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Time Restricted Eating – The Easy Way To Health

Time Restricted Eating – The Easy Way To Health

Ever since I was a wee boy I remember the great piece of health advice about not skipping breakfast. Breakfast? The most important meal of the day. Don’t go without breakfast, because by morning break time, you’re so hungry that you’ll just go and grab a sugary cake from the coffee shop.

However, turns out this piece of good advice was actually one more bit of inaccurate folklore. It appears that not skipping, but delaying breakfast is literally one of the very best things you can do for your health. (OK I know I say that about everything, but that’s because I don’t do stuff that doesn’t have extreme benefits).

As usual with bad bits of advice, vested interests have corrupted the truth. Once again I would suspect John Harvey Kellogg. He was the guy who gave us Kellogg’s cornflakes, not because they were good for us but because he was obsessively anti masturbation and believed that a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs made us all too virile.

Now when an American has something to sell, they never let the facts get in the way of their message. That is incompatible with maximum profitability. Thing is what they do is use every tool available including lies, bribery and corrupting the political process to sell their product. Think that’s a bit far fetched? Who do you think lobbies the American government regarding food guidelines? It’s people like the grain council.

But I’m writing from Australia, so what does it matter what happens in America? Well because clearly grains councils influence governments here and also we seem to have an “if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us mentality over here.

Anyway, enough of my rant, let’s get back on track here. What was said had to be said, because I’m tearing down conventional wisdom that is still considered universally correct here. A bit of context is needed when doing that.

So anyway, let’s get onto the subject of time restricted eating. First off, what is it? Well obviously given my preamble it is limiting the amount of time you eat.

The basic idea is that if you restrict the amount of hours you eat each day into a limited time window. By limited time window we mean eat for less than 12 hours each day.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, well I already do that. Well I’m here to say no, you probably don’t. You’re having a glass of wine in the evening? That counts – it has to be metabolized. Having a cup of tea before bed? I know, a common habit too. It counts.

So when you say you have breakfast at 7 and your last meal at 7, that’s fine, but taking into account anything else you have throughout the rest of the evening you window of eating is not 12 hours, it probably ends up being 15-16 hours that you are eating.

What I’m talking about is not a single thing (other than water) can pass your lips once your eating window is over (or hasn’t begun).

The time window can be anything from 12 hours and up (up to 20 hours). For example, at the moment, I am eating between 10am and 8pm. I could restrict that even further to eating only between 12 and 8pm, but I really am not keen to be that strict at the moment. A friend of mine is getting great results by eating one meal a day.

The thing about time restricted eating is that you need to make no changes to your diet whatsoever, other than restricting the time you eat and you will lose weight and be healthier. Of course if you improve your diet (if you need to of course) you will get better results, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Now I need to emphasise. When I say delaying breakfast until 10am, or better still skipping it all together and just going straight to lunch I mean nothing. I don’t mean grabbing a coffee on the way to the train and not actually eating food. Coffee still counts. Even black coffee. Like I said nothing (and nothing means nothing) but water outside of eating hours.

Same as at the other end of the day. Once the window is finished, not a thing passes your lips. Not wine, not a chocolate biscuit or some other morsel, nada.

Sounds a bit hard? What? I just gave you a way to lose weight AND be healthier without changing anything about the foods you eat and that’s too hard? Come on.. meet me halfway here.

This works via the same mechanism as intermittent fasting. Essentially, you are fasting every day.

Anyway, it’s not as if you have to do this every night. I’ll give you two nights off per week. How does that sound for you? I reckon that’s pretty fair.

So once again. Results from literally nowhere. Just a slight tweak in your daily routine. Give it a try and you will be healthier for it.

Image Source: Cara Chow (Charlotte1125) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

About The Author

Shaun

A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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