There are numerous effective nutrition plans out there, and many of them work wonders. However, not all are sustainable or even enjoyable. I have found the best way to get in beach body shape is by implementing the 8-hour eating window. This plan dramatically increases fat-burning and beauty boosting hormones in the body without feeling deprived!!
How it works:
This type of eating will burn fat efficiently, balance hormones and increase energy. Four days per week, pick an 8-hour period in which you will consume all your food for the day. I usually start at noon and finish by 8pm. The time can be adjusted depending on lifestyle but the eating window is only 8 hours. You can eat what you want (within reason) and not worry about the amount. If you are going out to a fancy dinner, feel free to enjoy that wine, cheese and chocolate soufflé. Just be sure it’s within the 8-hour eating window. During this time, the body’s metabolic rate increases which leads to a higher calorie burn. It also increases norepinephrine, which facilitates in the breakdown of fats and their efficient use for energy.
The production of human growth hormone (HGH) is also increased, which is one of the primary fat burning hormone. Oxidative radicals in the cells are decreased, preventing damage and slowing down the aging process. It also normalizes ghrelin levels (hunger hormone) and resets the body to use fat as its primary fuel (reduced risk of chronic disease).
During the 8 hour eating window, the body goes into cellular cleanup mode and rapid fat loss (ketosis). This process helps the body to switch over to a fat burning metabolism, used when there are longer periods of limited food supply. During the 8-hour eating window of eating, the body can replenish its energy stores and nutrient levels.
Ketosis will naturally occur during fasting periods, which in the long run promotes weight loss. This has been proven in various experiments. One includes the study of individuals put on a healthy high fat diet followed by a period of intermittent fasting. When the body burns its fat instead of stored carbohydrates, there is a release of ketones, which are then distributed throughout the body and either used as an energy source or eliminated. In the study, there was in increase of acetone detection in the breath of individuals fasting, which indicates a higher rate of ketosis and therefore greater weight loss. (8)
The 8-hour period also suppresses mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). This is important because it increases protein synthesis in the muscles and therefore helps build lean muscle. The other way to suppress mTOR is through exercise.
8 Hour Eating Window- What to Eat and When:
Counting calories always sounds reasonable at the start of every diet, but it turns out to be a mundane task that interrupts the enjoyment of life. Factoring in the number of calories in every meal can take the fun out of eating. Additionally, it can be completely off base. For example, a cup of pretzels may have fewer calories than a cup of almonds but the pretzels have absolutely no nutritional value and will spike blood sugar, causing the body to hold onto fat. Fortunately, the 8-hour eating window allows you to eat without this hindrance, taking the focus off quantity of calories and shifting it to quality of food.
During your 8-hour window, you are able to be flexible with what you eat. You can get away with indulgences and an extra helping of your favorite dish. All that is required is picking one food from each category below (proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vegetables) to include in your daily meals. The foods on each list are low inflammatory, nutrient dense and satisfying. You do not have to worry about the number of calories you are consuming since the eating time is limited and the body is in fat burning mode during the 16 hours between eating windows. Unlike a typical day of eating where you start in the early morning and finish late in the evening, the 8-hour eating window naturally restricts excess calorie consumption. That does not mean you should go nuts on portion sizes during the 8-hour window, but it does mean you no longer have to count calories.
Below are the suggested foods to choose from.
- Grass fed beef, steak, lamb or pork
- Wild caught fish
- Organic/pastured eggs
- Protein powder (grass fed whey, hemp, pea or brown rice)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts)
- Greek Yogurt (full fat)
- Hard cheese
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Black, brown or white rice
- Any type of fruit (berries are the best)
Enjoy them all!
- Any type of tea
- Cold Brew Coffee or any low acidic brand
- Sparkling water
- Clear spirits (vodka, gin)
- Red wine, dry white wine