I was listening to Dr. Satchin Panda speaking with Dr. Rhonda Patrick about his book The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy and Sleep Well Every Night. So interesting. He mentioned that as many of us know, our brain has a clock. This is why we get jet lag when we switch time zones. But he also mentioned that all our organs have clocks.
When we finish a meal at 6pm, it takes five hours for our digestion organs like the pancreas, liver, and stomach to finish their work and turn off for the night. However, if we have anything other than water, for example a cup of tea with a half a teaspoon of sugar at 9pm, that five-hour process starts all over again.
Just like our brain needs hours of rest, our digestive organs need that rest too. This is when they recharge and metabolize all the things we put in our body. And if we fire them up again at 9pm for a five-hour shift ending at 2am, they may only get five hours rest until we eat breakfast again at 7am. That is not enough time.
He talked about some experiments he did with two groups of mice. Both groups were genetically identical from the same litter. Both received the identical amount and type of high-fat food. The only difference was that one group could graze throughout 24 hours and the other group could only eat in an 8-to-10-hour interval. The time-restricted group became lean and muscular with decreased fatty acids in the liver. The 24-hour group was riddled with weight gain and disease. Incredible.
He spoke about a doctor-friend who recommended this time-restricted eating plan to one of her patients as it had always worked for her patients in the past. Six months later he had seen no change. She asked if he was eating in the 12-hour window (for example 8am to 8pm). He said he was. She asked if he drank anything after 8pm. He said he did have his one gin and tonic as she was not taking that away from him. She asked him if he could have that drink before dinner instead. Within the window. He agreed. And when he returned six months later, he had lost weight, gained muscle, and decreased the fatty acids in his liver.
This seems like a small change that is reasonable. As they say, timing is everything.