Body Mass Index – easily recognized as BMI – is the number you look at if you want to know whether you are over or underweight. While specialists delve in calorie intake, types of foods and their compatibility with your body or various diets to determine weight loss solutions, a recent study might steer your attention in a different direction. Following an experiment on mice, scientists have concluded that it is not all about what you eat or how much you eat – a considerable portion of it depends on when you eat too.
This was a research made within the Salk Institute to gain a better comprehension of not only obesity, but other nutritional-induced afflictions, such as high cholesterol or diabetes. The experiment was performed on a number of 400 mice of various weight ranges by putting them on a series of strict diets but on differing schedules.
The results were pretty straight-forward: mice who were allowed to indulge in high fat or high sugar food whenever they felt like it, regardless of the time of day, were gaining weight at a more rapid pace than the ones who were fed the same types of food but only inside an 8-hour window. The state of their health seemed to be poorer than the mice with a more disciplined eating program – they showed higher risks of systemic inflammation, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol levels and other metabolic disturbances. Their resilience when it came to physical effort seemed to diminish in comparison as well, despite both groups of mice eating the exact same amount of calories per day.
The study later extended to testing different schedules for the mice’ meals, trying to determine if the 8-hour window was the only criteria behind lesser weight-gain. They also experimented with schedules of 8 hour long sessions of eating at discretion and 16 hours of fasting, while the other group of mice would be subjected to 16 hour long periods of free feasting and 8 hour long fasting. The results were once again positive for the mice that were only allowed free feeding reign for 8 hours only.
This information links back to an already known concept of nutritionists that iterates the connection between sleep cycles and daily meals as a mean of losing weight and staying healthy. Determining appropriate times for meals according to your sleep schedule and your body’s ability to process fuel seems to be drawing better results than the classic ideas.