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The Pros and Cons of The 8 Hour Diet?

By Ryan J James

For people looking to shed a few pounds using a simple and straightforward weight loss plan, "The 8-Hour Diet: Watching the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat!" by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore could not come at a better time. The basic premise of this diet is to eat whatever you want during an 8-hour period, then fast for 16-hours. The authors also recommend an 8-minute daily workout. Although fasting for weight loss is not a new idea, the concept of fasting in repeating intervals is unique.

The 8 Hour Food Window

The first thing for dieters to decide is when they want to eat. More specifically, lifestyle will dictate when to start and stop the fasting phase. In all likelihood, most people who try this diet will skip breakfast and start eating in the late morning. The authors suggest that your food intake be from a short list of lean, healthy "power foods". For people who have never fasted before, the authors recommend starting the diet for 3 days, then taking a 'cheat' day every 4th day until your body becomes accustomed to the new eating plan. With time, dieters can increase the length of time they stay on the program.

The Pros

There are four obvious advantages to the 8-Hour diet:

- fasting is a proven way to lose weight.

- with no restrictions on food, dieters can still enjoy their favourite foods, albeit restricted to certain times of the day.

- by its very nature of fasting and eating phases, it cuts down on 'mindless' late night calorie consumption.

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

The Cons

A few drawbacks from the 8-Hour diet:

- potential for overconsumption during the 8-hour eating window. If somebody eats nothing but french fries and hamburgers for 8 straight hours, no weight loss plan will work.

- for people on the diet for more than a few days, the 8-minute exercise component could become problematic.

- a diet is a short term switch out of regular eating habits. It is far better to have a regular pattern of healthy eating integrated into your lifestyle. Having said that, this program can initiate a change in behaviour that could last a lifetime. 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 in the first place.


The 8-hour diet is cunningly simple - the clock determines when you can eat and what you are encouraged to eat are "power foods". Over time, the 16-hour fasting phase will help the body to recognize that late night 'grazing' is not really a symptom of being hungry, but rather it is more about boredom. This diet is a good way to begin eating more healthy and will certainly help in shedding a few pounds. The "power foods' can form a more permanent foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating - if dieters make the connection between smart food choices and proper consumption levels, this diet will have accomplished something truly remarkable.

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