Avoiding certain foods, restricting your daily consumption or restricting the number of calories you eat is a common strategy for anybody trying to lose weight. While this works, it’s not easy to do. It can feel restrictive to be doing daily calculations every time you sit down to eat your meals or avoiding a variety of food items.
Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) offers a simpler way of weight management wherein you switch your focus from ''what to eat'' to ''when to eat'. Our Nutrition Expert, Chandni Haldurai, helps us understand this dietary approach better.
What Is Time-Restricted Eating?
Time-Restricted Eating is a type of intermittent fasting. As the name indicates, you need to limit your daily eating regimen to specific hours while following the TRE diet. It helps achieve long-lasting fat loss by training your body to eat less. Well, you usually call it fasting, which isn't a new concept in our culture.
People with no acute illness can practice this approach without any fear. Also, this method is suitable for middle-aged, young adults, and even adolescents.
How Does Time-Restricted Eating Work?
While practicing time-restricted eating, people have to restrict their daily eating time to an 8-12 hours window. The remaining 12-16 hours of the day they spend fasting.
Instead of focussing on caloric restriction, this diet plan allows you to eat as much as you want during the feeding window. However, it doesn't mean you can binge eat.
The idea is to eat a balanced meal during your eating window. This includes:
- Whole grains
- Enough protein
- Good fat
- Ample fruits & vegetables
You can also drink black coffee, green tea, or herbal teas on this diet.
Here are two suggested time-restricted eating plans for you:
8:16 - 8 hours eating, 16 hours fasting window. You can consume two main meals, either breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner.
12:12 - 12 hours eating, 12 hours fasting window. You can consume breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Initially, you can keep the duration shorter until your body adapts to the new regime.
Lifestyle Habits to Follow During Diet
Hectic schedules and modern lifestyle habits are the root causes of obesity and health conditions. These guidelines can make it easier for beginners to adapt to the TRE regime.
- No need to make any changes to your workout routine. But make sure to stick to an ample proportion of energy intake while exercising. Once your body adapts to fasting, you can increase the workout intensity.
- Make sure to keep your main meals slightly more generous and balanced to stay satiated for longer. Choose fiber and protein-rich foods during your eating window if you find it challenging to initially stay hungry for long hours.
- Consume most of your carbs and calories early in the caloric period for improved weight loss.
- There is no need to limit your water intake when you practice TRE. But it doesn't mean you are free to drink high-calorie beverages, like soda.
- If it's difficult to adhere to a TRE eating regime during occasions or parties, you can increase the portion of your first meal and decrease the portion of your final meal.
What Are The Benefits Of Time-Restricted Eating?
The primary goal of people on a diet is to shed off some extra calories. But TRE is more than weight management. There are a myriad of other health benefits of following this eating regime. However, the benefits vary as per the person's age and gender.
Controls glucose level
Based on clinical trials of a nine-hour fasting window, this dietary approach can be an effective solution to control glucose levels among pre-diabetics.
Improves heart health
"Bad" LDL cholesterol is the key reason for increased risk of heart disease. As per a study, a four-week time-restricted regime reduced participants' cholesterol levels by over 10% during an 8-hour window.
Promotes cellular health
Fasting helps cellular rejuvenation by boosting the production of an anti-aging molecule called ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate). So you can protect yourself from age-related diseases with the TRE diet.
Your regular diet is rich in processed, refined, and sugary foods, which are inflammatory. Fasting doesn’t just promote more repair time but also reduces cells called monocytes in the blood hence, reducing the risk of inflammation and related health problems.
To Sum Up
Time-Restricted Eating can help you manage your diet without starving. It is an easy-to-adapt dietary approach wherein you don’t have to rigorously restrict your eating choices. All you’ve got to do is be mindful of when you eat your meals and the quality of those meals. Just remember -- start your weight loss journey for the right reasons. Nourish your body and mind and the rest will fall into place!