I have to confess something to you!!!
I have mentioned this in the past and I will mention it again today.
When I was growing up most if not all of our gatherings centered around food.
Obviously Thanksgiving was a big one. Going to Mema and Papa’s house for smoked turkey, cornbread dressing and of course a ton of desserts.
Christmas eve at my parents house centered around mexican food. Being from San Antonio what else would you expect? I remember going to the Delicious Tamale Factory ( yes that is the name of the business) and getting dozens of regular and jalapeno flavored goodness snuggly wrapped in that corn husk.
Birthday parties were always big with a meal and a table full of desserts, including my favorite cake (German Chocolate), ice cream, pies, cookies.
Okay you get the picture.
While no one in my family was grossly overweight we all tended to eat a lot.
We do have some minor health issues that run in the family but nothing I would cause or call alarming.
So what is this secret I need to confess?
I love food!!! Not just the sweets but all of it.
My favorite type of food is Mexican but I certainly won’t turn down Italian, Chinese or steak and potatoes.
Why am I bringing this up?
Today I want to introduce you to a new topic that I have been reading about and experimenting with. It is something that can help you with controlling or even losing weight and improving your overall health.
What I am about to tell you can also help with managing your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cardiovascular health and cholesterol.
Most of us at some point, and especially as we age we start to take on more problems which usually means more medications unless we do something to actively slow or reverse our misfortunes.
A new term you may or maynot be familiar with is Metabolic syndrome. It is a combination of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance), Cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides (cholesterol), and increased inflammation.
In turn this can lead to poor sleep, increased body weight (waist circumference), chronic medication usage, decreased life expectancy and poor recovery from an injury, surgery or illness.
If the body is not running in tip top shape then everything else you try to do is more difficult.
Most people look for a quick fix. A trip to the doctor, pop a few pills and go on their way. Lets face it, the world wwe live in now is a microwave culture. We want what we want and we want it now.
Unfortunately our health is not one of those things. Unless you were born with a genetic defect or disease our current state of health is due to our choices.
Our choice to skimp on sleep, not eat our fruits and vegetables, not working out and instead going for the hoho’s and ding dongs.
As I have mentioned in the past, ignoring your problems usually doesn’t make them go away and your health is no exception.
You have probably tried dieting but let’s face it, that doesn’t work for most people. And even if it does the weight seems to come back on as soon as you resume your normal eating habits, usually with weight gain.
Do you ever wonder what that yo-yoing does to your metabolism, cells and organs?
Ok then what is the solution?
There have been several studies performed on Time Restricted Eating (TRE) and the results are impressive. Basically TRE is timing your eating with your natural circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythms are the natural sleep wake cycle however with the advent of electricity and modern technology most of us don’t follow our bodies natural rhythm.
This normal pattern helps to regulate our endocrine system (hormones), autonomic nervous system (relaxation vs. fight or flight = stress) and digestion to contribute to a balanced system.
There are numerous benefits of incorporating TRE including weight loss, decreased blood sugar (A1C), reduced LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, waist circumference and improved sleep.
By performing TRE, most participants naturally ate fewer calories that helped contribute to the weight loss.
During the day your body has certain functions it must maintain, the same is true at night when you sleep. Read more about sleep HERE and HERE If you eat late at night and then go to sleep your body is kept from doing its job because it must digest the meal. This is a disruption of the natural circadian rhythm.
This leads to feeling groggy when you wake, unstable glucose levels and it prevents autophagy “cell clean up” that occurs when you sleep.
Autophagy is a fancy term that is equivalent to the garbage man picking up your trash. It is a cell waste removal process that happens when you fast. When it is allowed to happen it results in improved cell efficiency and body functions.
How to perform TRE
Anytime you are not eating means you are fasting. When you sleep you are fasting. To perform TRE simply extend the time that you do not eat ideally up to 13 hours a day, but feel free to get there slowly.
Another thing to consider is to have your last meal at least 2 hours, preferably 3 before you go to sleep. This allows the body time to digest the meal so it can focus on sleep and recovery.
For example let’s say you have dinner at 7 PM and you go to bed at 10PM. Great that allows you body time to digest the meal.
If you normally get up at 6AM to shower, eat breakfast and get ready for work, try to extend the fasting time to 8AM. During that time you can have black coffee, green tea or water any liquid is fine as long as it doesn’t have any calories in it.
From 8AM to 7PM eat normally (hopefully clean) which means limited processed foods, sugars etc. See my tips for healthy shopping and snacking
Repeat the next day.
I have personally been experimenting with TRE for the last 6 months. At first I thought going that long without food would be tough but I found it was more of a mental thing.
I do notice a little bit of increased hunger in the mornings after a long bike ride but once I take in some fluids I feel great.
Normally, I have a cup of black coffee in the morning, head to work and get busy.
I take a break between 9-10AM and have a piece of fruit and a protein shake, lunch at noon, snack @ 3PM and dinner between 6-8.
My greatest struggle is the timing of the evening meals. Most nights I workout after I get home and then like to have a meal to replenish my energy stores.
I use my Oura ring to track my sleep. The interesting thing I have noticed is that when I have a large meal or eat too close to bedtime my heart rate and body temperature stays elevated during the early part of the night and I don’t get as much deep sleep. I typically feel less rested the next day.
So there you have it, my secret confession.
I encourage you to look into TRE if you are suffering with metabolic syndrome, poor sleep, weight gain or struggling with recovering from an injury or illness.
If you would like to chat more about TRE then email me or connect on our Facebook page.
“A healthy man has thousands of wishes, a sick man has only one”. –Agnes Karll Schwest Krankenpfleger
Remember the KEY is to start so small that it is impossible to fail. –Kaizen
Have a great week and let me know what you found most helpful.
To Your Health,