When we are done with Ramadan fasting, we are allowed to eat at all times, but do we really want that? Probably not. Knowing the consequences of snacking at random times and late-night eating, you might want to rethink your eating routines.

Inherently, our bodies are blessed with the ability to detoxify themselves naturally without any effort from our side. However, according to Dr. Mark Hyman (family physician, and a thirteen-time New York Times bestselling author), eating at different times each day and at any time without any limit, negatively affects our body’s ability to rest, repair and regenerate. While the benefits of having meals at set times every day, and within a limited time window, has been shown to:

  • Optimize digestion.
  • Improve body composition by increasing the muscle mass and therefore, increasing metabolism that helps in fat burning.
  • Improve our ability to learn, analyze, memorize, make decisions and staying alert which can boost our productivity as working people.
  • Reduce general inflammation in the body.
  • Reduce cell damage from oxidative stress.

Is time restricted eating different from calories restricted eating?

Yes, Time restricted eating is just about limiting the period of time in which we eat, and keeping the same eating schedule throughout the days, no matter what we eat. In contrast, calorie restricted eating is more about counting calories, and limiting the amount of food we eat, no matter what time we eat.

Time restricted eating does not have to be difficult and does not mean starving ourselves. It can mean having dinner at 8 in the evening and having breakfast the next day at 8 in the morning, keeping 12 hours of non-eating for our bodies to rest. It sounds like a natural way to live!

You can extend the non-eating time up to 14 or 16 hours as well, by pushing dinner to be earlier and breakfast to be later, but you do not have to do it if it does not suit your lifestyle.

Starting the first day of Eid, we can begin shifting our eating schedule to daytime by having breakfast in the morning. However, we will need to gradually accustom our stomachs to receiving food and that is by starting with small light meals and slowly increasing the meal size throughout the day if tolerated.