Fasting, circadian rhythms, and time-restricted feeding in healthy lifespan

This review by Longo & Panda was ‘fair,’ and by now you know my take on intermittent fasting (IF) vs. caloric restriction (CR).

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If you don’t, Tl;dr: since forever, all the studies on IF showed no benefits over regular CR. That tune changed when they switched from testing IF skipping breakfast to IF early dinner (eTRF), although the latter has only been explored in a few #contexts. eTRF seems to be an actually beneficial use of IF (over CR). Eg, insulin sensitivity & satiety improve with or without weight loss.


Indisputable fact: the 24-hour light/dark cycle has been around way longer than humans; our circadian rhythms are based on this and it’s more essential for life than nearly anything else.

For example, humans have survived on a wide variety of diets around the globe over time. We can eat almost any diet and as long as it’s not too much, you’re fine. You can even go without ANY food for pretty long (months) and still be OK. Try not sleeping for a couple weeks.

You Die. Literally. Game over. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

See also: Scott Kelly’s health after spending a year in space (adequate food & sleep but lacking Earth-appropriate circadian cues)

Drs. Longo & Panda are relatively biased toward IF, although this review was fair imo (with some unfair points, eg, stating IF is the opposite from grazing 6+ meals per day when there are obvious in-betweens, like 3 square meals with no snacking, especially when combined with an early dinner & front-loading calories like 50/30/20 or 33/33/33 eTRF).

For my complete review of this article and more information about IF vs. CR, head over to Patreon! Join the community of over 300 members for up-to-date information about a variety of topics in the health & optimizing wellness space. At 5 bucks a month, can’t beat it!

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