The 8 Hour Diet: The Pros and Cons?

By Ryan J James

If you want to shed a few extra pounds and have been looking for a simple and straightforward diet plan, you will want to seriously consider the latest book by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore called"The 8-Hour Diet: Watching the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat!". This diet proposes an 8-hour period in which you consume all of your calories for the day, followed by a 16-hour fasting period. Exercise is also a part of the plan with only 8-minutes of physical activity recommended each day. The idea of 'intermittent fasting' is a twist on conventional logic and makes this diet unique.

The 8-Hour Food Window

For people starting this diet, the first thing to decide is when they will be fasting and which 8-hours of the day they will be allowed to eat. For most people, this will mean skipping breakfast and having the first food of the day in the late morning. Zinczenko and Moore suggest that dieters limit their food intake to a short-list of lean protein and vegetable based "power foods", but they stop short of forbidding any food on this diet. The hope is that people will start to make healthy choices as the connection is made between healthy eating and feeling well. For dieters who have never fasted before, a slow approach is recommended (ie 3 days on, 1 'cheat' day) until the body gets used to the new eating plan. Gradually, people will be able to spend weeks on the program.

The Pros

There are 4 advantages to the 8-Hour Diet:

- although extreme, fasting is a recognized way of creating a calorie deficit and losing weight.

- with no food restrictions, dieters can still satisfy their cravings during the 8-hour window. This makes sticking with the program more likely.

- it restricts late night 'grazing', which is where many people over-consume calories.

- the 8-minute physical component could 'turbocharge' your results.

The Cons

As with all diets, there are issues with the program. In particular:

- the potential exists for overconsumption throughout the 8-hour eating window. If somebody binges on french fries and hamburgers for 8 straight hours, no weight loss plan will work.

- the 8-minute exercise segment may become harder to perform as the diet goes along given the fact that your body is in a net calorie deficit.

- by their very nature, 'diets' are a change from a person's typical eating habits. For this reason, there is a natural tendency for people to gain back weight after they have reached their goal weight. The best 'diet' is no diet at all - learn how to eat a healthy and balanced diet, and you will not need to go on a diet.


This is a very simple plan to help people break out of a cycle of unhealthy eating. The 16-hour fasting window teaches your body to consume during times of activity and to stop eating late at night. Fasting is a proven weight loss technique, and restricting the times of your caloric intake will keep people from snacking at night (when they are bored, not hungry). If people are able to transition their diet towards the "power foods" and away from unhealthy choices, then this diet will have accomplished something important.

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