“A lot of people are confused about calories, but on the whole, we can tell the time,” says Michael Mosley on Radio 4’s Just One Thing. That’s why changing when, not what, you eat is such an effective health tip – specifically, eating your breakfast later and dinner earlier to create an overnight gap of 14 hours between the two meals. Finishing dinner at 7.30pm and having breakfast at 9.30am would do the trick. Your 10-hour eating window should start one to two hours after you wake up and end three to four hours before you go to bed.
This expanded overnight fast has been shown to help people lose weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and even help them sleep. This is because it fits with our internal body clocks – if you’ve had a late dinner, fat and sugar are still hanging around in your bloodstream, disturbing your body’s preparation for sleep. It’s not just scientists who are fans. More than 2,000 years ago, Buddha told his followers that not eating in the evening meant he could be “light, energetic and live comfortably”.
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