Healthy Tip of the Week: Try Time-Restricted EatingBy Stephanie Eng-Aponte Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D. Science-Backed
Each week, we’ll highlight some of our favorite healthy habits and the benefits behind them. We’ll also share a quick and simple tip from Heather Lake, a Jenny Craig Health & Lifestyle Contributor, to help support your weight loss goals and inspire you throughout the day! This 12-week series will focus on everything from the benefits of a time-restricted diet, to delicious ways to incorporate more protein into your meals.
Hi, I’m Heather Lake, a health and lifestyle contributor for Jenny Craig. This is your healthy tip for the week: Try time-restricted feeding or a Daylight Nutrition Strategy. Follow your body’s natural circadian rhythm and eat the majority of your meals during the daylight hours. The concept is simple: Eat during a 12-hour time period (say 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and refrain from food and caloric beverages for the remaining 12 hours (this is when you sleep!). By eating in tandem with your natural rhythm, you’re working with your metabolism when it’s working most optimally and letting it rest when it naturally isn’t working as hard. Jenny Craig’s most effective program, Rapid Results, includes this strategy to help you see results sooner!
What is time-restricted eating?
Time-restricted eating, also called time-restricted feeding (TRF), is a weight loss strategy that emphasizes eating meals and snacks within a certain time period — but it’s not really as “restrictive” as it might sound.
A time-restricted diet, like Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results program, provides a balanced meal plan that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even dessert! Jenny Craig’s take on time-restricted eating is referred to as a “Daylight Nutrition Strategy,” and encourages you to follow your body’s circadian rhythms, natural processes that follow a 24-hour cycle of light and dark.1 On Rapid Results, you’ll eat throughout the first 12 hours of the day during daylight hours and then allow your body to rest and digest during the remaining 12 hours — most of which is spent sleeping. So, if you ate your first meal at 8 a.m., you would enjoy your last meal of the day before 8 p.m.
Time-restricted eating and circadian rhythms
Photo by Ari Alqadri on Pexels
Following a time-restricted eating pattern may help you to work with your circadian rhythms and could play a part in weight loss. Here’s how a time-restricted diet helps to support a healthy lifestyle.
Support your metabolism. Your metabolism is a series of chemical reactions that happen in every cell of your body, helping to turn the food you eat into energy. Your body burns calories while it works to digest food, absorb the food’s nutrients, and turn those nutrients into energy; all of this may be impacted by your circadian rhythms, experts say. This process isn’t as efficient at night as it is in the morning, they explain.2 One study found that eating late at night may be linked to a higher risk of prediabetes and high blood pressure,3,4 so enjoying your meals earlier in the day may help bolster better health, too.
Feel satisfied throughout the day. “Front-loading,” or eating a higher-calorie meal earlier in the day, followed by a reduced-calorie dinner at night, may be linked to weight loss, one study found.5 Overweight women who ate a high-protein breakfast in the morning and a lighter dinner at night, lost a significant amount of weight compared to those who skimped on breakfast and ate a calorie-rich dinner.5 Rapid Results menus are structured in a similar way — you’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast in the morning (the most important meal of the day!) and your subsequent meals will slightly taper in calories as you approach evening.
Sleep well at night. Your circadian rhythms also influence your sleeping patterns,1 which can be affected by when you eat. Eating food close to when you fall asleep may result in negative sleep patterns, one study found.6 And because poor sleep may be connected to weight gain, getting your zzz’s is key! With Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results program, you can structure your meals around your schedule to ensure you have plenty of time to digest before bed.
Whether you’re struggling with weight loss or are just starting on your journey, a time-restricted diet like Rapid Results could help you to learn and benefit from healthy habits, all while supporting your weight loss efforts. Looking for more ways to make weight loss work for you? Check out these simple tips!
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.
Favorite healthy snack: green apple slices with sunflower butter
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig