I’m often asked about diets… — Which is the one I would recommend, and while I do have an answer to this question, I would venture to say that WHAT you eat is not as important as WHEN you eat.
When you eat, your blood glucose rises.
Sugar rises the fastest.
Complex carbs are next, in the form of pasta, rice etc.
Vegetables tend not to have such a sharp curve,
Protein has a gentler curve with fat being the lowest in terms of the glucose spike.
When you eat, glucose goes up.
When you don’t eat, glucose subsides.
Our cells have specific jobs to do, also known as gene expression. We want our cells to be doing what they are meant to be doing at the right times.
Mostly, they are either doing housekeeping, cleaning the body, or they are processing food into energy. These functions are tied to 2 markers, the first being our circadian rhythm ie how we sync to the ebb and flow of daylight. When daylight wanes, our genes want to get busy with their cleaning chores. The 2nd marker is glucose in the body, which needs to be assimilated into energy units. When the food parcels arrive, the Insulin team wants to pack these into the right places for energy, muscle growth etc.
What happens when there are 2 teams of workers in the body at the same time? The one team is there to clean, while the other team wants to deal with all the glucose, proteins and fats.. Simply said, neither team is able to do their jobs efficiently when on the same shift. The teams become stressed since they are not working in optimal conditions. Our cells become confused when they have to multi-task with digestions and maintenance.
This is why it’s important to allow your glucose to drop, and not eat for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
While there is no need to hold your fasting times with a stopwatch, ie some leeway is ok, try not to eat during the first hour of awakening.
IF is best initiated by shifting your food intake window by an hour a day a day. Try not to go from eating breakfast every day, to suddenly eating one meal a day. It’s like diving off the deep end. You’ll have no energy and it takes a few days to re-set the clock. Shifting the eating window by one hour a day until you find your optimum window, is advisable.
Lastly, when the weekend arrives, and even though you’re having a cheat day, try to stick to your IF times, because a break in the pattern, will have the effect of throwing your body off its clock again.
Extending the body’s cleaning crew shift is probably one of the healthiest adjustments you can make when it comes to longevity. Disease happens when the garbage piles up in your body. Letting your cleaning crew do its job and then work a double shift, (eating later) will significantly improve your chances of remaining free from disease and other sugar-related maladies. Fasting is a mind re-set. You are separating yourself from you body’s habitual access to food. I know you’re not a mouse, but in lab studies, mice who had access to food all the time, vs those who were only fed in a given window, lived 30% longer lives…. Perhaps it’s time to act like those mice.