With the advent of the internet, information is readily available for all of us. In some instances, this is incredible. A great example of this is a boy named Easton LaChappelle. At the age of 14, he decided he was going to make an affordable prosthetic arm. Fast forward a few years, and guess what, he made it happen! Do you want to know where he learned how to do it? You guessed it right if you answered THE INTERNET! It is amazing what the internet can do.
Now, if all the stories about the internet ended the same as that one, we'd live in an even better world. But, sadly they are not. There is a lot of misinformation out there. A lot of stuff that will confuse people. Just google, "how to lose weight" and you will find an incredible amount of resources. So which one to follow?
Every single person is unique. Each body is different. That being said, one "diet" or method may work incredibly well for one person, and terrible for another. That is why we experiment. This is my second go at trying time restricted eating, intermittent fasting, or whatever the heck you might want to call it. I work well with rules so I set them. I consume food between the hours of 6:30 am and 2:30 pm. I am busy coaching from 3:00 to 6:30 so there is no time to eat anyway. I go home, make some tea, read a book, and then go to bed. Some days I am hungry, but other days, I have no problem. The key to this for me is being busy. If there is idle time, I will fail. That is why I forget all the rules and eat whenever I want on the weekend. I don't want to fail so I create rules that work in my favor. When Monday arrives, I am back on track. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been sleeping great, working out with enthusiasm, and feeling awesome.
Why do I do this? For a few years, the simple reason is that I overeat. Restricting my eating to a small window allows me to overeat at meals, but still keep the calories in check. I am basically just skipping a meal. The more complex reason, which is a reason I don't yet fully understand, is to reduce inflammation in the body. When you're constantly metabolizing food, your gut never gets a rest. It is working non-stop. When you take a break from eating for a period of time, it gives your insides a little time to relax. A healthy and happy guy is at the root of optimal health. It makes sense to take care of it.
And one more thing...
The more you eat, the greater the likelihood of causing inflammation in the body. So if you don't eat past 2:30 pm, which means you are basically skipping dinner, that is 5 less meals a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year and you have 260 less meals eaten. Kind of crazy when you think about it!
If you want to try it out, I recommend scheduling the non-eating part of the day during your super busy hours. If it is the morning, then don't eat until 9 or 10. If your busy at night, then fast at night. If you are busy in the middle of the day, then you are screwed! Just kidding. Maybe you use a basic eating window like 10 am to 6 pm. Then adjust it from there. Keep your eating window open for 8 hours and make healthy food choices. Sorry, doritos and snickers do not count!
If you want more scientific info on the topic, search Valter Longo and Ruth Patterson. They have great interviews with Rhonda Patrick on her podcast. They've done the research and it is impressive!
Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!