BEFORE WE START: I’d just like to remind you all that I did a marvelous interview with my friend Elaine Kissel, skilled hypnotherapist, on the subject of addictions and using hypnotic techniques to free one’s self from the grip of substance abuse.
It was a very good webinar and is well worth your time. See it on YouTube, here:
I was talking with Joe Mercola a few days ago and he shared the single most powerful intervention a person can make to improve and sustain a healthy life.
What do you think it was?
Get fit? Exercize more? Eat less? Eat wholefood? Plant-based foods? Nah… None of that boring old stuff!
It was about food, yes, true. But not WHAT you eat, or HOW MUCH you eat, but WHEN you eat. This is something relatively new.
Joe has started talking about an “eating window”. This is easier to understand than intermittent fasting or “time-restricted” eating, which are fashionable concepts just now.
In fact Joe went so far as to quote a study showing that 2 populations of animals, eating relatively poor food, same number of calories, had a different response, according to WHEN they ate! The animals which were restricted in the hours which they were allowed to eat lost weight, while the controls did not.
The animals which lost weight were not “on a diet”; they were on a schedule!
Applying that to humans, it means that reducing the number of hours you allow yourself to eat during the day is MORE IMPORTANT than counting calories, carbs, ketones or anything else! This could be an ideal formula for the would-be slimmer: don’t worry about your food, worry about how often you eat.
Joe suggested reducing your “eating window” to only 8 hours a day. Actually, he said when you get used to that, reduce it again: to a 6-hour window. The benefits are enormous.
You’ll drift in and out of keto-fasting states, in which your body performs the miracle clean up we call autophagy (Joe and I differed on pronunciation: he corrected me to aut-offagy, but even Americans don’t say aut-ommabeel (car) do you?)
Autophagy means “eating self” from the Greek. Not as scary as it sounds. It means cleaning up old senescent cells and tissue debris and then re-cycling it as healthy new cells. That’s one of the reason people who practice keto and intermittent fasting feel so rejuvenated. All the old trash and junk is mopped up, leaving you clear-headed, energetic and vibrant.
All my long-term subscribers know my maxim: that if you don’t leap out of bed in the morning, with excess bundles of energy to get through your day, then you are not truly healthy.
Not only autophagy but we also mobilize lots of stem cells, to readily make new tissues, to replace the old and beat up tissues. Remember the days, a few years back, when we had to buy Russian embryo stems cells to get youthful and healthy? That was always B*S* and I warned subscribers not to fall for it. We were not ready. Then, suddenly, we realized that are OWN stem cells are a priceless resource, available to us by taking a few simple steps… OF WHICH eating far less was the most important trigger!
The trouble is, we make one deadly and continuous mistake: we eat virtually non-stop. And by that I mean most people eat 12 – 18 hours a day. While one meal is still in our stomach digesting, we have a snack, or we are onto our next 1500-calorie binge! Cumulatively, we swallow a virtual river of food. And there’s a problem…
Our bodies are not hard-wired to eat this way. In the wild we were free-roaming, over plains or through forests, and ate when we could. 50,000 years ago, there was no Starbucks or MacDonald’s at every corner! That gap between meals, it has emerged, is one of the most crucial health issues.
Intermittent fasting has become established as the natural (biological) way to go for humans. We are hunter-gatherers. We walked through forests and over the plains, eating WHEN WE COULD, not when we wanted to. So our bodies are programmed for this intermittent eating: perhaps we should adopt the term intermittent eating, instead of intermittent fasting. The word fasting is scary to some.
See, we think of eating at 8.00 am and the snacking at 11.00 and having lunch at 12.30 or 1.00 as spaced out eating. It is not! The 8.00 mass of food has not shifted when we hit our guts again with the 11.00 and then the 12.30.
The New Way
It’s been said, wisely, that you have to change SOMETHING, otherwise you just keep ending up in the same place. If you are overweight, diabetic or pre-diabetic, it’s time to make a change. Maybe using just a narrow eating window will give you a new perspective on health.
You could try 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, or 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. What Joe and I are both agreed on is you shouldn’t finish late. Starting at 1.00 pm and having your last meal at 9.00 pm does no good. You go to sleep with a full stomach and don’t metabolize the food.
I remarked to him that, when I lived in Spain, it was common during the hot summer months, to siesta till about 5.00 pm, when it started to get cooler. But we would often go out with friend at 10.00 or 11.00 pm and then start a meal about midnight, even 1.00 am in the morning! It’s paradoxical, isn’t it, that Mediterraneans, who have a famously healthy diet, should violate basic physiology in this way.
But it has been argued that they are on the wrong time zone. They are on European time, yet sit mostly to the west of Britain and Ireland! In fact Spain is on the same time frame as Croatia, hundreds of miles to the east. Therefore Spanish time runs very late, giving sunsets around 10.00 pm in summer.
So maybe physiology is right after all. The Spaniards are just contrarians. Well, they were when I lived there! Ole!
If you want to know more about the SCIENCE of weight loss, you had better read my book “The Ultimate Science Of Weight Loss”:
Here’s a link to go check it out.
To leisurely dinners and trim waistlines…
Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby
The Official Alternative Doctor