Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time Restricted Eating

Scientists and doctors all over the world were exonerated today when it was discovered that Japan's low obesity rate was due to the entire nation of Japan secretly jogging to Weight Watchers meetings once a week.  Doctors have been trying to tell us for years that obesity is being caused by eating too much and not exercising enough.  But since the Japanese were discovered to all be staying thin due to frequent exercise and carefully controlled near-starvation dieting, doctors now feel like a great weight of doubt has been lifted and people will trust medical experts once again.

In related news, the entire nation of France was discovered to be substituting low calorie ingredients for butter, eggs, and cheese.  The white flour in French bread was found to be made of a non-caloric substance which has yet to be identified.  The French have admitted to only serving delicious French food to tourists and other people they wanted to confuse.  The low obesity rate in France was once thought to be an enigma, but the finding that the world has been punk'd by the French has left many scientists unamused.

"Hey, wait a minute!  The Japanese are genetically thin.  Besides, all it takes is exercise to lose weight." said the brain-damaged janitor as he cleaned up the sweat off the floor after the sumo wrestlers finished their strenuous training.

Okay, I'll get serious.  Time Restricted Feeding (tRF) is a term the Salk Institute used to describe how they fed the mice in their obesity experiment.  I think time restricted eating is the best way to describe what I am doing.  It's not a diet per se, but rather a way of approaching eating that is little understood at this time.

My current experience has been that I have lost some weight and I do not seem to be gaining it back (I started this 2 months ago).  I am eating whatever I want (which horrifies some readers).  It is not my intention at this time to try and figure out what foods are the "healthiest".  Right now I want to know if what I'm eating causes obesity.  So far it does not appear to be the foods themselves, but rather the frequency with which they are consumed.

When I say "frequency", I am referring to one's insulin levels as a function of time.  Eating once a day could be considered too frequent if insulin levels are still elevated.  Eating five times a day may not be frequent enough if insulin levels are not raised and calorie consumption is too low.  Insulin in vivo is not a simple thing to measure right now.  So I'm stuck with guessing.

What I am really curious about is will time restricted eating ALONE lead to weight loss?  Is there more to it than that? I found that fasting does not produce the weight loss one would expect, but it does seem to produce some loss.  Much more needs to be discovered about time restricted eating.  This is practically virginal territory for discovery.  I'd love to just pick up a book and have it all explained to me.

The good news is that there is more left to discover.  The bad news is the first three paragraphs I made up at the beginning of this article :)

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