Ever heard of intermittent fasting? It’s the idea that you don’t eat at certain times of the day, or, in the case of 5:2 and 6:1, you eat a substantially smaller calorie amount on some days and eat normally on others.

The latest hype is around the 16:8 method of intermittent fasting; you abstain from food between the hours of 6 am and 12 pm and 8 pm and 6 am, only consuming tea, coffee and water, and only eat between 12 pm and 8 pm.

Does it work? Yes. One study at the University of Illinois found that the diet was beneficial not only for weight loss, but also for lowering blood pressure, increasing brain function, and stabilising blood sugar.

Here are just a few reasons why I‘m a big fan of the 16:8 diet:

You don’t have to cut anything out

I’m happy to make healthy changes to my diet, but most diets (at least the effective ones) require making pretty big changes to your diet, which for someone who eats a lot with other people, can be really difficult. On 16:8 I can make a healthy change but I’m not restricted like I would be on another diet.

No drastic lifestyle changes

Portrait of three people at kitchen cooking spaghetti for their dinner meal

I’ve tried to think about who this wouldn’t work for, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s anyone who works night shifts; if that’s you, this could suck a little and probably isn’t advisable. For the rest of us though, this is pretty great; it means we no longer have to worry about what to have for breakfast, and can focus on lunch and early dinner instead. This means you can still eat dinner with friends or family, and still meet people for lunch.

It’s sustainable

I love the longevity of 16:8 dieting. You don’t have to do it every day, and you can actually make a lifestyle out of it in order to better balance your intake of food; after all, there’s only so much you can eat in 8 hours.

Are you curious about intermittent fasting? Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about it before you get started to see if it’s something that could work for you.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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