The Health Benefits of Time-restricted Feeding

Authored by Sumeet Sharma • 
January 17, 2017

Humans evolved to optimize their biology in sync with a light and dark cycle. There is a growing body of literature around how the metabolic processes that occur when an organism is fasting are restorative. In addition, it is now being more appreciated how the body's own circadian rhythm interacts with nutrient processing. The upshot is, when you eat can influence how quickly your body is able to transition to different phases of your circadian rhythm.

In a 2015 study of eating habits among 156 healthy males and females between 21 and 56 years old, it was found that on average, individuals consume 122% of the calories needed to maintain weight, 50% of individuals are likely to consume calories over a prolonged period of the day (more than 15 hours), and 25% of adults changed their breakfast time by more than 2 hours on the weekend.1These data suggest that most people in modern society consume meals so frequently, that their body never has a chance to be in a fasted state. Furthermore, constant nutrition disrupts circadian cycles, and disruptions in the normal rhythm is associated with poor health outcomes.

Effects of Time-restricted Feeding

In a 2009 study of 10 subjects who had undergone "circadian rhythm misalignment", participants exhibited increases in blood glucose and insulin (suggestive reduced insulin sensitivity), increased blood pressure, and reduced sleep efficiency. In 3 of the subjects, post-prandial glucose (the change in blood glucose after a meal), was similar to those with diabetes. Thus, maintaining an optimal circadian rhythm is crucial for a variety of biological domains.2

In studies of humans who have undergone a

Editorial Opinion

In modern society, it is too easy to consume calories whenever and wherever you desire, however, an extended period of fasting each day allows your body to have a robust circadian rhythm. We recommend to eat within an 8-12 hour window everyday regardless of diet.

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