Andrew Huberman – Dr. Satchin Panda: Intermittent Fasting to Improve Health, Cognition & Longevity
- Andrew Huberman interviews Dr. Satchin Panda, professor and director of the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies
- Dr. Panda’s laboratory has made numerous important contributions to mental health, physical health, and human performance
TRE – Time-restricted eating
- Intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding are umbrella terms for reducing calorie intake for one or more days in a week or a month
- Initial experiments involved 8 hours of feeding and 16 hours of fasting
- Popular literature and media often refer to time-restricted eating
- Time-restricted feeding involves confining all energy intake from solid and liquid food within a consistent window of 8-12 hours
Mealtimes and the circadian clock
- Eating at the same time each day can help the body anticipate when food is coming and optimize digestion.
- When daylight savings time changes or when traveling through time zones, it can take up to three days for the body to adjust.
- Eating at the same time each day can help the body adjust to changes in the external environment.
- Consistency in the start and end of the feeding window is important for taking advantage of the body’s anticipatory activity.
Physical activity and the feeding window
- Studies have shown that time-restricted eating (for 4-6 hours) has benefits for weight loss, but only in healthy individuals who were monitored.
- 8–10 hours of time-restricted eating may be the ideal starting point, and 12 hours may be beneficial for those who are physically active.
- A study in Europe found that both groups (usual feeding and 12-hour time-restricted eating) lost the same amount of body weight and improved their health.
- Eating within 12 hours does not change nutrition quality, but combining it with physical exercise and better nutrition quality may be beneficial.
- Fire allowed humans to extend their day and socialize in the evening
- Coffee was introduced as an evening activity in Istanbul in the mid 16th century
- Eating something with coffee became a way to prevent gastric distress caused by caffeine intake
- Caffeine should be delayed a few hours after waking to allow natural waking up signals to occur
- Complete fasting is practiced in many religions as a way to cleanse the body and has been found to have health benefits.
- Fasting clinics in Germany provide strict supervision and small amounts of food or soup to participants.
- Fasting has been linked to weight loss, but there is also evidence that it can have a positive impact on mental health.
- Future studies will explore the effects of periodic fasting on brain health.
Fasting is not about just giving time for the gut to rest. It’s also giving time for the brain, the heart, and the other organs to rest.
For those who are trying to lose weight and improve their health, what we have found is that people who do time-restricted feeding or intermittent fasting, they end up eating less in total, but they don’t feel hungry because they are giving their gut a break.