Why it’s important WHEN we eat

WELCOME BACK my healthy fam! I hope you are doing well and are thriving. I am very excited to share todays blog post with you and hope you enjoy reading:

So, we already learned that a calorie is not necessarily a calorie. A hundred calories of chickpeas has a different impact than a hundred calories of chicken or Chiclets, based on factors like absorption and appetite, but in the second half I go a step further and explore how even the exact same foods eaten differently can have different effects. Even if you eat the same amount, even if you absorb the same amount, a calorie may still not be a calorie. It’s not only what we eat, but how and when.

Just to give you a taste, the exact same number of calories at breakfast are significantly less fattening than the same number of calories at dinner. What?! That’s just mind-blowing. Same calories, different weight loss. A diet with a bigger breakfast causes more weight loss than the same diet with a bigger dinner. So, my recommendation to stop eating after 8/9 PM is not just because, you know, I’m afraid people are mindlessly snacking on the couch or something. The same snack at night is literally more fattening than eating the exact same snack during the daytime.

Some of the sleep data is really crazy too. Overweight adults were randomized to eight weeks of either a calorie-restricted diet or the same diet combined with five days a week of just one less hour of sleep a night. Now, they ended up sleeping an hour later on the weekends. So, overall, they just cut three hours of sleep out of their week. Now, surely 3 hours a week of sleep difference is not going to change how much weight they lost, right? And on the scale that was true. But in the normal sleep group, 80 percent of the weight loss was fat, whereas in the group missing just a few hours of sleep, it was the opposite, with 80 percent of the loss being lean body mass. So, you snooze you lose—fat! A few hours of missed sleep seemed to totally flip fat loss on its head, but just looking at the scale you wouldn’t know it.

It’s like when people fast. Stopping eating completely for a week or two can cause more weight loss than just restricting your calories, but paradoxically, it may actually lead to less loss of body fat. Wait, how can eating fewer calories lead to less fat loss? Because during fasting your body starts cannibalizing itself and burning your own protein for fuel.

The scale made it look as though they were doing better when they were fasting, but the reality is they were doing worse. They would have lost more body fat if they had kept eating; they would have lost more body fat, eating more calories. Short-term fasting can interfere with body fat loss, not accelerate it.

On the other hand, even just drifting in the direction of eating more healthy plant foods is associated with living longer. Those going the other way, though, those who start out more plant-based but then add meat to their diet at least once a week not only appear to double or triple their odds of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and weight gain, but may also suffer an associated 3.6-year drop in life expectancy. That’s going from no meat to just once-a-week meat or more.

Low-carb diets have been shown to impair artery function and worsen heart disease. Whereas, whole food, plant-based diets have been shown to actually reverse heart disease.

So, what appears to be the most effective weight-loss diet just so happens to be the only diet ever proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients. If that’s all a plant-based diet could do—reverse the number-one killer of men and women—shouldn’t that be kind of the default diet until proven otherwise? And the fact that it can also be so effective in treating, arresting, and reversing other leading killers, like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Only one diet has ever been shown to do all that: a diet centered around whole plant foods. You don’t have to mortgage your health to lose weight. The single healthiest diet also appears to be the most effective diet for weight loss.

After all, permanent weight loss requires permanent dietary changes—healthier habits just have to become a way of life. And if it’s going to be life-long, you want it to lead to a long life.

Thankfully, the single best diet proven for weight loss may just so happen to be the safest, cheapest way to eat, for the longest, healthiest life.

Do you need help with creating healthy eating habits with yourself? Well, that’s what I am here for 🙂

As a Health Coach, I am mentoring my clients to create and maintain long-term lifestyle changes to enhance their overall quality of life. In addition to supporting clients with specific goals, I empower my clients to choose health-promoting behaviors that work for them. I raise awareness and offer support as clients move in their own bio-individual ways toward the greater health they want for themselves. My coaching hopefully leads to long-term behavior change, but only because I help my clients do the meaningful work that forms a strong foundation.

How can I help you? Are there any changes you wish for yourself? Is your health the best it could be? You can book your free consultation with me now: