All of nutrition science is based on two experiments. The first proved the notion of calorie restriction: If we eat less,we’ll lose weight and achieve better health. This experiment was done in the early part of the 20th century, and ever since, people have been counting calories.The second experiment supports the notion of a “healthy diet.” In this experiment, a pair of genetically identical mice were fed two different diets, one with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, simple sugars, proteins, and fats, and one high in fat and sugar. After a few weeks the mice eating the high-fat/high-sugar diet became obese, almost diabetic, and had high levels of fat in their blood and dangerous levels of cholesterol. This finding drives home the notion that the quality of your food—its nutritional content—matters significantly when it comes to your health. There are now more than 11000 studies on similar lines.These researches drives our current “eat this, don’t eat that” thinking. Yet none of this research has proved conclusively that one type of food is best for everyone.It turns out that what’s best for you is a balanced combination of various macronutrients and micronutrients in quantities that are large enough to keep you satisfied but not gain weight.But the definition of what is “balanced” is highly contested, as what is optimum for an athlete, an expectant mother, a teenager, a bodybuilder, and a patient with diabetes may be vastly different. Dr Satchin Panda, has done a wonderful study establishing the idea that it’s not only how much we eat and what we eat, but when we eat that matters,for long-term positive health outcomes.
Quoting him : “We took pairs of genetically identical mice born to the same parents and raised in the same home and gave one group access to a high fat-diet whenever they wanted. The other group had the same amount of food, but they had to eat all their food within an 8-hour window. The mice with the smaller food window quickly learned to eat the same number of calories as the mice that had access to food all the time. In other words, mice on a 24-7 schedule ate small meals spread throughout the day and night, while mice on an 8-hour schedule ate the same number of calories, just in larger meals within the 8 hours. What’s more, over the first 12 weeks of the study, when the mice ate the same number of calories following the same high-fat/high-sugar diet that in 11,000 other publications had been shown to cause severe metabolic diseases, but within an 8-hour window, they were completely protected from the diseases normally seen with a poor diet. The time-restricted eating mice didn’t gain excess weight, and they had normal blood sugar and normal cholesterol levels. We believe that a shortened feeding period provides the digestive system the right amount of time to perform its function uninterrupted by a new influx of food, and enough time to repair and rejuvenate, supporting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This restricted feeding period is in alignment with the mice’s natural circadian code, which is why they lost weight and stayed healthier. The benefits continued week after week for an entire year (which is like several years of human life) as long as the mice stayed on the new eating schedule. In fact, the health benefits were far greater than the effect of a drug to treat the same condition. Remember, we did not change the diet and we did not reduce their calories. Timing made the magic.”
We have seen similar results in human studies. For instance, a group of Harvard scientists and Spanish weight-loss nutritionists found that individuals who spread their calories over a long period of time—meaning they eat the same number of calories but eat later into the night—did not lose much weight. However, people who ate bigger meals during the day and refrained from eating at night actually lost a substantial amount of weight. This means that regardless of which kind of calorie-restricting diet you follow, when you eat is more important than what type of food you eat.
Rules that you should follow
- don’t consume any calories for at least 12 hours
- during fasting drink liquids which contain 0 calories like black coffee or green tea
- eat 3 to 4 meals during your feeding window
- make sure that you deliver a sufficient amount of protein
- eat enough of carbohydrates and fat to provide energy
- do not eat large portions and do not indulge in unhealthy options
It is sustainable and Easy. You will definitely lose weight. Done right it will help you gain muscle mass also. It will help reduce fat. It will help reduce inflammation. Results are promising and position Intermittent Fasting as a part of a healthy lifestyle and foundation for longevity. Go try it. Share your experience