"Time-restricted eating didn't just prevent, but also reversed obesity." says Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute who oversaw studies in Regulatory Biology. "That was exciting to see."
Precisely how a time-based eating pattern staved off weight gain and illness is not fully understood, but Dr. Panda and his colleagues believe that the time at which food is eaten influences a body's internal clock.
"Meal times have more effect on circadian rhythm than dark and light cycles. And circadian rhythm in turn affects the function of many genes in the body that are known to involve metabolism." Dr. Panda says.
Why Fasting Makes Sense
Your body has only so much energy each day to perform all of the complicated, behind-the-scenes work that keeps you alive. That energy is limited, so your body must constantly prioritize how it's distributing energy, what functions are being performed first, and what the priorities are.
Digestion is one of the most energy consuming functions of the body (we're all too familiar with food comas). So if your body is constantly tied up with digestion, it will put deeper cleansing on hold. When you limit eating to a 12-hour window you give your body a break from digesting food. Since so much of your daily energy goes to digesting the foods that you eat, your body will have a lot more freed up energy when you are fasting.
Your body will use this extra energy to work on things that it normally doesn't have enough time for like healing old wounds and removing built-up toxins that have been in your body for years.
After your evening meal, leave a twelve-hour window before having your morning meal. If you have your evening meal at 7 pm, you should have your morning meal at 7 am or later. Contain your eating to 12 hours a day or less. And pay attention to when you begin. The clock starts, Dr. Panda says, with "that first cup of coffee with cream and sugar in the morning."
If you fill your belly late at night and then eat early again the next day, your body isn't given the time to clean house.