If you’re trying to lose weight, then you need to watch the clock as well as what’s on your plate according to current research. Known as Time Restricted Feeding (TMR) this is relatively new research but the studies do suggest that restricting the time period in which you eat could have profound effects on your health including blood sugar balance, digestion, sleep and weight loss. It is a variation of intermittent fasting which has now much research to support its benefits.
The concept is linked to new research regarding our clock genes. A wide array of physiological and metabolic variations depends on the time of the day, including sleep-wake cycles, feeding behaviour, body temperature, and hormonal levels. We have molecular circadian clocks which are intimately connected to metabolism. Studies on mice indicate that changes in feeding schedule can have tremendous influence on weight and metabolism. Mice that ate the same amount of food and calories throughout 24 hours compared to those whose eating time was restricted put on more weight. So the calories eaten were the same – yet it led to a significant difference in weight. The researchers concluded that periods of regularly fasting for 12–16 hours a day might dramatically impact body weight. What was particularly interesting was the results were the same regardless of the type of diet they ate – even when they ate a high fat, high sugar diet.
The thoughts about why this period of fasting works has been linked back to our circadian rhythmn and these molecular clocks. But in terms of weight loss it is thought that when we don’t eat for several hours, the liver stops secreting glucose into the bloodstream and instead uses the glucose to repair cell damage. The liver also releases enzymes that break down our cholesterol into acid. These acids then dissolve brown fat, and this brown fat can be metabolised and burnt off rather than being stored.
I am a big fan of including regular fasting anyway – I mention this in my new books The Gut Health Diet and Go Lean Vegan. Resting the body is particularly useful for enhancing digestion so if you are struggling with IBS symptoms why not eat lightly in the evening and do so early. Then allow yourself to fast for at least 12 hours before eating again. This could mean you eat from 7am until 7pm in the evening. If you can go longer without food – for example by skipping breakfast a couple of times a week this may be even better. You can still drink water and herbal teas while you are fasting.
Now I don’t mean you should eat rubbish and follow this fasting plan – of course you want to eat nourishing foods but simply changing the timing of when you eat may have more profound benefits.
If you’re looking to lose weight, improve body composition and control blood sugar then try this way of eating.
When your cup is full stop pouring…