Stuck at a certain weight and want to lose more? Or are you trying to push the envelope on longevity? Try time-restricted eating, a type of intermittent fasting.
If you’ve reached a weight plateau but need to lose more weight, restricting your eating window can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals. And here’s some great news: Even if you are at a healthy weight and follow a Nutritarian diet, the practice of time-restricted eating still offers amazing health benefits.
Time-restricted eating (and other types of intermittent fasting) is gaining popularity both as a weight loss aid and healthy living practice. Research shows that this practice helps to optimize the body’s self-repair mechanisms, and also reduces growth-related signals by improving insulin sensitivity and inflammation. In addition, advocates report that this strategy has helped them to lose weight with ease.
Restricting your eating window (preferably to 6-10 hours a day) means spending more time in the fasting state. Cells in the fasting state are more resistant to disease and stress, which reduces cancer risk and slows aging. Fasting and caloric restriction also increase autophagy, a process in which cells focus on repair work, recycling damaged components, and cleaning out harmful or dead cellular matter.1-6
Frequency and Circadian Timing of Eating May Influence Biomarkers of Inflammation and Insulin Resistance Associated with Breast Cancer Risk.
Diurnal pattern to insulin secretion and insulin action in healthy individuals.
Physiological responses to food intake throughout the day.
Will Delaying Breakfast Mitigate the Metabolic Health Benefits of Time-Restricted Eating?
I recommend starting your eating window early. Because insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning and then decreases throughout the day, consuming most of our calories early in the day and extending the fasting period in the evening is beneficial for keeping blood glucose levels favorable. The research suggests delaying breakfast is less effective than eating dinner early.7-11
Effects of intermittent fasting on glucose and lipid metabolism.
Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes.
Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan.
In addition, using intermittent fasting or restricting your eating time window most often results in reducing calorie intake unconsciously.12-14 This makes weight loss easier than other methods, such as counting calories or using special pre-packaged foods.
A pilot feasibility study exploring the effects of a moderate time-restricted feeding intervention on energy intake, adiposity and metabolic physiology in free-living human subjects.
The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women.
Intermittent energy restriction for weight loss: Spontaneous reduction of energy intake on unrestricted days.
Combining a Nutritarian diet with time-restricted eating is where the real magic happens. A Nutritarian diet is full of nutrient-dense, whole plant foods that keep oxidative stress, inflammation and DNA damage at bay.15 This eating style is designed to prevent disease and help the body to repair and heal. Lengthening the overnight fasting period and aligning meals with our natural circadian rhythms combined with this superior diet helps to enhance these advantages. This means you will lose weight, feel better, and improve your overall health for a happier life.
Related: What is Oxidative Stress?
Eating is one of the activities that signals to the body that it’s daytime, which is why eating too close to bedtime can disrupt circadian rhythms and diminish sleep quality.3,6,7 Eat in sync with the natural circadian rhythm of insulin sensitivity: get most of your calories earlier in the day, preferably before 5 pm. Choose an appropriate eating window to stop eating earlier in the evening and lengthen your overnight fast.