Let’s say you live a pretty healthy lifestyle. You eat vegetables and go for a (slow) walk every day.
But you’re no hollow-cheeked health fanatic…
You like to let loose with a piece of tiramisu (or two) on occasion.
You drink Dunkin’ coffee daily.
And you get margaritas from a local Mexican restaurant with your co-workers every Friday (even sometimes on taco Tuesday).
Basically, you think moderation is better than anxiety-inducing perfection. But sometimes your sense of moderation goes out the window, and you eat an entire bag of Oreos while you read the newest Liane Moriarty novel.
As a result, your mid-life belly bulge is developing a mind of its own, and your basement stairs are becoming more daunting and breath-taking (not in a good way) by the day. But you still don’t want to resign yourself to just eating kale, kimchi, and raw coconut water all the time.
What should you do?
Try a little hack that will help you stay fit and healthy without changing your diet…
An afternoon dinner makes for a better metabolism
A new study from researchers at Louisiana State University found that a form of intermittent fasting called Early Time-Restricted Feeding (eTRF) could boost metabolism and promote weight loss even if you don’t change your diet.
In the study, researchers had eleven overweight adults try two different meal timing strategies. In one strategy, they ate three meals during a 12-hour period with breakfast at 8 a.m. and dinner at 8 p.m. In the other strategy (the eTRF strategy), they ate three meals over a six-hour period with breakfast at 8 a.m. and dinner at 2 p.m.
They ate the same foods and the same number of calories in both strategies. But the simple act of cutting their eating window by six hours created impressive results…
After following the eTRF strategy for four days, study participants had lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and were less hungry. Their bodies were also burning fat more efficiently.
Now, imagine how this could help you in your life…
You could still eat tiramisu from time to time… but maybe it would be easier to turn down that second piece. And your body would burn fat more quickly, so could burn off all that mascarpone and cream in no time!
Should you try eTRF?
Eating dinner at 2 p.m. doesn’t sound easy (you’d have to cut out those Friday night margaritas, for sure). But it might be worth it if you’re looking for a simple way to stay healthy and fit without cutting out all the foods you love.
You should know that eTRF isn’t one size fits all either. You can adapt it to your lifestyle….
You could eat breakfast at 10 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. Or you could lengthen your eating window if a six-hour window just won’t work for you. A lot of people adopt eight to ten-hour eating windows and still experience plenty of benefits, like better blood sugar, a more efficient metabolism and weight loss.
So, give it a shot, and see if eTRF can keep you healthy without giving up all the fun stuff.
- Study finds meal timing strategies appear to lower appetite, improve fat burning — MedicalXpress
- Time-restricted eating is growing in popularity but is it healthy? — American Heart Association
- Is time-restricted eating effective for weight loss? — Medical News Today