There is exciting new research that shows a special type of eating strategy called the “time-restricted eating (TRE),” sometimes referred to as intermittent fasting - is one of the most profoundly effective strategies to regain your metabolic flexibility. It promotes insulin sensitivity, decreases insulin resistance, and improves blood sugar management by increasing insulin-mediated glucose uptake rates. This is important not only for resolving type 2 diabetes but also high blood pressure and obesity.
It also catalyzes a very powerful clean up tool of your body called autophagy. This is when your body removes damaged cellular parts and recycles them to make new ones. Without this process actively engaged, your body can be likened to a very old automobile that has not been maintained.
TRE generally involves restricting your eating window to only six to eight hours, which mimics the eating habits of our ancestors. While there are a number of different TRE protocols, the best preference probably is fasting daily for 16 to 18 hours and eating all meals within a six- to eight-hour window.
If you are new to the concept of TRE, consider starting by skipping breakfast and having your lunch and dinner within a six- to eight-hour time frame, say 11 AM to 7 pm, making sure you stop eating three hours before going to bed. It is a powerful tool that can work even in lieu of making other dietary changes. In one study, when 15 men at risk of type 2 diabetes restricted their eating to a nine-hour window, they lowered their mean fasting glucose, regardless of when the eating window commenced. It is best to pick times that work for you and your family's schedule, but typically, the more time you leave between your last meal and your bedtime, the better the benefits.
Another major benefit of TRE is improved mitochondrial function. Most of your cells produce nearly all of their energy via the mitochondria. They are also responsible for apoptosis (programmed cell death) and act as signaling molecules that help regulate your optimal genetic expression. When your mitochondria are damaged or dysfunctional, not only will your energy reserves decrease, resulting in fatigue and brain fog, but you also become vulnerable to degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative decay.