What is Time-Restricted Feeding
Time-Restricted Feeding: A Simple Explanation
Intermittent Fasting? Time-Restricted Feeding? Diets? Meal plans? Meal schedules? My goodness, so much new information to absorb. Where to begin?
Good news…we will keep things very simple here. We want to create your success, not analysis paralysis, so…
…Time-Restricted Feeding is, for all intents and purposes, one of many intermittent fasting protocols used for, not only weight management, but better health and wellness too.
In the simplest of terms, TRF means having a set number of “fasted” hours per day, followed by a set number of “fed” hours per day. In other words, it is a daily schedule of when to eat, when to not eat. Nothing more.
To be really clear before moving on, intermittent fasting, in any of its forms or variations, is NOT a diet.
The Leangains Method: Our Chosen Time-Restricted Feeding Plan
One of the most common types of fasting is the 16:8 protocol made popular by Martin Berkhan. In our humble opinion, it is not only the easiest to implement and stick to but also the most convenient as well.
As noted above, during a Time-Restricted Feeding program, there are two “windows” scheduled daily, a “fasted” window and a “fed” window.
With the Leansgains (16:8) method, you have a 16-hour fasted window, followed by an 8-hour fed window. (Don’t be scared…you will be sleeping for most of that fasted state anyway.)
How Do You Choose Your Time-Restricted Feeding Windows
One of the beauties of intermittent fasting is the individuality of the programs. They should be set, and followed, based on your lifestyle, your needs, your schedule.
So, when setting out on a Time-Restricted Feeding program, we highly recommend that you set your “feeding” window around your daily routine.
Time-Restricted Feeding Example #1
You work a more common 9-5pm job…you could fast from 7pm to 11am (16 hours), leaving your feeding window 11am-7pm (8 hours).
Time-Restricted Feeding Example #2
What if you work afternoons or evenings, say 1-9pm? A minor shift in hours might be more beneficial….fasting from 11pm to 3pm (16 hours), leaving your feeding window 3pm-11pm (8 hours).
You can see how both of these examples make use of your sleeping patterns, thus providing the fewest waking, fasted hours possible. This is beneficial for pretty obvious reasons we think.
Additionally, in both examples, your “fed” hours allow you to make use of lunchtime at work, as well as, dinner time with family and friends. If not, adjust one direction or another and boom, you’re all set.
Eating Less On a Time-Restricted Feeding Schedule
Time-Restricted Feeding has been shown to reduce the number of calories consumed over the course of the day. This makes sense when you consider having fewer hours to eat, thus fewer hours to “make bad choices” as well.
Some studies have shown 20-30% caloric intake reductions when following a Time-Restricted Feeding protocol.
It is, however, important to note, if an individual is choosing to eat extremely high caloric foods during their “feeding” windows, a caloric deficit may not be seen. (We tend to think that person would have also, most likely, been choosing those foods anyway, thus, simply having fewer hours to eat them should provide a benefit nonetheless.)
Burning More Calories with Time-Restricted Feeding
One great thing about fasting is the ability of the body getting into a state called ketosis – where your body is primed to burn fat faster. Once the body has entered the state of ketosis, it begins breaking down fat for energy.
Because you’re fasting already, it helps the body break down glucose stores at a faster rate and speeding up the process to burn all the fat off.
Working Out While Following a Time-Restricted Eating Plan
What if you exercise regularly (which you should be doing by the way)? Can you follow a time-restricted feeding schedule without ruining the benefits of your workouts?
Absolutely! In fact, studies have shown no adverse effects on strength gains, endurance or recovery, while seeing loses in bodyfat of up to 15%.
These studies absolutely coincide with not only our personal time-restricted feeding results but also almost all of those we have coached through its program.
One thing we will say, noticed far and wide now, training in a fasted state if it works within your schedule, amazing results! And yes, you can and will, get in great workouts, without pre-workout meals…if you choose to go that route.
Post-Workout Nutrition When Using a Time-Restricted Feeding Plan
Obviously, for most people, their training time revolves around their daily routine, not their feeding schedule. This is completely understandable and expected.
However, if it is even remotely possible to do so, one of the absolute best ways to create a true win-win, for your time-restricted feeding success, is to make your post-workout “meal”, your first feeding of the day.
If you are being ultra-smart about this and using a post-workout shake, you will not only be “breaking your fast” in the most efficient manner possible but also, as you may very well know, be refeeding your body after your workout in the most effective manner…with easily digested carbs and proteins.
Wrapping It All Up
In a nutshell, time-restricted feeding is quite possibly, the most convenient, real-world, nutritional lifestyle known to man. Is it the holy grail for everyone? Absolutely not. And anyone claiming that…should be overfed for 24 hours straight. Just kidding!
Seriously though, we have been around this game long enough to know for certain, there is no magic pill, potion or plan that will work for all. We do, however, feel strongly, that time-restricted feeding allows the masses to better their health and wellness without the confines and strict requirements placed by most “diets”.
Remember, what you put in your mouth matters, so please do not think that following any intermittent fasting protocol simply allows you to countless fast food calories during your hours of feeding. Be smart…time-restricted feeding or not.
If you are looking for a way really convenient, now proven way to look, feel and perform better, intermittent fasting may be a good find. Give it a try. Let us know how it goes or if we can help.
You only have one life to live, one body to live it in…so take care of it. Progress, not perfection. Good, better, best with your food intake and some form of “movement” daily. Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water. We are here to help so feel free to drop us comments or questions as often as you’d like…and always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.
Live a 3D life…Decisions Determine Destinations!