The body has a 24-hour clock that determines when and how metabolic processes occur. For instance, certain hormones including melatonin, which induces sleep, are released at higher levels in nighttime, just as certain metabolic processes occur more at night. Other hormones, such as cortisol, are also released more on awakening and decline over the rest of the day. Scientists say this biological clock plays a key role in our overall health.
Researchers say time-restricted food consumption could work in synchrony with the body’s internal clock to regulate the body’s metabolic processes. For instance, intermittent fasting, which involves skipping a meal or two every day or every other day helps the body regulate sugar and also induces weight loss as it pushes the body to burn off extra calories.
The researchers hope that a better understanding of how food affects the body’s internal rhythms could help optimize our overall health.