Time-restricted eating (TRE) is very straightforward. You simply ensure that for at least 12 hours within each 24-hour period, you do not consume any calories. Some people prefer to shorten their eating window further, to 10 or even just 8 hours, although recent research by Panda’s team1 shows that a 12-hour period away from food is enough time to give your body significant benefits.
How does it work?
Most adults eat for about 15 hours through the day, which does not leave enough time for cell repair pathways to engage to their fullest extent. The long-term health effects of this can be disastrous, loading the body with chronic physiological stress. Time-restricted eating is a simple and manageable step that can put all of this into reverse – and the test results prove it.
What is the link between TRE and sleep?
In a recent study run by scientists from the Salk Institute, overweight volunteers who restricted their eating to a 10-hour window (14:10) lost an average of 3.3kg over the course of 12 weeks. They also saw big reductions in waist size, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and “bad cholesterol” levels. Last, and by no means least, most of them also enjoyed longer and less interrupted sleep.
How to practice TRE:
By following a few basic guidelines, TRE is easy to implement:
- If you like a hot drink on rising, avoid milky tea or coffee (black or herbal is fine). As long as it has no calories, it does not break the fast.
- Eat breakfast late.
- Drink plenty of water through the day.
- Eat at dinner early, so you stop eating at least 3-4 hours before bed.
- Brush your teeth once you have finished eating for the day- this will help with late night snacking, which will be terrible for your sleep!
Time restricted eating can be antisocial at times, so you may find that it works best to incorporate time restricted eating during the week and then not worry about it so much on the weekends.
You can find out more about Time Restricted Eating and the benefits of Time Restricted Eating here.