What is Time Restricted Eating?
Perhaps you have heard of intermittent fasting (where you fast for 16+ hours a day and eat in a small time frame). It's a pretty popular dieting method and I can explain more about it to you if you'd like (email me for that). But, today I want to share the benefits of time restricted eating. Time restricted eating is a method of fasting for 14 hours, eating for 10.
New studies are detailing the benefits of a 10 hour eating window, which is pretty doable for many of us! Imagine eating from 10 AM – 8 PM every day – you probably are already close to this. Tightening up your eating window could reap some serious benefits... Researchers found that a 10-hour time-restricted eating window resulted in weight loss, reduced abdominal fat, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and more stable blood sugar and insulin levels for participants (source). Time-restricted eating (eating all calories within a consistent 10-hour window) supports an individual's circadian rhythms and can maximize health benefits. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat so it can prepare to optimize metabolism. Participants of this study experienced improved sleep as well as a 3-4 percent reduction in body weight, body mass index, abdominal fat and waist circumference. Major risk factors for heart disease were diminished as participants showed reduced blood pressure and total cholesterol. Blood sugar levels and insulin levels also showed a trend toward improvement. So, why does time restricted eating work? Every hour after you eat your body is digesting food and slowly your insulin levels (sugar & fat storing hormone) starts to decline. As your body has less and less sugar circulating in the blood stream it is forced to use stored fat as fuel. Also, the type of food that you eat contributes to how long it takes you to get into this fat burning mode. The goal of dieting is to keep insulin levels low.
Take a look at these graphs:
As you can see, it takes the body about 8 hours to start really using fat for fuel, rather than sugar that is in your blood stream. This is one reason that fasting for 8+ hours can enhance fat loss.