The 8 Hour Diet: Everything you need to know about the diet that can help you shed 10lbs in a week

And it's actually quite straightforward...

woman eating on the 8 hour diet

Think it sounds too good to be true? Read on to find out how the 8 hour diet works, and what you can eat and drink...

Sticking to any diet can be tricky at the best of times, especially when there's some foods you have to eat more of than others - like on the high protein diet (opens in new tab). It's even harder when you have to avoid some foods, like on the Keto diet (opens in new tab). But one of the best things about the 8 hour diet is you don't have to worry about any of that.

Also known as the 16:8 (opens in new tab), the 'eight hour diet' is a form of intermittent fasting that sees followers eat normal meals for eight hours, and fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day.

The diet has becoming increasingly popular, especially among Hollywood A-listers like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, as it promises to kick bodies into fat burning (opens in new tab) mode.

Here's everything you need to know about the 8 hour diet...

What is the 8 Hour Diet plan?

Cereal in bowl

Credit: Getty

We've all read the advice that you shouldn't eat after 7pm if you're trying to watch your figure, and this diet works on a similar principle to that. Believe it or not, the diet works by simply restricting the hours in which you eat, rather than what you eat.

The 8 hour Diet really doesn't limit what you eat at all. Is it a miracle?

Well, apparently it's all down to science. By only eating within an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining hours of the day, you give your body a long break from when you ate your last evening snack until breakfast, which gives it time to 'reset', process all the nutrients we've consumed, get rid of toxins, and burn calories.

This diet is perfect for those of us who tend to graze on food throughout the day and have a severe lack of willpower when it come to dieting.

And even better, you can choose which days you follow the 8 hour diet. Do it everyday, or just once or twice a week if you feel like it. The more often you do, the more weight you will lose.

When can I eat on the 8 hour diet?

Dad eating with children while doing the 8 hour diet

Credit: Getty

It's completely up to you as to when you want your eight hour period to fall. It mainly depends on your schedule. If you work your day around the kids, why not set your 8-hour period to fall in line with them?

You could eat breakfast when you get back from the school run around 9:30am, and have your dinner around 5pm when they're back at home and it's time for tea.

Of course, if you're trying to lose weight it's a sensible idea to eat healthily during your 8 hours, but it's not compulsory on the diet. There's no calorie limit or banned foods (yippee!), so it's a great one to go for if it's going to be a struggle to control the foods you eat.

Most people who follow the 8 hour diet usually eat breakfast at 10am, lunch at 2pm and dinner at 6pm and then have breakfast at 10am the next day - which means they have a 16 hour gap.

Can I drink after my 8-hour period?

Woman drinking black coffee

Credit: Getty

The only drinks you should be having outside of the 8 hour period are water, unsweetened coffee or tea.

Hydration is super important on the 8 hour diet and drinking lots of water has been proven to quell any hunger that you might be experiencing during the first couple of days. But reaching for a calorie- or sugar-rich drink is one of the main reasons that people give up on the diet, as they don't see any results.

A lot of our favourite drinks have hidden sugars (opens in new tab) in them without our knowledge. For example, we may think that Diet Coke doesn't have sugar or calories in it so it makes the perfect drink for this diet. But Diet Coke is just one of the many diet drinks that contains artificial sweeteners (opens in new tab), which can disrupt weight loss in other ways.

Is the 8 Hour Diet healthy?

Author of The 8-Hour Diet David Zinczenko claims his 8-hour weight loss plan has loads of health benefits.

Apart from the obvious one of losing weight, fasting a few times a week have been proven to regulate insulin levels, therefore protecting against diabetes, not to mention cancer, and dementia.

New research has also show that fasting for a certain period of the day can speed up cell recycling and regeneration, which means you're less likely to get ill, and it has linked periodic fasting to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and ageing.

Lifestyle Writer

Gemma Chandler is a lifestyle writer specialising in kids' educational media across a range of topics including nature, history, science and geography across digital, print, social media and video channels. She joined Creature & Co. at 2015, shortly becoming Digital Editor of National Geographic Kids magazine.