How does eating or not eating according to our bodies natural Circadian Rhythm affect our health?
How can we be certain this internal clock even exists? If you were locked in a room without access to time, you would still fall asleep around the same time, you would still reach deep sleep3-4 hours after falling asleep, and 2 hours before awakening you would see an increase in body temperature. During the first half of the day, you would also notice the body is still more effective at digesting food along with being more sensitive to insulin. Your body is so in tune with this circadian clock that every single gene will continue to rise and fall during a particular time of day on command.
So, what happens when this Circadian Rhythm is disrupted? Your body can begin to experience a number of different changes:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Colon Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Systemic inflammation
- Heart Disease
- Compromised immunity.
And the list can go on. The cost per year of dealing with just one of these diseases can cost between 2-3 thousand dollars per year and most people are juggling multiple diseases.
Research studies done in mice by Satchin Panda and colleges have shown time restricted eating (all food within 8-12 hours) was able to cure Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver, atherosclerosis, and heart disease within 10 weeks.
Most people will consume less than 25% of food between 4am-noon, more than 1/3 of their calories are consumed after 6pm. This means most of us are consuming most of our daily caloric intake outside of the optimal time our bodies are meant to process them.
Within an hour of waking up 80% of people have already begun to consume calories. 2-3 hours before bed 50% of people are consuming some kind of calorie. These patterns of eating have been shown to be detrimental to our health.
Those who decide to eat within an 8-10 hr window begin to show a decrease in nutrition quantity (eating less food), an increase in nutrition quality (eating healthier foods), after 2-4 weeks they begin to see an increase in sleep quality (easier time falling asleep), improved sleep duration, reduced inflammation and joint pain, better timing for physical activity, and increased endurance.
Here are some tips if you’d like to try Time Restricted Eating:
- Don’t eat an hour after waking up.
- 8 hours in bed
- No caffeine after 2pm
- 2-3 hours before bed no bright light or calories
- 30 minutes or more of physical activity
- 30 minutes or more of daylight