Whenever the word ‘diet’ is mentioned, the first thing the pops into people’s minds is cutting out a lot of food items. It also includes self-control, starvation, feelings of deprivation, and boring meals. Counting calories throughout the day become the norm.
In fact, many of the common diet plans have such demands where one is only allowed to eat certain types of foods. People even consume a very low amount of calories per day generally. It is no surprise that these diets are hard to follow.
In addition, they may not even have long-lasting effects. Many people who follow such diets plan do get really fast results. These are enough to convince them to continue the plan but as soon as they leave it, the results start to disappear.
Crash diets, low-fat diets, low-carbohydrate diets are some examples. These can lead to the quickest weight loss as well as the fastest weight gain after the person decides to change it a little.
What Is The Best Diet Plan?
There are many modern diets that have seen to offer long-lasting effects. They are also easy to follow. Time-restricted eating is a trend that is becoming popular day by day. It is a time of intermittent fasting that has been done by humans for more than a thousand years.
Most of the studies done on time-restricted eating were on animals previously. The researchers believed that animals and humans are likely to receive similar effects from TRE.
Time-restricted eating is a diet that concentrates more on the time of eating. It is more important than the food that is being taken. The benefits of it make sense to most people as there are many proven health benefits of fasting.
Secondly, fasting is one of the practices of the major religions around the world. People also do it for many other purposes such as self-control.
What Is the Evidence?
The Salk Institute in California is the leading institution that studied time-restrict eating. According to the researchers at the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Institute, the timing of eating can be even more important than the food.
The researchers first gathered evidence to show the effectiveness of time-restricted eating. They observed mice that were on time-restricted dieting. The mice were given a diet that is ‘poor’ in a normal view because of being high in calories and filled with fat and sugar.
They also observed that when the mice could have access to whatever food they wanted any time of the day. The results, in this case, were not the same. The mice gained a lot of weight even though they ate the same amount of calories.
According to the study, the following were the observations:
A 9-hour allowed free access to food led to a 26% weight gain in the mice
A 15-hour allowed free access to food led to a 43% weight gain in the mice
A 24-hour allowed free access to food led to a 65% weight gain in the mice
The conclusion of the study was that fasting for a specific period of time that is about 12-15 hours long can affect the weight and weight gain of the body. Time-restricted eating caused little or no weight gain in the mice. The ones that were already overweight lost weight too.
How Does This Diet Work?
Fasting on a regular basis for 15-16 hours a day or even 11-12 hours can impact the different processes in the body. Fasting has been seen to have a big impact on the hormones that control blood sugar. These are the hormones that are responsible for metabolism and the burning of fats.
Eating whatever you want including the unhealthiest food may sound odd. It sounds even more strange to people when it is for losing weight. Many would not refuse to believe it at the time they hear it.
However, the recent studies have themselves showed otherwise. They confirmed that restricting the time of the meal either with or without eating healthy food can help with weight maintenance. It can also burn more fat at a healthy level.
This shows that the bodies are better off when they are acting in a clockwise manner and are aware of when to do what. In other ways, the body functions better when following a fixed time schedule.
Are There Any Other Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and Time-restricted Eating?
The benefits of intermittent fasting have now been long known by the researchers. Except for weight loss and management, intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating offer the following benefits:
Better control over appetite hormones such as ghrelin and leptin
Lower risk of dementia
Improved brain function
Faster muscle recovery
A study held by the University of California San Diego saw the effects of time-restricted eating on 2,200 women. It found that not only it helped them lose weight but manage the blood-sugar levels in the body.
The women who were fasting for over 12 hours were seen to have better control over their blood sugar. Moreover, they had a faster weight loss and an improved immunity in comparison.
What Should You Keep In Mind While Trying This Diet?
The studies on TRE and its benefits for health and weight have also mentioned some other things. People with certain medical conditions might not have similar effects. For example, fasting also impacts the adrenaline and cortisol.
Typically, fasting does not cause stress. People who already have high levels of adrenaline and cortisol should be cautious. They can have some side effects because of fasting for too long.
Anyone having an adrenal or any hormonal issue should not try any type of intermittent fasting. Noticing the effects of fasting on the body is good. This is because it can be the best way to find out whether intermittent fasting is a good option or not.
People having negative signs instead of positive ones such as irregular periods, fatigue, and anxiety should not continue TRE as it is not for them.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not go without food and fast for too long. If this is the case, consulting with the doctor is better before following this method. Women who are trying to conceive or are on any type of hormonal therapy should also talk to their doctor first.
Intermittent fasting and going without food is not for everyone. Read up carefully on the diet before following it. Such methods are often also not suitable for teenagers. Same goes for any young adults in college or those with hectic lifestyles.
When following the diet, make sure to not go without food for too long. This can have opposite effects instead of positive ones. A gap of more than sixteen hours is not healthy. The person might end up fainting or feel weak.
This is a big change that suits many people but not all. Keep in mind that if this does not go with your routine, there are also other ways to be healthy. Try consulting a dietician and join a gym to start your journey to a better and fit life.
As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.
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