Have you ever heard the term ‘metabolic jet lag’?
Much like the jet lag that we are more accustomed to (the one that sometimes follows international flights), the idea of metabolic jet lag comes from eating at such irregular patterns that your body is unable to adjust properly to gaining the benefits of your nutrition. Think of it as placing your stomach in a timezone for which it is not equipped; everything comes a little slower, and a bit more sluggish.
In a study conducted in 2015 in medical journal ‘Cell Metabolism’, it was determined that changing the times of your eating habits can have drastic effects on your health.
Per the study, it was found that people generally eat breakfast about an hour after waking up but on weekends, this was delayed until two hours after waking. However, it also showed that we can tend to have bad habits of eating for a longer period of time.
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“People start eating] two or three hours later,” Shubhroz Gill PhD said via Harper’s Bazaar. “Then they [continue eating] until midnight or 1am, because they typically stay up longer on a Friday or Saturday night.”
“Before we had electricity, before everybody was going to work Monday through Friday, taking the weekend off, there was no difference between a Monday and a Sunday,” Gill continues. “The waking and sleeping times were primarily governed by sunset and sunrise times.”
What does this mean? Waiting until 1pm to eat brunch on a weekend will play havoc with your body clock. Not just that, it can lead to further health problems like diabetes, obesity and high blood sugar.
How do we avoid this? The idea is to restrict yourself to the same 12-hour eating schedule, for example 9am to 9pm. People who have managed to reduce their eating window from 14 hours to 12, or even 10, have seen a 21% drop in their calorie consumption.
And a drop in your calorie consumption can be a vital part of an overall health strategy.