A recent study backed by forceful evidence has revealed that when you eat can impact your chances of losing weight for good. It’s being referred to around the world as the “8-Hour-Diet”, and this revolutionary weight loss method has many convinced they’ve finally found the Holy Grail of dieting. The basic guideline is to only consume food within a set eight-hour window and, no matter what you eat or how much you eat of it, you’ll see the pounds fall off.
Based on an elaborate research study conducted in 2012 by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, this technique has since been refined into a comprehensive diet plan by the best-selling “Eat This Not That” author, David Zinczenko, and Men’s Health editor, Peter Moore, in their new book, “The 8-Hour Diet: Watch the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat!”.
According to proponents of the idea, our 24-hour eating culture is responsible for the high rate of obesity in society. “Our extended eating interval throws our digestive system off-kilter and messes with the many hormones and enzymes that manage it,” asserts Salk Institute lead researcher, Dr. Satchidananda Panda. Dr. Panda’s research and Zinczenko and Moore’s book explain that our bodies are incapable of properly processing food after hours, which results in extra pounds ending up on our bodies in places they shouldn’t – specifically the abdomen and hips. However, it is alleged that if you choose any set eight-hour window for eating, such as between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or even 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., you are free to consume as many calories and whatever type of food you desire — and you will still shed those extra pounds.
Experts also suggest that this method of dieting—targeting when you can eat to lose weight—is not only a great way to shed pounds, but also promotes better health overall. An eating regimen that includes intermittent fasting helps to prevent diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and even Alzheimer’s. Participants in the study displayed significant weight loss and reduced cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In a related study, conducted at the University of Copenhagen, researchers found that when men fasted every other day for two weeks, the insulin in their bodies became more efficient at managing blood sugar.
While the research behind this diet is promising, it is a bit premature to fully endorse the 8-Hour-Diet as a sure-fire way to lose weight and achieve better health. The current science behind intermittent fasting does support the diet’s theory, but you may want to hold off on binging for eight hours until more long-term studies of people participating in the diet are conducted.
One inherent flaw of the diet is that the authors purport that people can eat whatever they want in unlimited quantities, without gaining weight. Even if this claim proves to be true, the risks of eating certain foods in excess are not discussed. For instance, even if you could eat an unlimited amount of cheeseburgers in an eight-hour period without gaining weight, the potential cardiovascular and liver damages would be distressing.
The authors of the book also admit that this schedule of eating takes some getting used to. Since we aren’t naturally conditioned to eat in a limited time-frame, this method will take some adjustment. The societal norms of eating at every occasion certainly don’t help either.
Ultimately, this diet should be approached with caution and common-sense. The science behind intermittent fasting is promising, and the 8-Hour-Diet has a good scientific starting point. However, if you do choose to pursue this diet, it is recommended that, as always, you eat a healthy, balanced diet, and avoid binging on one particular unhealthy food.
Related Reading: Can intermittent fasting help you lose weight?