on a person’s schedule and can be different during different days of the week. Dieters should eat this way at least 3 days a week at the beginning of the diet and gradually increase towards the ultimate goal of 7 days a week.
Eat Whatever You Want
There are no forbidden foods on The Eight Hour Diet, but Zinczenko does advise that this diet is not an excuse to overeat. Portion size must still be considered.
The only exception to this rule is sugary beverages since the 8 Hour Diet discourages drinking calories.
Dieters should delay eating breakfast until the beginning of their food window. For example, If you can’t start eating until 10 am, Zinczenko recommends starting the day with a cup of tea, water, or coffee and doing some light exercise before any calories are consumed. (similar to 6 Weeks to OMG Diet)
Eat as Often as You Want
Snacks can be eaten as often as a dieter wants as long as all eating is within the 8 Hour Diet window.
Portion size should be considered when choosing snacks.
Supercharge the Diet
The 8 Hour Diet shows dieters how choosing 8 healthier power foods instead of processed and refined foods can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the diet and the dieter’s overall good health. The book gives suggestions on how to easily incorporate these foods into the diet.
Sample Meal Plan
Water, coffee, or tea
|Breakfast (10 am)|
Oatmeal with blueberries and maple syrup
1 granola bar
2 slices of pizza
1 fudge brownie
|Dinner (5:30 pm)|
Grilled Salmon Steak
Only 8 Minutes of Exercise
To be successful on the 8 Hour Diet just eight minutes of exercise is required to turbocharge the fat burning process.
Exercise suggestions for the most effective calorie burn are included in the book.
The Cost of the Diet
The 8 Hour Diet: Watch the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat retails for $26.
Zinczenko Talks About His Diet
Why The 8 Hour Diet Works
- It all comes down to calorie restriction. If you can find a way to keep the calories low enough to result in weight loss, you will be successful. By only having 8-hours to consume your food, you might be able to trick the body into taking in fewer calories.
- This diet reminds me of a couple of years ago when Oprah talked about cutting off your eating at 6 pm as a way to lose weight. This became a popular diet trend for a while because it helped to prevent late night overeating and excess calorie consumption.
- Intermittent fasting has shown health benefits.
- Another benefit is that you don’t have to deprive yourself. Many of us have been through so many diets that we feel overwhelmingly deprived. This is bad for our long term success. We need to learn how to feel comfortable making choices that aren’t so healthy, but in exercising excellent moderation and portion control.
The bottom line is: The body knows calories in and calories out for the entire day. So, if you can eat balanced, keep the metabolism going strong, feel healthy, then it doesn’t matter too much when you eat. It matters how much you eat.
Where This Diet Could Fail
- The authors claim that the types of food don’t matter too much. However, you can’t expect to eat 1200 calories of chocolate for your diet and feel amazing. We must continue to eat a balanced portion of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a few healthy carbohydrates. The authors do support healthy eating with the 8 Hour Diet Power Foods, but they don’t want to restrict you.
Eight Hour Diet Power Foods
- It can be tough to stave off hunger in the evenings. For example, if you start eating at 8 am, then you can’t eat anything past 4 pm. What are you supposed to do if you feel hungry again at 8 pm, and don’t go to sleep until midnight?
- Many suggest waiting to have breakfast to help with this. But, research proves that breakfast is best for the metabolism if eaten within the first hour of waking.
- Not suitable for those with unstable blood sugar.
- The authors say that you only have to follow the diet 3 days per week. This seems odd to me. Why not follow it 6 days per week? 3 days is only about 43% of the time. This doesn’t seem too effective.
- This is not a new diet idea. Intermittent fasting has been around for quite a few years now but has yet to gain popularity until now.
In the end, the positives and negatives seem to balance out. I have a feeling it will work for about half of the people who try it.
So, try the diet if you like, and let us know how it goes for you!
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Mattson, M. P., Wan, R. (2005). Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 16(3), 129-137.link
- BLOOM, W. L., AZAR, G. J. (1963). Similarities of Carbohydrate Deficiency and Fasting: I. Weight Loss, Electrolyte Excretion, and Fatigue. Archives of internal medicine, 112(3), 333-337. Link
- Brownell, K. D., Greenwood, M. R. C., Stellar, E., Shrager, E. E. (1986). The effects of repeated cycles of weight loss and regain in rats. Physiology Behavior, 38(4), 459-464. link
Last Reviewed: January 25, 2018