Posted on February 08 2018
By Jerry Teixeira
It seems that everywhere you look today there is a different opinion on how you should eat. There are documentaries on Netflix pushing certain diets.
There are Instagram “celebrities” telling you that their way of eating is the best.
You have got the USDA food pyramid…I really hope you aren’t following that thing! That's the one time in life you’ll see a tangle without a solid foundation, but I digress.
You have the paleo movement, the Keto craze.
There are so many different ways to eat that many of us are on different paths while trying to get to the same destination. Optimal health and wellness, less fat and more lean muscle.
To that end, I want to share a very cool dietary hack that you can apply to your current way of eating, no matter what kind of diet that may be.
This is a strategy that I have used for the last 8 years. This strategy has helped me to maintain single-digit body fat year round with minimal effort while still enjoying the foods that I love.
This dietary “hack” is called Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating (I’ll call it IF/TRE for short).
IF/TRE simply means eating all of your days food in a smaller, time restricted eating window.
IT'S REALLY NOT COMPLICATED AT ALL.
The pioneering research on IF/TRE is being conducted at the prestigious Salk Institute for the BIological Sciences in La Jolla, Ca. I won’t bore you with all of the science speak, but a few of the amazing benefits of IF/TRE are:
- Lower inflammation levels
- Better body composition ( more muscle and less fat out of the same number of calories )
- Less body fat
- More lean muscle
- Better cholesterol profile
- Better gastrointestinal health
- Stronger gut micro biome
- Better immune function
And all of these benefits are seen by simply restricting the eating window, even if the quality of food does not change. In fact, scientists in the studies tried higher fat, higher sugar - it didn’t matter. Benefits were seen regardless, as long as the eating window was adhered to.
Meaning, however you currently eat, you will get greater health and fitness benefits from your diet if you restrict your eating window.
What is an eating window and how exactly would you apply this?
Let's go over the guidelines.
The average person sleeps somewhere In the neighborhood of 8 hours per night. That leaves 16 waking hours in a day, and on average, we consume food throughout most of our waking hours.
The first step is to begin restricting your consumption of food (your eating window) to less that 16 hours per day. Very simply put, you are extending your overnight fast. You can do this one of two ways (or both). Simply stop eating earlier in the evening, or start eating later in the morning.
Shoot for an 8 hour window, as this is where researchers found the biggest benefits to IF/TRE.
Initially, it may be difficult for you to fast and consume all of your food in an 8 hour window, and that’s ok.
Researchers found that benefits were still observed at a 9 hour, and even up to 15 hour window. Meaning that even if you restrict your eating by as little as an hour each day there is still a benefit (this goes to confirm what leading researchers are finding…the long held belief that's touted by “experts” that we should graze all day and eat every two to three hours to stoke our metabolism is outdated).
If you find that going right to an 8 hour feeding window is too difficult, simply begin by eating within a 15 hour window for a few days. After a few days reduce your window to 14 hours. Repeat this process every few days until you are eating within an 8 hour window.
Researchers found IF/TRE to be very forgiving. Meaning that even when only done a few days per week, health benefits were still observed!
So whether you are vegan, paleo, keto, or just eating whatever you want, consuming it within a time restricted eating window will help you reap the biggest heath and fitness benefits possible.
In part 2, we will cover specific IF/TRE strategies and how to optimize the timing of your workouts and supplements for maximum results!
Give IF/TRE a try and let me know how it's working for you!
If you have already been using IF/TRE, I would love to hear your thoughts and strategies. Tell me about them in the comments below.