How eating at a certain time of the day, can promote a longer & healthier life

The easiest way to ensure you lead a long and healthy life

The easiest way to ensure you lead a long and healthy life.

Who doesn’t want to lead a healthy and long life? I’m not ready to transition into the succeeding dimension, and I don’t think I will be in 20 or 30 years. There is so much life to live, so many people to meet. Despite the hardships, life is pretty extraordinary. I appreciate life more, having been exposed to the suffering of disease — as I did through my parents. Both died of cancer; looking back, they didn’t lead the healthiest lives. My dad smoked, whilst mum was caught in the complexities of Coeliac disease. Unfortunately, her nutritional preferences over many years led her to develop diabetes and eventually pancreatic cancer. Although I was already eating very healthy when she passed away, I decided I could do more. Am I scared this might be my fate? Well, yes and no. It could be anyone’s fate, which all boils down to destiny. But I realised that the only thing I can do — despite what destiny awaits me (and you, for that matter) is to take my health and lifestyle into my own hands, rather than rely on doctors’ opinions. So why not try different things, and see what works well for you? I have experimented for years with different nutritional choices and lifestyle habits. Finally, I feel like I have nestled into a very positive place right now, and whatever may happen, at least I have the best chance of fighting it. I won’t go down without a fighting chance. And you can too. All it takes is a little bit more of an understanding of metabolism and ageing. Joseph Takahashi and colleagues conducted a study on hundreds of mice. These mice were fed a reduced caloric diet and only fed during the night (because they are most active). A combination of restricted calories whilst eating only during their most active period extended their lives by 35 per cent! Mice only lived about two years, which enhanced their precious time on earth by nine months. For us mere humans, this would easily translate to eating during the daytime while restricting the calories you eat. This strategy may not speed your weight loss any more than other diets, but it’s more inclined to prompt health benefits and increase your life span — which is just as wonderful. So perhaps weight loss may result in a byproduct of the effort you put into your nutrition. 


Youthfulness despite your biological age

Countless studies focusing on caloric restriction have been conducted on different animals. The results show that restricting calories induces weight loss, improves glucose regulation, lowers blood pressure and reduces inflammation. Using the caloric restricted method in humans to gather more refined details outside a laboratory is difficult. Humans can’t and probably won’t eat particular portions of food for their entire life — just for an experiment. Instead, Sai Krupa Das, a nutrition scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing, was part of a team conducting the first controlled study on human caloric restriction. Caloric restriction on these individuals was pretty modest but was incredibly remarkable for reducing the signs of ageing! Genes linked to inflammation become more active when we age, while genes that regulate metabolism become less active. Takahashi’s study found that when timed with the mice’s most active period at night, caloric restriction helped offset those genetic alterations that change as mice age. 


This is where intermittent fasting comes into the mix

As you may know, intermittent fasting is a trendy diet that instils the same type of criteria as the experiment above. Takahashi’s team conducted a four-year experiment on hundreds of mice with automated feeders to control how much they ate for their entire lifespan. Some mice ate as much as they wanted, whilst others ate 30–40 per cent fewer calories. Mice fed a deficient calorie diet at night lived the longest over two or 12-hour periods. These results suggest very positive effects on time-restricted eating. More research is needed to delve into specific eating times and restrict calories to get the most benefits. This is what’s called the circadian rhythm. 


Key take away

I have used intermittent fasting for three years and find it extraordinarily beneficial for my health, weight loss maintenance and fitness goals. For years, I have been on diet after diet with no success, creating unfavourable consequences for my health. I turned it around with fasting and ticked many more health goal boxes than I would have with any other method. Please discuss with your GP how this method may work well for you, and try it out for 30 days. 

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