In terms of healthy eating, timing is everything.
That’s the word from researchers who claim the time of day that you eat may be just as important for your health as what you eat.
Having your meals in a consistent window of 8 to 10 hours may help prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to the authors of a new study published online Sept. 22 in the journal Endocrine Reviews.
“People who are trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle should pay more attention to when they eat as well as what they eat. Time-restricted eating is an easy-to-follow and effective dietary strategy that requires less mental math than counting calories,” researcher Satchidananda Panda says.
Below are four ways intermittent fasting can improve your health:
1. Improved Sleep
The study found that when eating was restricted to fewer than 12 hours a day, sleep and quality of life improved.
2. Lowers the Risk of Chronic Conditions
Recent research has shown that genes, hormones and metabolism rise and fall at different times of the day. Aligning when we eat with the body’s internal clock can optimize health and reduce the risk of chronic conditions. Risks for heart and liver disease, diabetes and obesity decreased with intermittent fasting.
“Eating at random times breaks the synchrony of our internal program and makes us prone to diseases,” Panda adds. “Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle that anyone can adopt. It can help eliminate health disparities and lets everyone live a healthy and fulfilling life.”
3. Weight Loss
We lose weight when our insulin levels go down. Intermittent fasting, without snacking, allows our insulin levels to go down far enough that we begin to burn off fat.
Additionally, eating at a set time can limit the number of calories you consume.
4. Reduces Depression and Anxiety
Research shows that short-term calorie restriction can relieve depression. However, it is important that you consult with your doctor on this because chronic calorie restriction can also have the opposite effect.
Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
There are several popular methods of intermittent fasting, including:
This content was originally published here.