17 Apr Why You Should Try Time-Restricted Eating
Whether you call it intermittent fasting or something else, time-restricted eating is all the rage right now. I have talked about intermittent fasting before on my blog. If you have read that post, you know that I actual follow a time-restricted eating schedule. I am less strict with this eating schedule than I used to be, but I have been eating this way for several years. Today I want to talk about how it has helped me and why you should give it a try.
Time-restricted eating limits the amount of time you are allowed to eat. This can be interpreted many different ways. Some people will eat during a 6-10 hour period each day. Others will eat normally five days out of the week and completely fast for the other two. Most “diets” have very strict rules on what you can and cannot eat. Time-restricted eating does not work like that. Technically you can eat whatever you want as long as you only eat in a certain time frame, but obviously it is healthier to make nutritious food choices.
I would not categorize time-restricted eating as a diet. It is a lifestyle choice and it will work well for some and not for others.
It certainly works well for my lifestyle. Most days I start eating around 1 or 2pm and stop eating at 8 or 9pm. I say most days because sometimes I go out with friends and have cocktails and bar snacks after my assigned eating hours. Some days I choose to eat earlier because I know I won’t get a chance to eat anything until much past the 2pm mark. On days where I know I am going out for a late dinner, I will have my first meal later in afternoon. My schedule can be somewhat unpredictable, but I adjust accordingly and still try to restrict my eating time as much as possible.
If you are trying time-restricted eating for the first time, I recommend being strict with your feeding schedule for two weeks. Eventually you can have a little more flexibility, but if you want to see if this is something your body responds well to, you should take it seriously.
Many people are scared to try time-restricted eating because they think they will be starving in the morning. I used to eat my first meal very early, so this was a fear of mine too. When I started fasting in the AM, I realized I wasn’t hungry. In fact, consuming nothing but water for the first half of the day left me feeling energized. Now it is absurd for me to even consider eating before 11am. Your body will get used to fasting, and you may be surprised it is not that hard to adjust to the lack of food in the morning.
Evenings will probably be the bigger challenge. If you are a late night snacker or have a job that keeps you up late, this way of eating is going to be pretty tough for you. But if you can make it work, you will likely be happy with the outcome.
Some positive effects of time-restricted eating that I have experience include: more energy, less bloating, better control over my anxiety and a better relationship with food.
I have always had a problem digesting food. Without fail at the end of the day, everyday, it would look like I was 7 months pregnant. My bloating was out of control. Fasting, as well as eliminating several trigger foods, has helped with my digestion issues.
Time-restricted eating has also been known to help control blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. It can also help you lose weight because with fewer hours in a day to eat, it is harder to overeat.