T Nation

16/8 Advice


So recently I've decided what the hell, I'm going to give this a try. I'm still recovering from a recent knee surgery, so I'm very content with maintenance right now as there's only so much of a metabolic disturbance you can generate from upperbody lifting and low intensity biking.

Now seems like a great time to experiment with dieting. Not to mention a little bit of fat loss would be a bonus. I've settled on 16/8, since I am completely new to the idea of IF and this seems kind of like a gateway to the lifestyle.

I'm 5'10", ~180-190 lbs (haven't weighed since the surgery), 12-14% bf. Ideally I sleep from 12-2 to 9-11. I've eaten paleo for about a year, starting at around 70% paleo to today when I'm about 95%. I've never really counted total calories, but my macro split usually looks about like 60/30/10 f/p/c.

So basically here's my plan and concerns. I'd love any feedback from those of you who have experience with IF.
1. I think I'm going to go with a feed period from 4pm-midnight. Does this seem right or should I bump it forward or back a little based on my sleep schedule?
2. I typically have classes through the morning to afternoon, and the rec center is packed to the walls until around 9 pm, so that's typically when I end up going. Is it ok to stick with this time frame, during my feed period, or should I suck it up and get up and go before classes in a fasted state?
3. During shorter periods of fasting in the past, I have noticed I become irritable and have difficulty concentrating. Both of these are no-go's as a grad student. Is this a temporary part of the transition? Should I eat a little in the morning until I can wean myself off and do a full fast?
4. Is there a preferred way to eat during the feed period? Frequent meals? A few feasts?

Thanks in advance!


Most of this is answered on Martin's blog pages but I'll try to answer what I can from what I remember.

  1. You can start the feeding phase according to your schedule. Martin starts his first meal at 4pm and that's because he works into the night. I work 9 to 5 so starting at 12pm works for me.

  2. I'm not sure what a "rec centre" is? Is that where you train? I think the main thing is 2 pre-workout meals before training, one after, progressively less carbs through the day. For the volume of meal (% of total calories per day per meal there's some guidelines in the website).

  3. Transition. As with most things. One week later I am fine. If you're irritable it may not be because of the fast but other things going on in your life. Maybe.

  4. I've been trying to work with 3 meals. I don't think there is a hard and fast rule on this one.

EDIT - I should add, I found reading about IF pretty straight forward. Just keep it simple. Track your calories. Rely on whole foods where possible. Supplement wisely.


i love IF'ing 16/8 ( but somtimes 15/9 , 17/7 etc) . i feel so much better than eating all day . my normal day is roughly train fasted (pre w/o 10g bcaa 200mg caffeine) 13 00 to 14 00 ,
PWO meal 14 30 with 75% of my daily carbs ,
2/3 hrs later another meal with the other 25% of my daily carbs ,
then 2 more meals with only veg's for carbs spread out until 22 30 .
for cardio i walk my dog for about 30/45 mins about 11 00 .

what youll notice is the lack of constant hunger that you normally get with 5/6 meals a day .
when on a gaining phase ill do something like 12/12 cos i find it hard getting 4000 cals in 8 hours.
also what is strange is when going from a gaining phase to dieting phase the weight n fat keeps dropping but the lifts keep going up (all be it very small increases) or stay the same .


Its based on compliance, ie. whatever 8-hr window you can consistently stick with.

Yes, its temporary and you will adjust rapidly. If you "eat a little" during the fast, then the fast is over.

As always, total kcals is most important. Most split them up into 3 feedings, but discover what works for you and what will enable to you stay consistent.