So here is a great piece of advice for the people trying to lose fat. It turns out that, contrary to a long-held popular belief, periodic fasting, unlike starvation is doing amazing stuff for your health.
We know that by changing the calorie intake and diet composition, we can improve weight loss over the years. However, recent studies have showed that a different approach can achieve the same results with little or no change to the diet composition. Scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are carrying out an investigation to figure whether altering the eating schedule of a person could benefit them losing weight and burning fats.
But what is Intermittent Fasting?
Time-restricted feeding, also known as intermittent fasting, is a method where people change their eating schedules to take their meals only within certain time period of the day. Dr. Courtney Peterson of the University of Alabama at Birmingham says this approach could help individuals lose weight. The Associate Professor in the Nutrition Science Department says eating between 8 a.m and 2 p.m corresponds with the internal bodily clock as opposed to eating between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. This, and the 18-hour fast that follows the first schedule, says Dr. Peterson, should keep a person’s appetite levels low throughout the day.
Intermittent Fasting as a powerful fat killer and perhaps longevity enhancer.
So contrary to previous believes, fasting, is good for your health. The confusion might have occurred due to observed side effects of prolonged starvation, so many people believed 18-24 of fasting hours is damaging to health. Not only will fasting help you lose weight, but it also reduces cardiovascular risk, decreases inflammation and insulin resistance. These sound like crucial elements required for improved longevity. This method is an absolute game changer, since it debunks several theories about fasting and its effects on your health, and makes losing weight easier.
Earlier studies carried out on rodents have shown that time restricted feeding (RTF) helps the body burn more fats. The current research was funded by an Early Career Research Grant awarded in 2014 by TOS. It is the first research which examined the effects of RTF on humans. Researchers followed 11 overweight men and women over 8 days. In the first 4 days, the subjects ate between 8 a.m and 2 p.m, and then they ate between 8 a.m and 8 p.m on the last 4 days.
The investigators were keen to determine the implements of the two eating schedules on the subject’s appetite and the rate of fat and calorie burning. In both schedules, there was an equal amount of calories in their meals. The study determined that there was an increase in the volume of fat burnt and a reduction in daily hunger swings, although there was no effect on the total calories burnt for the participants. Metabolic flexibility, which refers to the ease of the body swings from burning carbohydrates to burning fats, also improved.
Scientists are optimistic that this study is one of many proving vast benefits of RTF. The field has attracted attention of the science world as RTF works in the similar way as a physical exercise, making cells stronger and resistant to disease. There is optimism it could have a large spectrum of benefits including cardiovascular health, a reduction in the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease and a wide range of other health complications. Maybe all we need to do is eat all our meals within six hours and our lives will become better! And significantly longer perhaps!
1. University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Time-restricted feeding study shows promise in helping people shed body fat.” ScienceDaily, 6 January 2017.
2. Rothschild, J., Hoddy, K. K., Jambazian, P., & Varady, K. A. (2014). Time-restricted feeding and risk of metabolic disease: a review of human and animal studies. Nutrition Reviews, 72(5), 308–318. doi:10.1111/nure.12104