Time-restricted eating (TRE), is a form of intermittent fasting. Contrary to modern belief, our body isn’t designed to be fed throughout the day and the near-continuous grazing that most engage in can have serious health consequences and weight gain.
When you eat throughout the day and never skip a meal your body adapts to burning sugar as its primary fuel, resulting in the down-regulation of enzymes that utilise and burn stored fat. As a result, you become progressively more insulin resistant and start gaining weight.
Many biological repair and rejuvenation processes take place while you’re fasting, and is another reason why all-day grazing triggers diseases while fasting prevents them.
There are a number of different fasting regimes, some of which are more extreme than others, but all are based on the premise that you need to fast for periods of time. TRE is one of the easiest to follow as you simply abstain from food for 16 to 18 hours a day and eat all your meals within a window of two to eight hours. A four- to six-hour window is close to metabolic ideal for most.
By restricting the timing of your meals so that you’re fasting for a greater number of hours than you’re eating, your body will, over time, learn to burn fat for fuel, rather than relying on sugar and fast-burning carbs. Soon, you’ll start accessing and burning stored body fat.