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When to lose weight

There is a lot of emphasis put on eating the “right” foods. That is important; as obesity spirals out of control we need as a society to be looking more deeply and with greater thought at the foods that we embrace. New research shows however, that as well as what you eat, you should be looking at when you eat it.

It is said in many aspects of life that we live in a 24 hour society. You can access anything, anywhere, and anytime. That is exciting in some ways and disturbing in others and one of those “others” is turning out to be food because if you are constantly eating food throughout the day then you are lining up for weight gain.

This was shown in a new study where researchers put two groups of mice on a high fat diet. One group was restricted to eating for eight hours per day while the other group could eat 24/7, or in the archaic terminology of the pre-digital age, “around the clock”.

Both groups of mice consumed the same amount of food but the mice who were on a restricted eating time experienced less weight gain, had less inflammation, showed less liver damage and generally had fewer metabolic problems.

The researchers, from the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, made the observation that every organ in your body has a “clock” and that it will only work at peak efficiency for a certain amount of time during the day. Your digestive organs (stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines) need time to “sleep” during which time activities like the breakdown of cholesterol and balancing of blood sugars occurs.

When you eat randomly your organs do not get to turn off. Eating patterns have changed significantly over recent decades and the researchers say that this could be contributing to society-wide problems with weight gain.

So if you want to help yourself lose weight then give yourself restricted meal times and stop grazing throughout the day. Your digestive organs, like all of your body need a balance of activity and regeneration. Continuous activity does not acknowledge the need for replenishment and this is a reality for all levels of you: body, mind and soul.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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