Q. Why has intermittent fasting been overlooked?
A. Until now, science hasn’t spent a lot of time studying how our bodies change throughout the day. Also, we’ve been taught that a calorie is a calorie. But we are learning that when you eat that calorie, it can make a difference in what happens to it in your body.
Q. Why is this groundbreaking?
A. Because the new science shows throughout the day your metabolism is changing based on your internal clock, your circadian rhythm. Just like your sleep rhythm, you have a metabolic rhythm. When you eat is as or more important than what you eat.
Q. Why is timing of meals critical to weight loss?
A. By aligning what you eat with when your circadian rhythm is expecting certain foods, you can take full advantage of your metabolism to maximize health and weight loss.
Q. Does what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner need rethinking?
A. Most Americans eat long after the sun sets. I get the majority of my calories at night, which is what most of us do. According to science, this is the wrong thing to do. Your body’s circadian rhythm takes its cues from the sun.
Most people probably know about our internal clock because it helps us know when we should go to sleep and when we should wake, but it also sets our bodies up for the right time to eat. And our bodies want us to eat during the day when the sun is up and fast at night,when it’s dark. So, we need to flip the way we eat and make breakfast and lunch our biggest meals and dinner the smallest. I’ve done it (salmon burgers, veggies and cold resistant carbs most mornings) and it’s amazing what a difference it makes. I have more energy (like I was 20 years younger again). I sleep better and it is easier to keep my weight constant.
Q. Can you eat a meal like this early in the morning to help lose weight?
A. I often skipped meals and got most of my calories at night, like most people. At first I was skeptical about changing when I ate, but I felt better after eating my biggest meals early. I have more energy and I don’t feel hungry in the evenings.
Dr. Michael Roizen writes about wellness for the Cleveland Jewish News. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.