Time Restricted Feeding refers to limiting our eating to a certain number of hours each day. Intermittent Fasting is used interchangeably but can also imply longer hours of fasting, up to several days.
Some research shows that Time Restricted Feeding or Intermittent Fasting may be more beneficial than other diets in: reducing inflammation, aiding in weight loss, boosting metabolism, enhanced heart health by improving blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It may also help protect from conditions like cancer and neurodegenerative disorders and promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance.
As a TRF practice I generally fast for 16 hours and eat within an eight-hour window. There are several researchers and practitioners I follow for my information. Dr. Jason Fung wrote the bestseller The Obesity Code in 2016. Dr. Benjamin Bikman is the author of Why We Get Sick and Mike Mutzel, creator of “High Intensity Health.”
Here are results on recent studies of TRF. In one, participants ate between 8am and 3pm each day for five weeks. They significantly reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, blood pressure, and oxidative stress. Other studies have found TRF improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels, important for heart health. Another study published on the website ScienceDirect shows that TRF has beneficial effects on metabolism, intestinal inflammation and central nervous system disorders which are partly mediated by the gut microbiome composition.
Here’s the takeaway. When you fast or restrict eating to certain times, you give your body a chance to use stored energy. When you don’t eat between meals you give your insulin levels a chance to go down and at the same time release stored sugar to be used as energy. You may enjoy watching Dr. Jason Fung’s YouTube channel Click Here to watch The Biggest Mistakes People Make when Trying to Lose Weight.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not ready to fast for 16 hours, ” you can start by not eating after dinner, or not snacking between meals. Something as easy as giving our body a chance to use stored energy costs you nothing. In fact, when you stop buying snacks and processed foods, you’ll save money.
You may have heard me say this before, “treat your body as a science project.” Give time restricted feeding a chance and see if it works for you. Not snacking at night can be a challenge for many. But if you’re trying to lose weight, this is probably the best place to start. Try it for a few weeks, without consuming extra calories somewhere else in the day. If you start to lose weight or notice your belly going down, isn’t it worth the effort?
*This is not medical advice.