Intermittent Fasting & Other Time Restricted Eating Strategies


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Fat Loss
Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) is when one restricts his/her food intake within the time frame of approx 8-12 hours and fasts for the remaining time. In the intermittent fasting strategy, there is the freedom to choose a specific window; TRE limits the window to daytime. Standard 8 am to 8 pm is a good example.

-Circadian Rhythm: Our body has an internal clock that responds to photic (light) stimuli (Takahashi 2017). Various behavioural and environmental factors also affect this clock. Change in characteristics of behaviours, such as sleep/wake cycle and feed/fast period, mediate the harmony of this clock (Queiroz et al., 2020). Lack of sleep, erratic shift schedule, and heavy late-evening dinners de-arrange the circadian clock. A great example of a cumulative side-effect that arises from such persistent desynchronisation of circadian rhythm would be a high prevalence of the metabolic disorder in shift workers (Morikawa et al., 2005; Sun et al., 2018). -Late Meal Consumption And Obesity It is no secret that our dinners are more lavish compared to any other meals. In most countries, people eat 30-40% of their total calories at dinner (Almoosawi et al. 2016). In a meta-analysis, the behaviour to consume higher calories in the evening was reported to be associated with higher BMI (Fong et al. 2017). -TRE and Weight Loss In a 10-week pilot study (Antoni et al. 2018), when participants were told to advance the meal timings of breakfast and dinner by 1.5 hours from the baseline, they showed an unintentional reduction in caloric intake by approx 650 calories. As this is a spontaneous behavioural response, it highlights the use of TRE in a free-setting. This observation was consistent in many studies (Gabel et al. 2018; LeCheminant et al. 2013; Wilkinson et al. 2020). -Why Some Strategies Promote Eating Late? The simple answer is – to create a deficit in their own ways. When a person is trying to lose weight, at the individual level, he should opt for what suits him to maintain a decent deficit and optimal activity levels. -Takeaway TRE has shown promising evidence in causing unintentional weight loss, and hence, daytime eating is a rational consideration to reduce weight. Erratic schedules that do not match the standard diurnal pattern (active during the day) have consistently shown metabolic side effects. However, at the individual level, a person trying to lose weight should opt for what is suitable and sustainable. After all, energy deficit results in weight loss, and that outcome yields most clinical benefits. References: 1. Almoosawi S, Vingeliene S, Karagounis LG et al. (2016) Chrono- nutrition: a review of current evidence from observational studies on global trends in time-of-day of energy intake and its association with obesity. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 75: 487–500. 2. Antoni, R., T. M. Robertson, M. D. Robertson, and J. D. Johnston. 2018. A pilot feasibility study exploring the effects of a moderate time-restricted feeding intervention on energy intake, adiposity and metabolic physiology in free-living human subjects. Journal of Nutritional 3. Fong M, Caterson ID & Madigan CD (2017) Are large dinners associated with excess weight, and does eating a smaller dinner achieve greater weight loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition 118: 616–28. 4. Gabel, K., K. K. Hoddy, N. Haggerty, J. Song, C. M. Kroeger, J. F. Trepanowski, S. Panda, and K. A. Varady. 2018. Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging 4 (4):345–53. doi: 10.3233/NHA-170036. 5. LeCheminant, J. D., E. Christenson, B. W. Bailey, and L. A. Tucker. 2013. Restricting night-time eating reduces daily energy intake in healthy young men: A short-term cross-over study. British Journal of Nutrition 110 (11):2108–13. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513001359. 6. Morikawa, Y. et al. (2005) ‘Shift work and the risk of diabetes mellitus among Japanese male factory workers’, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 31(3), pp. 179–183. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.867. 7. Queiroz, J. do N. et al. (2020) ‘Time-restricted eating and circadian rhythms: the biological clock is ticking’, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Taylor and Francis Inc., pp. 1–13. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1789550. 8. Sun, M. et al. (2018) ‘Night shift work exposure profile and obesity: Baseline results from a Chinese night shift worker cohort’, PLoS ONE. Public Library of Science, 13(5). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196989. 9. Takahashi JS (2017) Transcriptional architecture of the mammalian circadian clock. Nature Reviews Genetics 18: 164–79. 10. Wilkinson, M. J., E. N. C. Manoogian, A. Zadourian, H. Lo, S. Fakhouri, A. Shoghi, X. Wang, J. G. Fleischer, S. Navlakha, S. Panda, et al. 2020. Ten-hour time-restricted eating reduces weight, blood pressure, and atherogenic lipids in patients. #infs #fittr #if #fasting with metabolic syndrome. Cell Metabolism 31 (1):92–13. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.11.004.
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