Eat As Much As You Want From 9am-5pm; New 8-Hour Diet Could Be Dumbest Theory Ever

diet bookThe Editor-in-Chief at Men’s Health, David Zinczenko, has written new weight loss book called The 8-Hour Diet: Watch the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat! In it, he states that losing weight is easy–all you have to do is limit your eating window to eight hours a day. Oh, and during that time, eat as much as you want.

Our nation’s obesity epidemic is largely linked to the invention of the lightbulb, Zinczenko argues. This has allowed us to conceivable eat into the evening in front of the TV or at late-night fast food drive-thru’s.

To combat this, Zinczenko and his colleague, Peter Moore, say that we should limit our eating to eight hours a day. So, 9am-5pm, conceivably. And during that third of our day, get this: We can eat whatever and however much we want. Is that wise? Is that healthy? Is that even possible?

On their website, they explain why it is not only possible, but the most “groundbreaking” diet ever:

Our bodies are like clocks, preferring to schedule maintenance and system backup during planned downtimes. If you crash the system — raiding the fridge at midnight and eating five bowls of sugary cereal first thing in the morning — it clears the dietary wreckage, resulting in a pileup around your waistline. But if you limit chow time to very specific hours of the day, your system has all the time it needs to process the traffic along your digestive tract, and it results in more health benefits than you can imagine.

Sure, this makes some sense. I mean, no one’s going to trim their tummies by eating Ben & Jerry’s at midnight. Hello. But do we really need another diet book to tell us that? The mere idea of eating as much as we want in a limited 8-hour period each day is well, suspicious.

For starters, how is it at all possible to eat breakfast (indisputably the most important meal of the day) and dinner during a measly eight-hour timeframe? If we get up at 6am, does that then mean dinner is at 2pm? Or if you workout first thing in the morning, does that mean that we can’t refuel our bodies for several hours if we choose to eat dinner at a “normal” time? And what then happens to family dinner time bonding, happy hour with the girls and the inarguably pleasure of an occasional tub of popcorn while watching Jerry McGuire for the twelfth time?

Then, there is the whole theory on being able to eat as much as you want, and whatever you want during that eight-hour window. McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and more Ben & Jerry’s please?

Perhaps I need to read the book. Or perhaps we need to just quit trying these ridiculous diet tactics and simply eat more whole foods and be sensible about when and how much we consume.

Take a look at an excerpt from their book here, and let us know what you think. Would you try this diet?



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    • Dominique

      The eat whatever and however much you want is ludicrous however his theory of eating within a set window (in this case 8 hours) is becoming a pretty popular method of losing fat while maintaining muscle. It’s called intermittent fasting, which I realize sounds like some religious cleansing experience, but is essentially eating 2-3 meals (not calorie deficient) within a parameter of time. I’ve had great experience with this. I’m sure it’s not for everyone (when I first started and was waking up at six, by nine I was ready to eat my hat) but if you can power through you might not think it’s so crazy when you’re rubbing your sexay boday (that was said like Fat Bastard).

    • Victor

      Yes, what Dominique said. Intermittent Fasting has proved itself helpful in the bodybuilding community to keep or even gain muscle while trimming down body fat percentage. I don’t know how helpful this review of the book is if the author hasn’t bothered to read it. Judging a book by it’s cover as journalistic enterprise? Men’s Health has a pretty good track record of backing up their claims so don’t knock it ’til you read it.

    • James

      “Perhaps I need to read the book”

      Probably, especially if you’re going to write an ill-informed blog post about the contents of it.

    • Feelgoodj

      Author – Perhaps you are an idiot because it works. You still have to monitor your calories so the “eat however much you want” is misleading especially to closed minded people such as yourself. I challenge you to eat 2,500 calories split into two meals first at 2:00 and the other at 6:00 and see if you want to keep eating.

    • Jake

      This is a great theory called intermittent fasting. With proper monitoring and cycling of macro-nutrients (protein, fat, carbs) in addition to regular intensive workouts, a program that takes from this can be highly beneficial in reducing body fat and gaining muscles. So really, you’re just uninformed.

    • AJ

      Deborah, your ignorance and resistance to learn more about Intermittent Fasting is painfully obvious from your attempt at an article. I think it’s ridiculous that you’d write this while having no ambition to even look into it at all–though, it is pretty easy to condemn something quickly when it’s unfamiliar and not something most people consider normal, isn’t it?

    • john

      wow this book is a blatant ripp-off of leangains

    • yoinkgasp

      Intermittent fasting isn’t new, and it’s brutally effective. I follow IF religiously to maintain my BF% around 10%. That’s with cheat meals, desserts every now and then, etc.

      While I don’t agree with the eat “whatever” you want sentiment, to say that the eating window theory is ridiculous is, itself, ridiculous. Everybody I know gave me flak when I told them what I was doing. That was months ago. They don’t give me flak anymore- they ask for advice.

    • mtggirl

      I have read the book and I am doing it my time is 11 to 7 – you need to still eat healthy! You have to incorporate 2 of the 8 powerfoods into each meal, which are HEALTHY foods. He is NOT stating go out and have fast food all day. Read the book!
      My family eats dinner at 6pm so what are you saying there is no bonding time?? I eat breakfast at 11am, I am up at 6am and I workout that is the key to burning the fat. You can have coffee, water etc until the 1st meal. My 11am is a fruit smoothie I make from scratch and 1/2 a multigrain light english muffin with almond butter. You can then eat lunch at 1, 2 3, whenever. You can snack as well during the 8 hours again the concept is to eat healthy BUT if you want to eat a piece of chocolate go ahead. Again you can change the fast times on your fasting days to fit your schedule and you only have to do it 3 days a week. I do it 5 as I don’t find it difficult at all to follow and I have lost 5 lbs in a week so far. How do you review something you know nothing about?

    • Shane

      “Perhaps I need to read the book


    • Health Habits

      Skip the book – Google Martin Berkhan or Brad Pilon – they have been discussing this Intermittent Fasting style of diet for a few years now. The concept is pretty simple and they outline the science behind it

    • Jami

      “Perhaps I need to read the book.” Uh… you think? No kidding! Otherwise, no one is really interested in what you have to say, because your “review” has no credibility. Please, Ms. Dunham, read the book, give it a try, then share an INFORMED opinion. I think you might be surprised by the research that backs up the benefits of intermittent fasting.

    • ed7walsh

      You might take a look at my ebook, The 4-Hour Diet is better than The 8-Hour Diet. It shows and analyzes daily weight variation over a 2-year case study that demonstrates an exponential decay of excess body fat, even if you pig-out during the 4-hour unrestricted eating interval.

    • Jeff

      Hey Debrah Dumb-Ham, journalist who review books are usually required to read the book first (journalism 101). I did not read the book yet, but I gave it a try starting last Monday, when I heard it on Fox and Friends. I weighed in this morning (Friday), and just five days later I lost 4 pounds. Keep in mind that during half of the 16-hour fasting your sleeping, so you only need to fast for 4-hours in the morning and 4-hours in the evening. If you do try it, maybe you could eat grow for the first 8-hours.

    • Rocky Alvarez

      Why would you write a review of a book when you have not even read it it? There is a whole section on how breakfast really ISN’T the most important meal of the day. Don’t be lazy.

    • SucessForAll

      Try reading it before you burf your opion up…..

    • Don

      Well I would say this review appears to be very snap judgmental and without research… I’m not a practicer of the diet but my Dad is. He eats sensibly and is into the low carb stuff and works out casually. Once he started applying this 8 hour schedule though he lost more weight than ever, it is quite remarkable. He looks and feels very healthy too. I think from seeing his experience the diet works but you should be a responsible eater.