#98 Making the Most of Time Restricted Eating for Women
Eating by the clock
I know that we have looked at this before but as always new science keeps on turning up.
Intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating is very popular among women trying to lose weight.
It is easy as naming an eating window and a fasting time and sticking to it. Fasting for 16 hours followed by an 8-hour eating window is very popular. This often looks like fasting until midday eating from midday until 8 pm and then fasting until midday again. So what are the advantages of this way of eating?
- Autophagy. Cells get a rest from being bombarded with nutrients and clean themselves up. This may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
- Hormones get the chance to reset themselves. Especially the fat-storage hormone insulin. Allowing body fat to be burnt as fuel.
- If nutritionally sound choices and portion sizes are used fewer calories are consumed. Being in a calorie deficit results in weight loss and may be involved in longevity.
- Studies show that up to 68% of weight loss for 16 hours + fasts in women is muscle. I have seen this result in low bone density in my peri-menopausal clients. Low muscle mass and bone density = frail little old lady syndrome as we age.
- Possible gall bladder issues are being investigated.
- It may be difficult to get all the nutrients we need when removing breakfast. Too much food ends up being eaten at the wrong end of the day leading to fat storage and poor utilisation of carbohydrates. A large meal at night interferes with fat burning and repair and maintenance.
How to do it right
A 13 hour fast is the sweet spot for women. 13 hours gives all of the health and fat loss benefits without the negative side effects.
- Make the last meal of the day as early as possible. For instance, dinner at 5 pm-6 pm breakfast at 6am-7 am.
- Have larger meals earlier in the day optimising the circadian rhythm for great results
- Make sure it is a complete water-only fast. No beverages or alcohol after dinner. Have dessert straight after dinner. Drink water first thing rather than tea or coffee.
Many of my clients have found that they wake up feeling lighter and more energy when they eat this way. It also eliminated the temptation to pick or graze out of habit or boredom after dinner. Let me know what you think.