It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it – and with time-restricted eating, healthy eating can be even better for you.
More and more evidence is emerging to show that to get maximum benefit from your diet, you need to take care about how you time your meals. Researchers have discovered that by giving your body some daily down-time from the work of eating and digesting, you can unlock powerful repair pathways that protect against illness, ageing and obesity.
Time-restricted eating, as the new approach has become known, is very straightforward. You simply ensure that for at least 12 hours within each 24-hour period, you do not consume any calories. Some people prefer to shorten their eating window further, to 10 or even just 8 hours, although recent research by shows that a 12-hour period away from food is enough time to give your body significant benefits.
How does it work?
Most adults eat for about 15 hours through the day, which does not leave enough time for cell repair pathways to engage to their fullest extent. The long-term health effects of this can be disastrous, loading the body with chronic physiological stress. Time-restricted eating is a simple and manageable step that can put all of this into reverse – and the test results prove it.
As the studies show, the benefits of time-restricted eating are immense. time-restricted eating can lead to –
- increased daytime alertness
- better mood
- prevention or reversal of metabolic disease
- improved liver function
- lowered calorie intake
- weight loss
- lowered risk of breast cancer
To make the time-restricted eating work harder, eat better
To make time-restricted eating successful, eating nutritious, filling and delicious food is also key. This will ensure that your body has a plentiful supply of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to boost the repair pathways that fasting triggers, and will help you to feel fuller for longer. In addition, a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, together with probiotics, will optimise your gut microbiome and powerfully enhance your mood.
Time-restricted eating: five practical steps
- Weight loss can be a powerful motivator, so before you begin, make a note of your weight.
- It can take time to adjust to time-restricted eating, so don’t panic if you need a few weeks to work out what works best with your schedule.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can keep the hunger at bay. You can also try adding fresh ginger, a slice of fresh lemon or lime to hot water or to sparkling water. Black coffee and tea are fine to have during your fasting hours.
- Keep exercising: a fitness programme will help to keep you insulin-sensitive, which is key to preventing cravings from taking over. However, avoid endurance or highly demanding exercise on a fast day.
- As soon as you have finished the last meal of the day, brush your teeth. It’ll help you to keep away from snacks and nibbles!
The 21 Day Kick Start is an innovative approach to healthy living and weight loss based on the latest scientific research.