Timing your meals is important for your health. Here’s how:
Time-restricting when you eat can affect your appetite, blood pressure and insulin sensitivity
We tend to focus all our attention on what we eat, and while that is important, when we eat will also have a big impact on our health.
This study evaluated eating earlier in the day to be in alignment with circadian rhythms in metabolism (Sutton EF, et.al., 2108).
The participants were men with prediabetes. They were fed 3 meals either within a 6-hour period were the last meal was eaten before 3:00PM, or they were fed the 3 meals within a 12-hour period.
This was done for 5 weeks, then the schedule was switched so the ones eating within a 6-hour period were switched to the 12-hour period. The diet was kept the same.
When they ate within the 6-hour period, the participants improved their insulin sensitivity, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and appetite.
To be sure that the benefits were not due to weight loss, the participants were given enough food to maintain their weight.
Food intake during a shorter time period without changing the calorie intake can provide metabolic benefits and prevent weight gain (Zarrinpar A, et.al, 2016).
Sutton EF, Beyl R, Early KS, Cefalu WT, Ravussin E, Peterson CM. Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metab. 2018 May 8. pii: S1550-4131(18)30253-5.
Zarrinpar A, Chaix A, Panda S. Daily Eating Patterns and Their Impact on Health and Disease. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Feb;27(2):69-83.
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