Did you know the timing of your meals can aid weight loss and improve gut health?
Time-restricted eating (TRE) means reducing your ‘window’ of eating to around 9-10 hours while extending your overnight fast.
TRE has been shown to have many health benefits, particularly for metabolic health. This means you will feel fuller, burn more fat, sleep better and feel less stressed.
Health benefits of TRE include:
- Reduces insulin resistance (lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes)1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33002219/, 2https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.765543/full
- Lowers blood pressure 3https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33002219/
- Aids weight loss 4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33002219/
- Lowers evening cortisol levels (improving sleep and reducing stress)5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33578763/
- Improves appetite regulation (helping us to feel full and reduce our food intake)6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33578763/
- Increases fat metabolism (helping us burn fat for energy)7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33578763/
- TRE may also increase the diversity of our gut bacteria including beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus and Akkermansia (the ‘lean’ bug) 8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4452615/.
Putting TRE into practice:
You can choose when to schedule your ‘eating window’ to suit your weekly routine. Although research suggests that an early eating window provides the best outcomes, there are still benefits even when it’s done later in the day. 9https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.765543/full Whatever schedule you choose, always leave at least three hours between eating your last meal and going to sleep.
Gradually build up the length of the fasting period. The aim is to reach an eating window of around 9-10 hours. If you feel dizzy or unwell during the fasting period, stop and have something to drink or eat. TRE doesn’t suit everyone, so listen to your body.
Begin with a 12-hour eating window and gradually reduce it to 9 – 10 hours over a week or so. For example, you could start by having breakfast at 8 am, finish supper at 8 pm, and then bring your evening meal forward over time. Another option is to gradually delay your breakfast until later in the morning, or have your first meal at brunch/lunch.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the fasting period – water, herbal teas, tea and coffee (ideally decaf and without sugar/syrup). Avoid drinks with calories (fizzy drinks, juices, milk etc).
As mentioned, break the fast if you feel unwell and if you are on medication, please seek advice from your GP before you start.
TRE is not suitable for the following people:
- People taking medication for type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Those with uncontrolled diabetes or who suffer from hypoglycaemia
- Pregnant women
- People who are underweight or have an eating disorder
Akkermansia, or the “leanness” gut bug, is most productive after an intermittent fast. Read more about akkermansia here: https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/eat-right-to-boost-the-lean-bug/
Speak with one of our nutritional therapists about how to improve your gut health on live chat, 8 am to 8 pm weekdays. You can book a personal consultation with us or learn more about your own gut microbiome by taking a microbiome test. Find out more here: https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/product/microbiome-test/