These days, it feels like there just might be a “National Day” for everything. National Talk Like William Shakespeare Day? April 23. National Rat Catcher’s Day? July 22. And of course, my true nemesis, National Doughnut Day — which, it would seem, is trying to sabotage me because there are two of them! On the first Friday in June and on November 5, free doughnuts abound.
I think we have all of these National Days because humans, collectively, love to celebrate. And there’s a lot worth celebrating! But many of our celebrations involve food, especially large quantities of food that’s not always the healthiest. (Think: birthdays, weddings, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Doughnuts.) Fortunately, there is one National Day that is very worth celebrating and doesn’t encourage overconsumption, and it’s coming up in just nine days: National Fasting Day.
We celebrate National Fasting on August 16 (8/16) because an 8-hour eating window paired with a 16-hour fasting window is the protocol that most people find the easiest to follow and also yields the most benefits. This is the protocol I personally follow because I find it super achievable; I have no problem getting all the nutrients I need in 8 hours, and abstaining from food and drink for 16 hours helps me both spontaneously cut out excess calories my body doesn’t need and adhere to other routines that support my health (e.g., not snacking before bed).
What’s more, I find that 16 hours of fasting is just long enough to feel like an accomplishment without feeling like I’m depriving myself or tapping into deep reserves of willpower to “make it to the end” of a fast. (After all, I spend at least 7–8 of those fasting hours asleep!)
Celebrating with Zero
Here’s why I especially love celebrating on 8/16: Back before I’d heard of Zero, when I was experimenting with fasting, I typically aimed for a 16:8 schedule. However, when I started using Zero’s Fasting Timer to document my fasts, I discovered I wasn’t coming anywhere close to 16 hours of fasting; I was still snacking later into the evening and having a nibble of something in the morning to start my day. When I finally committed to tracking my fasts 16:8 fasts with Zero, that’s when I saw a real shift in momentum with my weight loss and maintenance — and it’s also when I started feeling like I was accomplishing something worth celebrating.
So, on 8/16, I encourage you to join us in celebrating the power of fasting and the progress you’ve made (and will continue to make!) through your commitment to health and longevity. Join our annual 16:8 on 8/16 Challenge, and take a day to appreciate the amazing community you’ve helped build. You’ve earned it.