Time-Restricted Eating: When Should You Eat?

Time-Restricted Eating: When Should You Eat?
Photo by Kirill Tonkikh / Unsplash

For those who are tired of counting calories and dieting, time-restricted eating may provide a solution. Time-restricted eating allows you to eat whatever you want between certain times (link here). Some studies show that time-restricted eating could help you lose weight, improve blood pressure, and have other health related benefits.

Time-Restricted Eating Timing Is Everything

The study I am referencing implemented a schedule of 8 hours of “feasting” and 16 hours of “fasting.” For 8 hours each day, study participants ate whatever they wanted. When the 8 hour period ended, participants stopped eating for the next 16 hours. Typically, participants ate from 10 AM to 6 PM. However, that can be tailored to fit each individual’s schedule. Compared to other eating plans or diets, time restricted eating seems to have a high percentage of retention.

Health Improvements When Feasting and Fasting

Participants who finished the twelve-week trial lost 3% of their body fat and saw a 7 mm/hg decrease in their blood pressure. This is significant because lowering blood pressure by 5 mm/hg reduces the risk of stroke by 34% and decreases the chance of heart disease by 21%. In addition, studies show losing 5-10% of your body weight or approximately 12 pounds reduces all-cause mortality by 15%. All-cause mortality is total number of deaths due to a certain disease, event, or condition.

Remember, these studies did not follow what the participants ate. For all I know, they could have been eating like a candy-driven toddler. Taking that into account, eating a balanced diet could improve on those numbers. Overall, time-restricted eating appears to be a good alternative to traditional diets for those looking to improve overall health with the added benefit of weight loss.

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