It isn’t what you eat. It’s when you eat. Meet newer wisdom that may be or not be true.
Research indicates that Time Restricted Eating is a better, healthier way of curbing obesity and weight management. This mouse study shows some really interesting results from its strict controlled environment. Can humans follow it?
Humans do not live in a research lab.
The research went like this:
A mouse allowed to eat 24 hours a day (left) had much higher levels of liver fat (white) than one that consumed the same high-fat diet within an 8-hour daily feeding window (right). Mice that eat only during certain hours avoid obesity and related health problems—even on a high-fat diet.
According to the researchers of this study, While we eat, the body stores fat, which adds weight and puts stress on the liver, and produces glucose, which elevates blood sugar levels—a sign of diabetes. In contrast, evidence suggests that when we stop eating for several hours, the liver stops releasing glucose into the blood, and instead uses it to repair cellular damage. It also releases enzymes that break down cholesterol into acids, which in turn help break down brown fat—a “good” fat that converts calories into heat.
The researchers also add some caution — It’s not yet clear whether there’s a minimum fasting time for the metabolic benefits to kick in at all, or whether they simply work better the longer the fasting time. The researchers also caution that the study shouldn’t motivate anyone to adjust their eating schedule and then completely ignore the fat content of their diet. They also add that there is no evidence that mouse results would be applicable to humans.
Barring some diseases and more sedentary behaviors, obesity. Pictures from our past show many people that would be called obese today. In the past, your ancestors struggled with food scarcity; whereas, today, Americans enjoy an overabundance of available food sources.
Our ancestors had no refrigeration so they ate as needed. Mostly agrarian, they were proficient at storing carbohydrate grains through harsh winters.These ancestors faced difficult lives with long, strenuous, routine labors. Today, office work is more common and computing devices replaced more manual labor.
Early philosophers observed obesity and possible effects. Hippocrates wrote that “Corpulence is not only a disease itself, but the harbinger of others”. As therapy, time restricted eating has few long-term results indicating a considered lifestyle choice. Yet, those willing to try and lose 50 or more pounds find media news about time restricted eating or intermittent fasting attractive.
Gluconeogenesis is a trick that favors low-carb dieting. Time restricted eating, ketogenic, and Intermittent fasting diets postulate that restricting carbohydrates will result in the body creating its own glucose, if you restrict sugars and starch from your body. No sugars mean the body cojnverts body fat into energy. Weight loss is the gain. Simple. Yet the process may also produce some harmful effects down the line. Going too extreme can create stress to your normal functions and cortisol is the end product of managing stress.
The cortisol/glucogenesis relationship is a hormonal process and high levels of cortisol can make any of these low-carb dieters consider other options. Cortisol is an end-product of Adrenalin, secreted by adrenal glands, and is considered one of the key ways that our body responds to stress as fight or flight. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. The reaction is supposed to be brief as cortisol washes away after a stressful incident. When cortisol remains for too long it may be possible to develop HPA Syndrome or adrenal fatigue.
The problems associated with chronically elevated cortisol levels include:
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Fat deposits on the face, neck, and belly.
Reducing cortisol to a healthy balance requires managing body stress. That takes a chronic approach. Cortisol is made by your adrenal glands, two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. As a critical end-product in stress management, cortisol plays a key role in other functions, including how your body breaks down carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Ketogenic diets believe that if no carbohydrates are present, the liver and kidneys will generate simple-carbs for what the body requires, including the brain. It then metabolizes lipids (fats) and proteins that promote weight loss. While there are tests for cortisol levels, any of these fad diets require scrutiny in the long run.
Cortisol is one of the byproducts among the mechanisms used as natural body protectors in stressful situations. Other hormones are from the pituitary gland that releases corticotropin releasing hormone, or CRH. This hormone acts as a catalyst to create corticosteroids – one of which is cortisol.
This network of natural responses deal with maintaining homeostasis (balance) within the body. Trying to adapt time restricted eating and intermittent fasting diets are habits that run against normal balance. They can be very stressful. Habituation to these diets can be extremely difficult.
In addition, living requires homeostasis — body balance. For some, skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous. People with certain conditions, such as diabetes, coronary diseases, hypertension, and others associated with chronic obesity may be prone to electrolyte abnormalities from fasting. Some may be dietary while others may be side-effects from medicines you are taking.
A recent article posted association with inflammatory dieting with the incidence of cancer in men.
When it comes to managing weight, time restricted eating and intermittent fasting diets require serious (if not religious) thought. Can you follow these prerequisites and conditions for both weight loss and health maintenance?
The major research on time restricted eating is at the mouse level. Harvard University indicates research on intermittent fasting has been small. One of the not-so-alarming results was a very high dropout rate (38%) in the intermittent fasting group.
While time restricted eating and intermittent fasting diets are in vogue, there is confusion of what foods can be eaten when you can eat. Ads show higher caloric, carb-rich foods, and bad fat foods. That really doesn’t work.
That Hippocrates was mentioning the complex nature of corpulence around 2500 years ago, is a worthy observation that indicates obesity as a significant reality in human history. The low-carbohydrate, high fat diet was developed by William Banting in the 19th century. It was anecdotal as he was the only subject of his original study. He was the first person to do it. It’s been made popular by Professor Tim Noakes in his book The Real Meal Revolution. The idea is that this way of eating makes your body switch from burning carbs for energy to burning fat. Later, Atkins and others wrote books supporting this approach.
From appearance to wellness, diets reign as top in the self-help books and articles. Weight gain and slower metabolism is normal with age. Fashion and health guidelines determine obesity leveling. The main caveat, your body tries to keep an inner balance. Your body is happy being fat and doesn’t consider the possible illnesses that may be attributed to that condition.
Both intermittent fasting and time restricted eating are throwing blows to the generally acceptable calorie restriction diets. Advocates of intermittent fasting and restricted eating claim that, following either, will improve biorhythms and sleep. Yet more people are concerned about their fasting schedules. How will it affect my work, my leisure, and all my other activities. There can be social problems as to whether you can eat dinner out. Unlike our ancestors that ate 2 meals per day – morning and evening – our day spans 24-hours of probable resting and active activity. Does time impact weight gain? Is this a stressor?
The key basis of time restricted eating is that our ancestors followed a circadian rhythm guided by sunrises and sunsets. Once we were able to control light, adjustments were allowed to live differently. Electricity and digital-age change the way we see time. Living 24/7 is probable but is it healthful?
As such, Time restricted eating, Intermittent fasting diets, and any other radical regimen that sweep through the media have to be taken as light jokes. Sensibilities dictate that you really consider whether you can follow these diets in a world where you work, play, and have an abundance of meal and snacking choices. As you age, fat develops and metabolism rates reduce. While responsible eating and exercise matters, how easily can you adapt to any diet?
As time restricted eating and intermittent fasting diets have little research on humans, long-term side-effects aren’t really known. You might lose weight but at what biochemical cost? Will it extend overall wellness? Habits are hard to break but you can learn to tweak them in proper directions.We all make adjustments to new realities with responsibility and care. Overall, we are not mice in a cage. We are people living in modern societies.