Why you should stop eating 6 PM (natural intermittent fasting)

7 Aug 2020

For almost a decade, intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity and has become one of the most popular weight-loss trends. You might even be following this diet trend, without even realising it...

There is a big chance you grew up hearing that you shouldn't eat too late. This simple rule instructs us to stop eating several hours before bed and naturally creates a 10-15 hour fast (specially if we're not hungry first thing in the morning).

From 2002 onward, this pattern of eating has been known as "intermittent fasting" and it's been picking up speed as a weight-loss trend ever since.

Why intermittent fasting makes sense

To our grandmothers, it made perfect sense to give our bodies some rest – and take a break from eating. But there’s more to it than just common sense.

The human body operates in alignment with the sun. Our organs and hormones work differently in the morning than during the night.

 


 

Research shows that following a balanced diet and giving our body time to fast is a great weight-loss booster. Also, it can help with diabetes prevention, cardiovascular health and sleep quality.


 

In the evening, your digestion is slower and it can take longer to digest your last meal – especially if it was a big one. 

Digesting food late into the night can effect your sleep and your energy levels the next day. Being underslept, however, can also contribute to bad food choices and weight gain.

How to intermittently fast 16:8

  • Regardless of what you’re eating, the important part is to work towards fasting for 16 hours a day – preferably throughout the night
  • You can still eat 3 main meals during the rest of the day (8 hours)
  • If you’re hungry between meals despite drinking 1-2 litres of water daily, enjoy a healthy snack that has 100-200 kcal. Almonds, carrots and celery sticks with hummus, a few pickles and a slice of ham or simply an apple and some cheese - these are perfectly acceptable snacks.

If you’re used to eating late...

Especially snacking in front of the TV... Try to correct this bad habit by making small, progressive changes.

  • Have your last meal by 8 PM at the latest. After that, week after week, start eating sooner and sooner so you’ll dine between 5 and 7 PM.
  • Drink a cup of camomile tea with freshly grated ginger after your last meal. This will calm you down, get the digestive juices flowing, and slightly reduce your appetite.
  • Wash your teeth after your evening meal. This will reinforce that you shouldn't be eating anymore.
  • Go to bed early. Allow yourself to calm down before turning off the lights. Avoid TV, computer and phone screens. Listen to music, read or knit instead.
  • Stick to the same schedule on weekends. This will help you get used to your new habits even faster.

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