I can’t eat less, exercise any more than I already am so HOW do I lose weight?
Enter Time Restricted Eating or TRE.
What exactly is TRE and how can it help turn your frustrations around?
Before we get into that a tiny physiology lesson is warranted. Every time you eat your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin which helps digest and use the food you just consumed. There is a percentage of the population that OVER SECRETES insulin (usually genetic) and therefore exhibit hyperinsulinemia every time they eat.
WHY is this a problem? If you eat frequently you end up having a lot of insulin in your system which increases inflammation, propensity to gain weight (and not lose weight) and the worst of all your pancreas and liver become fatty due to all the insulin and glucose hanging around in your system.
The research is now showing that medications are just putting a band-aid on hyperinsulinemia. The most effective therapy is to restrict the times you eat and keep them in a much shorter window- hence TRE. Increased time of fasting allows your pancreas and liver to release the glucose that has been stored up thus allowing your organs to work more efficiently and reset to increase metabolism.
There is no one right way to do this except to start eating within a 12-hour window and then progressively lower this to a 8-10 window. The more weight you have to lose, or the higher your glucose or cholesterol are, the shorter the window should be.
How do you do this? If you start eating breakfast at 8 am you finish with the last bite of food at 8 pm. If you are using a 10-hour window you finish by 6 pm and so on. The longer the fasting window the greater the reset and the more cleared out your pancreas and liver are of glucose, thus increasing propensity towards achieving your goals.
The other caveat is to stop eating at least 3 hours before bed (nothing but water or black coffee or tea) so your body ends the digestion and elimination process (which takes at least 5-6 hours to complete) a few hours into sleep and the pancreas and liver rest overnight and reset. If you eat even a morsel before bed your body does not end this process till 3-4 am which deprives your body of the restore and repair mode of sleeping.
TRE has been linked with multiple health benefits besides weight loss, glucose and cholesterol control. It can eliminate heartburn, lower risk of gut issues, Alzheimer’s and increase restorative sleep. How’s that for some good news? Since there is no one right way, start with what makes the most sense to you and play with the amount of time till you start to achieve your desired results. Your metabolism will start working again and the frustration, weight and health problems will start melting away.