New research suggests that eating all your meals before 3 pm has a ton of health benefits including lower risk of diabetes, healthy blood pressure, and fewer snack cravings.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the approach can overweight men to become healthier and even lose some weight in the process. It is the first time such strict intermittent fasting method is clinically tested on human participants.
The diet, called early time-restricted feeding (eTRF), has so many health benefits because it matches our circadian rhythm perfectly. Researchers explained that the key to eTRF is the cut-off point.
Lead author Courtney Peterson and her team found that the levels of the stress hormone cortisol hit the highest level at 8 am, which enables the body to wake up. Cortisol levels reach the lowest point at 3 am before reaching the peak at 8 am the next day.
At mid-day, the body’s temperature and metabolism hit a peak, making us hungry. After noon, stress hormone levels start to decline, with tiredness setting in and metabolism going slower.
Our Bodies’ Biological Clock Knows Better
Scientists warned that snacking late at night can negatively impact your metabolism, as around 3 am the body should be asleep based on its biochemistry.
Our bodies are optimized to do certain things at certain times of the day, and eating in sync with our circadian rhythms seem to improve our health,
By this logic, the body is better prepared to keep blood sugar in check in the morning, which means that most of the food should be eaten in the morning and early afternoon.
The study involved eight males who had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The men agreed to follow the intermittent fasting diet for five weeks, followed by five more weeks of a Western diet.
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