What Is Time Restricted Eating and Is It A Good Idea?
Time restricted eating is a process by which you limit your daily intake of food and drink (aside from water) to a specific and strategically limited window of time.
Recently, as in the past year of 2017 and 2018, time restricted eating has become the latest “amazing” technique by which people have been using to lose weight and gain muscle mass, and who doesn’t want some of that?
But does it work? (bare in mind, we are not scientists, we are health enthusiasts…)
There are two ways we know of by which we can assess whether or not this new technique works for weight loss and improved health in general.
One way is that we can read peer-reviewed scientific studies to see what the results of tests are. This is mega boring for most people, but we encourage anyone who is serious about adopting a time restricted eating lifestyle to read as many quality articles as possible to gain more knowledge on the topic. Since this seems to be a trending phenomenon as of right now, there is a growing amount of information coming out on this process, and what results may be in store for people who do it.
The other way we can investigate whether time restricted eating works is to…that’s right, hop over to Youtube and see what people are really saying about it! As much of a rabbit hole as Youtube can be, it is also a valuable resource where we can see people just like us discussing topics like time restricted eating.
We here at Beach Baby have done some reading, and watching, and so let’s get into what we’ve come across in terms of time restricted eating and what it’s all about. In order to make best use of this article, please watch these clips along with us, as we’ll be talking about them in the article.
Joe Rogan and Dr. Rhonda Patrick
First clip – from the Joe Rogan Podcast, here’s nutritional health expert Dr. Rhonda Patrick of Found My Fitness and Joe talking about time restricted eating.
This 15 minute clip contains a lot of important info that we should unpack here.
First off, there is a lot of talk about a person’s circadian clock, which operates on a cellular level, and determines a great deal about how we function during the day and at night. People also refer to this as your biological clock. As you might expect, this clock, which manifests as our daily rhythms and how much energy we have at any given time, is a very particular process for each individual, although it does operate in a more general way across the human experience with regards to being affected by different triggers, such as light. Hence, we tend to sleep when it’s dark and are up doing things when it’s light outside. That said, everyone’s clock is a little different.
Another important facet of this video is the talk around our metabolism and enzymes which are affected by our circadian clock. From the moment we ingest something, whether it be food or even black coffee, this kicks off our body’s metabolic processes, which work throughout the day, and then wind down at a certain point as it gets later into the night.
It’s interesting what Dr. Patrick mentions about taking vitamins or drinking black coffee, as it would seem natural to assume that consuming these things isn’t going to immediately trigger or metabolic processes, but apparently it does! And this leads into the idea of a window of time where should be eating, whether it be 12 hours, 10 hours, or even 8 hours.
This is where the idea of time restricted eating comes into play, as the argument goes that if we can manage to not eat beyond a certain window of time, we’ll see major benefits such as weight loss and muscle increase, as well as increased stamina and even focus.
Of course, it is worth noting that Dr. Patrick is referring mainly to a study done on mice (Salk Institute study found here – http://panda.salk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/01/Manoogian-and-Panda-2016.pdf), where eating was strictly controlled, and so these results of time restricted eating vs. no restrictions were able to be recorded and assessed.
But of course, we are not mice, and there are a lack of tests for this type of thing when it comes to human beings. At the same time, as Dr. Patrick says, there is actually plenty of data out there for those who know what to look for, which correlates data between time restricted eating and being able to fight off cancer, due to the fact that cancer seems to love any form of sugar it can feed off of, and making certain food restrictions at certain times can assist with battling off baddies. All of this data seems to be quite fascinating, especially to scientists, but for regular folks, it can become quite confusing quickly.
The point with this video being, we can at least become more aware of these processes that are happening within us and this can be the first step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Wanderlust Estate – Results Over 30 Days
Now, here is another video that hits maybe a little closer to home, because here we have a guy by the name of James who has been implementing time restricted eating, and intermittent fasting into his lifestyle, with some awesome results. Check this out.
The takeaways from this video are quite encouraging, when you check out the results that James is getting due to combining intermittent fasting and time restricted eating.
At this point, you might wondering “What the heck is intermittent fasting?” because we’ve been talking about time restricted eating up until now. Well, it so happens these two techniques can be combined, and they are even very related in many ways. In fact, some experts even talk about them synonymously, as if they’re basically the same thing.
Technically, they aren’t the same. Intermittent fasting involves repeated periods of fasting (not eating) followed by eating, which…to be honest, is exactly what time restricted eating is. However, there is technically more to intermittent fasting than simply eating within a certain window. If you want to read more about intermittent fasting, check out our full article below.
Read our article, A Quick Guide to Intermittent Fasting (and How and Why It Works)
Anyway, what’s interesting about James’ story in the above video is that he does use a combination of time restricted eating and intermittent fasting to achieve the results he has gotten, and what’s also interesting is that the entire process hasn’t been coupled with a lot of rigorous exercise. In other words, all of his weight loss is due to his eating schedule, and, of course, what he’s eating.
He does say in the video that he lost 20-odd pounds in a four month period prior to the time restricted eating he’s been doing, and it did involve some fasting, but the weight loss seemed to be much slower, UNTIL he did time restricted eating, at which point his weight loss accelerated to what you might consider to be actually quite amazing!
James also points to consuming an increased amount of probiotics, or fermented foods, to help with the entire process.
It is results like this that really get us excited about spreading the word about time restricted eating. But let’s also move on, as we’re not done yet!
Thomas DeLauer – Intermittent Fasting Vs. Time Restricted Eating
Up next, we want to share this video created by Thomas DeLauer, a healthcare specialist and performance coach, who really gets into some of the more specific differences between time restricted eating and intermittent fasting.
As Thomas mentions at the beginning of the video, time restricted eating and intermittent fasting are similar, but not the same. And the differences are worth noting.
Again, we find Thomas referring tot he same study mentioned by Dr. Rhonda Patrick earlier, done by her friend Satchidananda Panda (scroll to the bottom of this article to watch a 1.5 hour interview between the two of them), which talks about the effects of time restricted eating done on mice.
In the study, as Thomas mentions, all the mice were eating fatty foods, but it was only the time restricted eating mice who managed to lose weight over 100 days. Even though we’re talking about mice here, this is quite interesting.
So from watching Thomas’s video on the differences between intermittent fasting and time restricted eating, one thing that seems to pop out is the idea that with time restricted eating, we can eat whatever we want and still somehow lose weight if we implement time restricted eating into the equation.
Just so you know, this is not what we think you should do, nor does Thomas believe this, as he eats as healthy as possible. In fact, Thomas discusses how although time restricted eating seems to suggest that what you eat is more flexible in terms of the types of food you’re eating,
there seems to be a blind spot in the overall theory of time restricted eating that can be illuminated by intermittent fasting.
What Thomas seems to be saying if you watch the entire video, is that while time restricted eating does seem to be an attractive proposition on its own, if you combine it with intermittent fasting, which has more of a scientific basis at this point, you will reap even more benefits, because fasting deals more with looking at factors like hormone levels, longevity, and the more positive effects of fasting in general.
We do concur with Thomas in this regard, in that if you are going to start practicing time restricted eating, you should also at least look into intermittent fasting, as they seem to be linked together, and the most benefits can be reaped from combining them in some way or at least understanding what each of them are. Thomas is big into intermittent fasting due to how it affects your hormones, and so these are benefits which should not be ignored when making your own plan for time restricted eating.
Lastly, we want to point out something Thomas mentions in regards to time restricted eating and eating less calories. Interestingly, even though you might want to eat more liberally in the shorter window you have with time restricted eating (say it’s 9 or 10 hours), it would seem that on average, proponents of time restricted eating point to the fact that there is still a reduction in calories on average because of the smaller time window you have to eat. That said, Thomas pointed out that there is a correlation between a weaker metabolism, and consumed less calories, so you’ll want to be aware of this when you go about practicing time restricted eating.
As we said at the beginning, we are not scientists, we are just like you, and we want to figure out what the best way to be healthy is. It would seem that, at the very least, time restricted eating is an idea that is worth looking into. Please be cautious when you go about it, if you are new to the idea. If you create too small of a window to begin with, it will be hard to stick with and you might experience certain negative results like being cranky or tired.
That said, we’ve heard the best results are obtained from a 9 hour window (or less), and 12 hours is the maximum sized window you’ll want to implement. All in all, time restricted eating seems less scary than fasting, although it does have an element of fasting in it, as you are limiting the time in which you may eat. We recommend you try to work time restricted eating into your lifestyle slowly, to make sure your body can handle it. Slow results are best!
Here’s that video of Dr. Panda and Dr. Patrick speaking at length on the time restricted eating, or feeding.
And here’s one more interesting video by Brix Fitness showing some serious results from intermittent fasting. Check it out!