Thursday, January 3, 2013

The 8 Hour Diet


Most diets deliver weight loss by restricting what you eat. The 8 Hour Diet takes a different approach. It delivers weight loss by restricting WHEN you eat. Eat what you want for 8 hours, but then eat nothing for the next 16 hours. Could this work?


Surpisingly, the 8 Hour Diet has very little in common with the 4 Hour Diet. The underlying concept of the 8 Hour Diet is simple: our bodies aren’t designed to eat around the clock. By restricting our eating to an 8 hour time window each day, we return to a healthier eating pattern and naturally lose weight. Authors David Zinczenko and Peter Moore explain this in detail for their book “The 8-Hour Diet” with plenty of support for their theory.

One supporter is Dr. Satchindananda Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His research shows a relationship between the amount of light pollution at night with the incidence of diabetes. He postulates that the invention of the electric light has extended our feeding times. Our body clocks (called circadian rhythms when you have a PhD ) have not adjusted to this bonus time, causing us to eat food when our bodies are naturally expecting to rest.

Dr. Panda devised an experiment to test this theory. Since he wasn't in a position to limit food intake in humans (some pesky laws kept getting in the way, probably) he experimented on the noble lab rat. Half of his rat population received all the food they wanted, whenever they wanted it around the clock. The other half of the group had all the food they wanted, but only for 8 hours out of every 24. After 100 days, the around-the-clock eaters were heavier than the 8-hour eaters. Boom: theory supported!

How does that translate for us non-rat folks? Simply put, you can eat whatever you want, but only during your pre-selected 8 hour time window. Once your 8 hours are up, you can’t eat ANYTHING. During your fasting 16 hours you are permitted water, coffee and tea. That’s it. No snack time before bed. No midnight refrigerator raid.

So pick the 8 hours of the day that work best for you. As long as the eating time us during daylight hours, the actual start time is up to you.  Zinczendko and Moore predict that you will lose weight, feel better and avoid diabetes; all without skipping a single calorie!

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