Waking up naturally in a dark room makes for difficulty predicting what time it might be. I try to avoid looking at the clock because I could very well find that only ten or fifteen minutes remain before my morning alarm is set to go off.
The other option is to lay still while staring into the dark. If enough time passes, checking to see what time it is becomes less harrowing. I also might find that lolling away in the dark has made me hungry. People who get hungry late at night normally grab a bite… which is asking for trouble. I know because I was a night-eater when I was obese.
The Twelve Hour Window for Good HealthA few years back, scientists posed a question, gathered some mice, and the question was put to the test. In that particular case, the eating patterns of mice were explored. Some mice ate high-fat food whenever they wanted while others consumed the same diet, but only within an eight-hour window.** The mice that ate whenever they wanted grew fat and developed symptoms of** ** diabetes**. But the mice in the eight-hour window did not gain too much weight and had no metabolic problems.
In a recently published study, adult male mice were fed one of four diets. They included a high fructose diet, a high-fat diet, a combination high-fat and high-sucrose diet, and a diet of regular mouse kibble. Some mice were allowed to eat whenever they wanted, and other were restricted to feeding periods of 9, 12, or 15 hours. The caloric intake was the same for all the test animals.
Some of the mice in the time-restricted group were occasionally allowed to eat whatever they wanted on weekends, and some of the non-restricted group were shifted to a time defined window about half-way through the 38-week study.
The end results were that those mice allowed to eat whenever they wanted grew obese and ** metabolically ill**, reproducing the results in the first study. What was discovered was that mice on a schedule remained thin and healthy, even if they strayed from the diet on weekends. In addition, mice that were shifted from the non-restricted group to a time-restricted group lost some of the weight they gained after the move.
Researchers believe that sticking to strict meal times allows the body to predict when it will eat and helps to prepare for the burning of calories. An eight hour window seems to repair the harm done from an unhealthy diet.
Related articles:** Will Late Night Eating Cause Weight Gain?**
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.