Losing body fat is a hard and an unpleasant experience, leading to a battle of willpower most days. However, the silver lining is that once you've stabilised at your goal weight it's generally an easier process to maintain.
So any little tips that can help the average Joe in their initial weight loss journey are always welcome.
A recent study looked at the effects of reducing daily eating window times.
The study consisted of 2 groups:
1. 1 group asked to push breakfast back 90 mins and move last meal 90 mins forward. Effectively reducing their eating window time by 3 hours
2. 1 control group with no changes
Both groups were instructed to eat their normal diets, the only difference being the shorter eating window in group 2.
The group with the 3hour shorter window lost twice as much body fat on average.
There's no magic happening here as the main reason for this extra body fat loss was that the restricted group ate fewer calories.
Big deal right? But it kind of is... as we know that to lose weight calories are king and anything you can do that helps with eating fewer calories is worthwhile trying out.
The most difficult time of day for many in a calorie deficit is the evenings, as the post-dinner cravings kick in. One effective method is to set yourself a food cut off point. This could be something like 8pm, where you mentally tell yourself "I don't eat after 8pm", rather than "I can't eat after 8pm", this is your choice and you're in control. You then brush your teeth and use this as a signal that your food for the day is done. Over time this can condition yourself to get out of the habit of night time binging.
To save your willpower also make sure all treats are placed well out of sight and reach.
I personally get all my meals within a max of a 12-hour eating window. While some of the benefits of a shorter eating window are debatable, there's strong evidence that reducing it can benefit blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and work better with enzymes required for digestion. As mentioned anything that can help you reduce calorie in the long term is worth looking into and trying yourself.
Have you tried Intermittent fasting / Time restricted eating yourself and what were your results?