16/8 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan for Beginners

Did you know that you could also lose weight during your sleep while intermittent fasting? I know, amazing, right? While you sleep, your glycogen, which is the starch stored in your liver and muscles, is depleted. #intermittentfasting #fastingdiet #168fasting #loseweightYou’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting and the numerous benefits it has for weight loss and health.

We’ve put together a 16/8 fasting schedule meal plan combined with the ketogenic diet to get started with intermittent fasting.

Learn how to lose weight without counting calories with fewer limitations than a conventional diet!

Introduction

One of my favorite cereals as a kid was Frosties.

Do you remember them? They’re like cornflakes but coated in a stupid amount of sugar.

I also remember the TV ads well – Tony the Tiger told us repeatedly that breakfast was the most important meal of the day!

My grandmother, who used to like shoveling food down us as kids, also used to use one of her favorite catchphrases “It’s the breakfast of champions” when she served us up a hearty plate of pancakes with the entire works.

It turns out that both Tony the Tiger and my beloved late grandmother were wrong, very wrong! The above beliefs about breakfast have become commonplace and undisputedly accepted as fact!

I even remember a dietician telling my wife after her first pregnancy “If you want to lose weight, it’s important to start your day off with a healthy breakfast! This way you’ll fire up that metabolism early on in the day!”

The dietician quickly followed with “And if you want to really accelerate your weight loss, eat six smaller meals continuously throughout the day to make sure you keep your metabolism fired up!”

With advice like that, it’s no wonder we’ve all been led to believe that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day when it comes to losing weight and reaching optimal health levels.

Now it’s time for me to set the record straight and honestly say with my hand on my heart that there’s way more to the story than what you’ve actually been told.

Did you know that there’s a great deal of research that states that skipping breakfast can help you reach your maximum human performance, improve both your mental and physical health, maximize muscle retention, and lose body fat at the same time?

I know – skipping a meal – God forbid, my grandmother would have a fit if she were still alive and understood that I was even thinking about such a thing, let alone writing about it in a book that will be read by thousands.

After six months of successfully following a ketogenic diet, I decided to throw intermittent fasting (IF) into the mix, and I’ve skipped breakfast ever since, and I certainly never plan to go back!

When combined, a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are like a superpower, especially if you’ve been struggling with your weight for the majority of your adult life or if you’re at risk of developing or have diabetes.

The world of intermittent fasting is admittedly hard to navigate in the beginning.

But if truth be told, it’s about knowing how to actually make it work for you and your lifestyle.

It needs to depend on a number of factors, such as when you work, when you exercise, when you prepare meals for the rest of the family…you get my drift!

But while intermittent fasting is a huge boost to your weight loss and health goals, it’s also important to remember that it is just a piece of the puzzle or bigger picture, as it will only work really well when you eat healthily and become more active.

What The Hell Is Intermittent Fasting?

Excellent question!

Intermittent fasting may have only recently gained coverage and more popularity in the keto, weight loss, and athletics communities, but it’s certainly not a new phenomenon!

In fact, it dates back to the early 1900s when it was used therapeutically to treat a variety of conditions that included obesity, diabetes, and epilepsy.

In short, intermittent fasting has historically been a part of human life for many years.

Today, it’s used predominantly to boost weight loss and has been popularized by many celebs.

As well as weight-loss, intermittent fasting also improves brain function and helps prevent other health problems!

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

By cutting out just one meal, even if your other two meals are slightly bigger portions than normal, you are consuming fewer calories in a week.

But this isn’t the full picture, because as I’ve stressed time and time again, not all calories are created equal, therefore it’s sometimes the timing of your meals that influence your body’s reactions.

Intermittent fasting can also give you that extra necessary boost, as your body works in a different way when you “feast” compared to when you “fast”.

After you’ve eaten a meal, your body spends a couple of hours processing it and burning what it can for energy.

Depending on what you have eaten will depend on what type of energy your body taps into.

If you’ve eaten carbs or sugar, your body will automatically hit that up for a boost of energy, as this is the body’s default source of energy.

However, if you’ve been following a low-carb high-fat diet like a ketogenic one, you will have depleted your glucose stores, which will then force your body to tap into another source of energy, your fat.

During a fasting period, your body also won’t have much glucose to rely on for energy. Again, your body will then turn to your fat stores for fuel.

Essentially, you burn fat, and in short, you will also lose it.

It’s a similar story when you work out during a fasted state.

Because you don’t have that ready supply of glycogen or glucose to tap into you’re ultimately forcing your body to adapt and take energy from its only available source, i.e. that fat that has been stored in your cells.

Did you know that you could also lose weight during your sleep while intermittent fasting? I know, amazing, right?

While you sleep, your glycogen, which is the starch stored in your liver and muscles, is depleted.

It’s exhausted even more when you train in a fasted state, which will also improve your insulin sensitivity.

What does this mean?

When you’ve worked out and then eat to break your fast, the food will be stored more efficiently.

During this time, the food that you’ve eaten will be used up in a few different ways.

It will either be converted into glycogen or stored in your muscles or alternatively, it’ll be immediately burned off for energy to facilitate the recovery process.

If you compare the above to a “normal” day (i.e. a day without doing any intermittent fasting) and you have normal insulin sensitivity levels, all the carbs and food you eat will likely result in full glycogen stores and glucose in the bloodstream, which also means that it’s more likely that it will all get stored as fat.

If you’re still not convinced, the following may be enough to sway you.

During a fasted state (which includes the time when you sleep and the time after a period of fasting) the growth hormone increases.

And when you combine this growth hormone with your lower insulin production and better insulin sensitivity, you’re pretty much readying your body for some amazing results when it comes to fat loss, muscle growth, and muscle definition.

For those of you who want a trimmed-down non-scientific version, intermittent fasting trains your body to use the food you eat a lot more efficiently.

As a result, you’ll teach it to burn fat for fuel when you rob it from calories.

The 16/8 Protocol

The numbers say it all.

You fast for 16 hours and then consume your daily calories within a set 8-hour window.

Most people choose simple hours to eat, such as from noon to 8 PM; this way your fasting state is through the night while you sleep and you skip breakfast, which when you think about it, it isn’t that hard, especially since breakfast is typically on the go for most people these days.

Other people, who are slightly stricter with their fasting, may choose to eat during a shorter window of time, say 6 or 4 hours.

If you’re the type of person that feels hungry in the morning and enjoys eating breakfast, this method of eating may take some getting used to.

But, if you are a regular breakfast skipper, you’re most likely instinctively fasting like this without even realizing it.

Throughout your fast, drink lots of water and black coffee or tea.

This will not only help you remain hydrated, but it will also help reduce any hunger pangs that you might experience while fasting.

Just because you’ve got a window to eat in and you’ve fasted a great part of the day, it doesn’t give you a license to eat whatever the hell you want during your feeding time.

It’s absolutely essential to consume a sensible amount of healthy food during that window because if you eat junk or too many calories, fasting for weight loss will all be in vain.

This is the way I fast.

I think it’s the most natural way to go about intermittent fasting, as it’s pretty much effortless.

Because I stick to a ketogenic diet and barely consume carbs, my appetite is somewhat suppressed.

Usually, I don’t feel that hungry until around 1ish in the afternoon, so that’s when I’ll begin my eating window.

I typically make my last meal of the day between 6-9 in the evening, which means that I can end up fasting from anywhere between 16 and 19 hours on a daily basis.

16/8 Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (Keto Diet)

I’ve put an example timetable for meals but you can use your own 8-hour eating window or customize it to the fasting period you personally want to use.

You can also eat fewer meals and just combine them if that suits you!

MealDishCaloriesNet CarbsFatProtein
Day 1 - Monday
1333.8816.94100.8381.03
Meal 1 (1 PM)Avocado and Mint Smoothie2234231
Snack (3 PM)Low-Carb Bacon Waffles241.831.3723.686.59
Meal 2 (5 PM)Tuna Salad with Avocado and Egg
3513.124.326.5
Snack (7 PM)Mini-Omelette Muffins with Ham153.551.2211.111.69
Meal 3 (9 PM)Simple Super Low-Carb Salmon364.57.2518.7535.25
Day 2 - Tuesday
1300.7715.9595.1982.05
Meal 1 (1 PM)Easy Curried Coconut and Cauliflower Soup1375.2810.252.75
Snack (3 PM)Irresistible Nutty Chocolate Fat Bombs217.695.9919.662
Meal 2 (5 PM)Keto Almond Bread Chicken Sandwich4032.92829.88
Snack (7 PM)8x Keto Almond and Seeds Crackers160.080.8814.087.12
Meal 3 (9 PM)Easy Creamy Bacon, Spinach and Shredded Chicken3830.923.240.3
Day 3 - Wednesday
1337.4517.6397.6590.6
Meal 1 (1 PM)Guilt-Free Cauliflower Pizza408.256.0328.7522.5
Snack (3 PM)Keto Coconut Cream And Berries2475.8235
Meal 2 (5 PM)Stuffed Jalapeno Pepper Ground Beef Bites
1271.48.510.6
Snack (7 PM)2x Haloumi and Chicken Kabobs132.20.36.617
Meal 3 (9 PM)Tuscan Shrimp with Creamy Garlic Butter4234.130.835.5
Day 4 – Thursday
1341.2111.6104.6885.19
Meal 1 (1 PM)Low-Carb Bacon Waffles241.831.3723.686.59
Snack (3 PM)Low-Carb Cream Cheese Biscuits91.380.59.41.3
Meal 2 (5 PM)Bunless Bacon Cheeseburger with Mushroom
6272.250.739.6
Snack (7 PM)Cauliflower and Zucchini Soup915.6362.7
Meal 3 (9 PM)Crispy Chicken Schnitzel with Pork Rinds2901.914.935
Day 5 – Friday
1301.4622.3883.44116.06
Meal 1 (1 PM)Low-Carb Pancakes45163141
Snack (3 PM)Keto Chocolate Almond Brownies153.236.1913.022.88
Meal 2 (5 PM)Low-Carb Ground Beef Lettuce Rolls1271.48.510.6
Snack (7 PM)Keto Chocolate Almond Brownies153.236.1913.022.88
Meal 3 (9 PM)Garlic and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts4172.617.958.7
Day 6 – Saturday
1346.1216.16107.2371.92
Meal 1 (1 PM)Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins2858.121.7510.6
Snack (3 PM)Low-Carb Pumpkin Ice Cream116.923.1611.271.32
Meal 2 (5 PM)Keto Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon44313528
Snack (7 PM)2x Haloumi and Chicken Kabobs132.20.36.617
Meal 3 (9 PM)Keto Italian Sausage with Green Beans3693.632.615
Day 7 – Sunday
1298.3814.5112.852.7
Meal 1 (1 PM)Keto Cinnamon Donuts1381124
Snack (3 PM)Keto Protein Shake37652631
Meal 2 (5 PM)Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon5652.854.615
Snack (7 PM)Low-Carb Cream Cheese Biscuits91.380.59.41.3
Meal 3 (9 PM)Keto Eggplant Salad1285.210.81.4

Conclusion

You may or may not be surprised to learn that since I’ve incorporated intermittent fasting into my daily eating habits I’ve managed to not only drop weight but also increase my muscle mass as well.

I’ve also managed to increase my explosiveness when it comes to training, and a few months back I even set a personal best for running, which given my age and my previous sporting achievements when I was younger is pretty damn amazing if I say so myself!

I still work out on a regular basis, mainly because I love it, but I’ve also been able to cut down on my training time and still maintain my results.

In other words, I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I once was, I’m also leaner, and I’m much more explosive despite going to the gym as much and eating less.

More importantly, I’ve also been able to rid myself of that pre-diabetic label that was looming over me.

Ready to start your Keto Diet?

If you’re still unsure about how to eat, what to eat or what to avoid, don’t worry you’re not alone! There is a little-known diet system called The 28-Day Keto Challenge which will teach you everything you need to know and guide you through your first month. Getting that in check will increase your metabolism and allow you to shed weight and shed it fast.

Women who have followed The 28-Day Keto Challenge reported losing up to 21 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 4 weeks—the methods in The 28-Day Keto Challenge are all backed by science.

Check out this video on The 28-Day Keto Challenge now to learn more about how to follow the diet—and lose weight and improve your life in 28 days.

6 COMMENTS

    • Hi Lori, yes that’s right. I know it’s a little confusing so I’ve updated the post to list the meals with the times I eat. Remember, you can customize these times to suit your lifestyle and just aim for an 8-hour eating window. Hope that clears things up and good luck!

  1. Hi!! Are there certain foods that are better for breaking the fast or does it matter what you eat first? Thanks for all of this info. I’m excited but nervous to start!

    • Hi Jenny, thanks, glad you enjoyed the post!

      When breaking the fast you can eat whatever you like but it’d be better to have a well-rounded meal. Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fats.

      If you’re not on keto you’ll want a generous serving of carbs to replenish your energy too, and if you are on keto you’ll want a substantial amount of fat!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Hello! I did the 7 day keto and really enjoyed the food. I was wondering if you could post the recipe for the Sriracha in lime sauce that you had with the steak? You have change the entire menu and I cannot find it, but I loved it!

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