Health & Fitness

Time Restricted Eating: Details and Advantages

Kristen Sparrow • July 02, 2017

There is a lot more detail on timing of the time restricted eating.  In sum, the earlier in the day you eat (i.e. try to finish by 5:00 p.m.!) the better.  That, for me, is not practical since I work late and dinner at home after work is important to me.  So Patrick does talk about just the advantages of restricting your eating to a 9 to 11 hour window.  Fairly easy to do since adopting this strategy you don’t have to be as careful with your actual diet. Link to full transcript here.

Animals that have been limited to a 9-12-hour feeding window in which they can eat but otherwise allowing them to eat the same amount of calories that they normally would, they have shown that they can attain some pretty amazing benefits, including:

  • decreased fat mass
  • increased lean muscle mass
  • improved glucose tolerance
  • improved lipid profile
  • reduced inflammation
  • higher mitochondrial volume
  • protection from mild-age related fatty liver
  • protection from obesity
  • generally favorable improvements in gene expression
  • Increased production of ketone bodies, which is interesting for another reason we’ll get back to in a minute Time-restricted eating also has a growing body of research in humans.

Recent studies suggest that…

  • Eating within an 11-hour window was associated with a decreased breast cancer risk and reduction in recurrence by as much as 36%.
  • Earlier meal timing associates with improved effectiveness of weight-loss therapy in overweight and obese patients.
  • For each 3-hour increase in nighttime fasting duration was linked to a 20% lower odds of elevated glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C), which is a more long-term marker of blood glucose levels.
  • For each 10% increase in the proportion of calories consumed after 5pm there was a 3% increase in the inflammatory biomarker c-reactive protein otherwise known as CRP.
  • Eating one additional meal during the day (instead of the evening) was associated with an 8% decrease in CRP.
  • Eating within a 12-hour window improved sleep and increased weight loss in normal weight people.

As a rule of thumb, anything that has the potential to mitigate chronic systemic inflammation is something I personally consider worth trying to dial in since suppression of inflammation is thought to be one of the most important predictors of successful longevity that increases in importance with advancing age and also influences risk of cancer and even potentially mental health.