In this modern age of multiple diet options and constant changeable diet opinions, you can now even debate over what time of day to eat in the quest to shed those extra kilos. If you were going to have only one meal a day in the quest to lose weight, what time of the day would you eat? The concept of just eating one meal a day to lose weight has been around for decades.
Lord Falconer lost over 35 kilograms in a two-year period by going without breakfast and lunch and then only having a regular sized dinner in the evening. He did eat apples throughout the day however. It is probably a no-brainer to see that it would work because you are roughly having only a third of what you used to eat. The problem with this approach is that many people feel tired during the day or become hypoglycemic and generally can’t stick with it as Lord Falconer did for two years.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2010, says that this type of intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, improved glucose metabolism and general brain function.
However, others disagree. The Journal of Cardiac Failure says that their research indicates that intermittent fasting can cause stiffening of heart tissue as well as light-headedness, tiredness and nausea.
Advocates of the one meal a day reinforce that it works due to a reduced calorie intake. However, nutritionist Tracey Hyam says such a diet can also give mouth ulcers and constipation as well as sleep problems. A low calorie intake has been linked to the inability to fall asleep and not able to go into a deep sleep. Many people reported that they have brain fog when just eating once a day.
Researchers have now found that you can eat as you always have, but only eat between the hours of 8:00 am and 2:00 pm. Dr Peterson from the University of Alabama, Birmingham says during this time “You’re eating as much as you’re burning but you keep more muscle and lose more fat.”
What surprised the researchers was that these people were not feeling hungry at night.
Metabolism is at its optimum in the morning including the ability of maintain stable blood sugar levels. Researchers say that the body has its own circadian clock and eating earlier may benefit your health.
Did ancient Chinese physicians believe the body had a circadian clock?
For more than two thousand years, Chinese physicians have allocated a two hourly time period each day that is devoted to each organ of the body.
When is the circadian time for the stomach according to Chinese medicine?
Surprise, surprise the optimum time for the stomach is 7:00 – 9:00 am in the morning! Interestingly the time between 9:00 – 11:00 am is allocated for the spleen. Chinese medicine advocates that the stomach takes in the food and the spleen digests the food thereby producing energy and blood. Western science has said that only having a meal at night time produces tiredness and problems with blood sugars. Chinese medical theory clearly understands this because the time period between 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the evening is when the stomach energy is at its lowest circadian ebb and thus struggles to digest a huge meal.
In another study, recorded in the journal Obesity, they found that obese women with metabolic syndrome fared better with weight loss when having a larger sized breakfast, a medium sized lunch and smaller meal at night.
This poses a problem for those people who just never feel hungry at breakfast time. Chinese medicine diagnoses these type of patients as having a stomach energy deficiency and is an important symptom to rectify in the quest to achieve optimum health.
So it looks like we are just back to listening to old wives tales again…”Eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper.”