I’ve spent a lot of time debunking the old “calories in, calories out” myth. Because despite what decades of dusty advice maintains, the quality of your diet will always matter more to your metabolic health.
But if there’s one factor that counts just as much as what you’re eating, it’s when you’re eating. So consider today’s research your semi-regular reminder that, when it comes to meals, timing is indeed everything…
Better sleep, slimmer waistline
A new, small pilot study featured 19 subjects—all diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, and all of whom reported eating during a time window that exceeded 14 hours a day. More than 80 percent of the subjects were on at least one medication (such as a statin drug or a blood pressure pill).
For two weeks leading up to the study, they used an app called myCircadianClock to log their food intake and eating times. After that, their eating window was restricted to ten hours daily, for three months.
To adjust to this window, most subjects simply ate a later breakfast and an earlier dinner. (So if they ate their first meal at 8 a.m., for example, their last meal would be finished by 6 p.m.) And they weren’t advised to cut calories.
As you might expect, there were no reports of any adverse effects. And compliance was high.
The results? Well, get a load of this…
At the end of the study period, subjects reported better sleep and a three to four percent drop in body weight, body mass index (BMI), belly fat, and waist circumference. Not only that, but they also experienced improvements in blood pressure, total cholesterol, and blood sugar and insulin levels.
Results were so dramatic, in fact, that the researchers suggested time-restricted eating as a “new treatment option” to ward off diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Keeping the rhythm
This is such simple stuff here, folks—and it makes such a profound difference. Of course, I could have told them all of this years ago. But better late than never, I suppose.
These scientists are still working on a larger study of time-restricted eating, focusing on wider measures like body composition and muscle function. But I think it’s fair to say that the results of this preliminary research can—and should—be trusted.
After all, time-restricted eating is really just a form of intermittent fasting (IF)—and as I’ve shared here many times before, this approach to eating can completely transform your metabolic health.
It’s true that longer fasting windows appear to be more beneficial. (That’s why I typically only eat one meal a day, myself.) But this latest research is a good reminder that you don’t need to commit to 36-hour fasts to see results. In fact, you don’t even need to skip breakfast. (Though that’s not a bad idea at all.)
The most important part here is that you’re honoring your body’s circadian rhythms. And the rules are simple, whether you eat one meal a day or three: Stick to healthy, balanced meals consisting of fresh, whole foods—no snacks. And never, ever eat close to your bedtime.
P.S. For additional ways to improve your metabolic health, check out my Metabolic Repair Protocol. This innovative online learning tool discusses a drug-free plan for preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here!
“Clinical study finds eating within 10-hour window may help stave off diabetes, heart disease.” ScienceDaily, 12/05/2019. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191205141731.htm)