Thumbs Up: Why grazing is only good for cows
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9-12 hours of fasting till we get up in the morning means that we have given our gut rest. - Satchin Panda

Heads Up—once again NEW nutrition research appears on the horizon!  So here is a self-check on your current understanding of healthy dieting—how many of these principles do you apply to daily food intake?

• Eating small meals throughout the day fires our metabolism and if we miss one meal or body will jump into starvation mode, eating away our muscle and brain tissue to survive--- 

• Breakfast should never be skipped, or one will be tempted to overeat throughout the day and suffer from brain fog and mental impairment—

• To keep our bodies at optimal function, eat small meals throughout the day, portioned for 600 calories or less, from protein and health grains.  This keeps us from the dreaded H word (hunger), which kicks in our animal instincts to eat everything in sight—

These dieting guidelines are so—last year, good for cows but not as helpful for the human! So,WHAT would be your best approach to diet in 2017, with all the enthusiasm and commitment those New Year’s Resolutions fired up?  

Turn your attention to the exciting new research on Time-Restricted Eating.  Your body is run by your circadian biology (a 24-hour internal clock running your brain and body cycles between: awake & alert to create and respond; and sleeping & resting for cell rejuvenation).  A small pigment found in your eye is nor for ‘seeing images’, but rather for communicating time-of-day to the basic sensor (on-off switch) that manages your circadian rhythm.

Our human body, like that of other ‘animals’ is designed to move during the day and rest during the night.  Now that we have electricity and light 24-7, cool and heat 365 days/year, the normal signals and triggers for this natural cycle of exertion and rejuvenation have been erased. Compelling research shows that a daily 9-12 hour fasting window has very positive effects on glucose metabolism (diabetes anyone), lipid profiles (heart disease anyone), favorable changes in lean muscle mass and gene expression.

According to the American Heart Association, adopting a time-restricted feeding paradigm (not eating later than 5, 6, or 7PM) results in improved cardiovascular health, sleep improvement, impacts systemic inflammation and shifts blood biomarkers (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides) back to near normal (even in the context of a low-quality diet).  Research also found that poorly timed consumption of food or medications has subtle behavior on our tissues. 70% of FDA drugs are subject to circadian effects and are either less effective or more effective at certain times of the day.  In a word—timing is everything!

Wanna give it a try:  Here are a few simple rules of thumb:

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH—on yourself!  Don’t start the habit right away.  Track your eating habits for 2 weeks, noting what you eat, when you eat….and why you eat.

2. After you have figured out your eating window, choose a new time window that you think you can reasonable adhere to for at least 12 weeks.  (This is how long it takes to form a new habit).  Most folks take their last meal at 5, 6, or 7PM, beginning their break-fast the following morning at 7-8AM.  Remember, it is best to drink only water during the fasting window each night.

3. Once you’ve got this—try to stay with it as a way of life.  Focus on that first and last meal of the day…and watch your body rest, rejuvenate, and restore!




JoEllen Koerner, PhD FAAN


PS—Want to be part of this exciting unfolding research?  Join researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, learn and make a contribution to science!! 

Get the app…..and track away!  Its free!!