Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Add a Sprinkle of Time

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Add a Sprinkle of Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Susie Burrell

WHAT time did you eat your dinner last night? Chances are it was at 7 or even 8pm. And what about your breakfast?

If your days are long it is likely you grabbed a coffee or piece of toast pretty early in the day.

As the scientific evidence linking intermittent fasting to hormonal control and weight loss has grown so too has interest in prolonged periods of time within each day that we actually do not eat. Forget calorie counting or limiting your carbs, weight control may be as simple as eating across fewer hours each day.

The 8 Hour Diet proposes that limiting your food intake to just eight hours of the day is an easy diet technique that supports weight control.

Here all calories and meals need to be consumed within just eight hours of the day, for example brunch at 10am, lunch at 1 or 2pm, and your final meal of the day by 6pm.

Here the amount of calories or even fat consumed is not important; rather it is argued that our long days, in which food may be consumed across as many as 16 hours each day is one of the key reasons so many of us are struggling with our weight.

Indeed, there is some physiological aspects of this argument that make sense.

Prolonged periods of feeding, in which food is not only consumed relatively frequently, every few hours and across many hours of the day means that more insulin (the hormone that controls blood glucose levels) is released in an attempt to keep blood glucose levels stable.

High levels of insulin over time promotes inflammation and fat storage in the body. In addition, hunger is less likely to be experienced, as we never really let ourselves get really hungry and fat is more likely to be stored in the liver.

Studies on animals support this approach when it comes to weight loss and hormonal control. In some preliminary studies, rats given free access to high fat foods but only for relatively short periods of time, weighed less, and had no issues with their cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels or inflammation in the liver.

On the other hand, rats given free access to food across 24-hour periods gained weight, developed high cholesterol and high blood glucose as well as impaired motor control. …

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