How would you like me to tell you that you can lose weight not by restricting calories, but simply timing your meals better?
The old adage of calories in, calories out, is an outdated way of looking at weight loss and doesn’t take the hormonal cascade and cellular signalling system that occurs after eating food into account. Unfortunately this is still the message that is being spread by conventional medicine even though we are dealing with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and many other chronic health issues that makes it harder for people to lose weight.
Professor Satchin Panda is an expert in biological circadian rhythms and is truly a genius when it comes to this stuff. He has done an incredible amount of research looking at circadian rhythms, time restricted eating (TRE) and fasting (TRF), and how it effects markers such as cholesterol, insulin, leptin and blood sugar.
His research showed that it is all about the timing of when you eat, working with circadian rhythms of hormones, and not always about the calories. Now, this doesn’t mean you can eat McDonalds or other junk foods and expect to lose weight. This is more for those who are doing everything ‘right’ but they still don’t seem to be able to shift excess weight.
In a nut-shell, anywhere between 8 – 12 hours would be an ideal time for feeding. This means:
- If you restrict feeding to an 8 hour period, you are fasting for 16 hours in a day. This could be eating from 9am – 5pm every day.
- If you restrict feeding to a 12 hour period, you are fasting for 12 hours in a day. This could be eating from 7am to 7pm every day.
- If you eat any longer than 12 hours within a 24 hour period you are not going to see any of the benefits of a Time Restricted Eating/Fasting pattern.
How you shift that time frame is up to you. Just remember that if you incorporate things like ‘Fasted Exercise’ and ‘not eating later than 7pm’ into this concept, you have to calculate your times of eating and fasting a little more carefully. But if you do this as well, you will get optimal results.
You also have to be very honest with yourself. Fasting means nothing but water.
If you have a cup of tea in the morning and nothing else, this does not qualify as fasting (unless it is black tea, or black coffee with no sugar/sugar substitute or milk).
What was most astounding is the amount of blood markers that would change through simply changing the timing of eating (not the calories).
Through mice studies they found that cholesterol and TG (Triglyceride) markers were reduced, leptin resitance was reversed, glucose markers decreased, and insulin levels were lower even when food was consumed during a Time-Restricted Eating/Fasting pattern.