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September – Time Restricted Feeding Challenge

Welcome to our Monthly Challenges

Did you know you subconsciously work harder when there’s an end date to your goals?

The shorter time frame keeps you actively putting effort in, particularly when it’s the end of the month.

Your Goal in September is: Follow Time Restricted Feeding

The “Challenge”

It’s probably not right to label this a challenge, think of it more as a 30 day experiment. For this month you are going to try limiting your daily meals to a 12 hour feeding window. What does that mean? It means from your first bite of food or drink (except water!) in the morning to the last bit at night should be no more than 12 hours.

In practice that could simply mean having breakfast at 7am and making sure you’ve finished dinner by 7pm. It eliminates late night snacking and has other proven health benefits. Additionally, you should aim to have your last meal at least 3 hours before bed to aid digestion, and if possible avoid eating in the first 45-60 minutes of your day to allow natural processes to take place.

Your morning coffee has to fall within your 12 hour feeding window

Health Benefits

This is sometimes referred to as intermittent fasting and has proven benefits for the body. The latest research in this area has been done by Dr Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute, author of The Circadian Code.

  • Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF) has been used to reverse pre-diabetes and help control blood glucose levels.
  • Early research has shown a reduction in the risk of certain cancers from following TRF, as well as reduced inflammation.
  • By allowing the body a sustained period of time without food it will likely improve your digestion.
  • Improved sleep. By allowing several hours between eating and bed time you won’t interrupt the body’s natural process of winding down.
  • Fat loss. By lowering blood sugar levels our bodies will increase fatty acid oxidation and burn more body fat.
  • Study participants have seen increases in lean muscle mass, improved heart function and improvements in aerobic endurance from following TRF.
  • Additional benefits have been shown from further restriction to an 11 hour feeding window each day.

Tips

  • Expect to feel hunger in the first few days, this is very similar to the 12 hour fast required for some blood tests and hunger pangs can be quite intense at first.
  • Focus on fibrous foods to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • You don’t necessarily have to eat less, simply condensing it into an 11-12 hour window has been shown to produce health benefits without any reduction in total calories.
  • There are several apps like the Zero Calories – fasting tracker that allow you to set a timer after dinner and keep an accurate measure of how long it is you should wait until breakfast.
  • If you have the time, try going for a morning walk before breakfast. A 20-30 minute walk will distract you from morning hunger and give you a better chance of keeping to the feeding window.
  • If you feel lightheaded, weak or dizzy, eat! The aim is to improve your health, not jeopardise it, so don’t push your body if it feels detrimental.
  • Consult a doctor if you are unsure if Time-Restricted Feeding is safe for you, for example if you are pregnant.

Thanks for reading, please share this article with any friends and family you think might be interested in Time-Restricted Feeding.