Updated: Sep 1
When you focus on WHAT you should eat each day, that checks off one box. But when you also recognize WHEN and HOW you eat, it activates your bodies metabolism that aligns your internal clock to upgrade your longevity and relationship with food and nature.
The Rhythmic Eating concept regulates your metabolism, decreases your desire for snacking, burns your deeper layer of fat, and drastically reduces your risk of disease. Other names related to this way of eating are intermittent fasting, space eating and body clock diet.
Sounds too good to be true? I know. This way of eating has transformed my body and mind ways I didn't know was possible. Before I share my personal experience, here's more information.
What Is Rhythmic Eating?
"Your natural body clock is synchronized with your external environment through cues like exposure to light and the timing of your meals...it's basically a form of time-restricted eating plan where you eat in sync with this internal clock." (source)
Basically, rhythmic eating spaces your meals to optimize how your body naturally wants to operate in relationship with nature, also known as circadian rhythm (your sleep/wake cycle). Having a light breakfast and dinner and larger lunch. Full, empty, full, empty. Sun up, sun down.
And that word "fasting" in the previous paragraph? Don't be freaked out. Anytime you're not eating (even while sleep), is a non-fed state, or fasting. Leaving a minimum of 3 hours in between meals with a set amount of feeding and fasting hours is best, like the 16/8 method. Close eating times overload your system, clog your senses, spike your cravings, and dampens your digestive fire.
Pros of Rhythmic Eating
You can improve the effectiveness of how your body burns calories, digests, and functions on a daily basis with long term effects that are being proven to really pay off.
Ideal weight for your body type (source)
Decreased risk of certain diseases (like type 2 diabetes)
Improves brain activity (source)
Benefits the heart
Changes the function of genes, hormones and cells (source)
These are the heavy hitters but on a settle level, you feel down-right amazing! Your senses become alive and you notice that what you NEED to eat for nutritional value also becomes what you WANT to eat. You crave bright vegetables, good fat, nuts/seeds, juicy fruits, satisfying protein, and less processed food. And on top of that, your mind thinks clearly and your emotions stabilize.
Methods of Rhythmic Eating
The 16/8 method is my preferred way to be in sync with my internal clock and nature's clock. 16 hours are non-feeding hours with an 8 hour window to have 2-3 whole meals. In between meals you stay hydrated with water and tea. I like this method because you can change the ratio of hours. If you're new to rhythmic eating, a 12/12 method is a great place to start. You can also try 14/10 or 20/4 if you want to try a new level. I take in account the season, my current work/stress load, and "why" I really want to do it.
The other methods, like 5:2 or Up Day Down Day account for having 1 to 2 days of very restrictive eating or fasting all together and aren't necessarily in tune with the circadian rhythm . I don't recommend these options if you're just starting out because it's easy to binge eat, loose weight too fast, and throws off your metabolism.
My Experience Rhythmic Eating
I became super interested in natural healing practices during my college years when my skin, eczema, depression, and monthly cycle were at their worst. That's when I rediscovered fasting. I experimented with colon and liver cleanses but they were often harsh and didn't allow me to go about my normal day, but aligning my eating with nature in an intentional way worked. I still was eating but dialed in WHEN to eat to maximize my healing time and digest easy foods at ideal times for my body.
Honestly, camping taught me how to do this.
Rhythmic eating, along with plant medicine, stress management, whole foods, and a therapist, I was able to heal a majority of my symptoms. This was also the time I had a family intervention because my depression was taking a stronger grip. Thank goodness for my family!
Since then, rhythmic eating has continued to be a part of my life when I feel the need for a full body reset or the seasons are changing. Like now! Practicing this way of eating with someone or a group of people is easier and way more fun.
Here are specific benefits I've experienced
Food tastes better
No more small headaches, stomach aches, bloating, or joint stiffness
Clearer skin (!)
No more being "hangry" in between meals
My thoughts are more clear and I can stay focused longer
My body feels light and bright
I think about food less
Want to learn more and try it out for yourself?
Sign up for the Rhythmic Eating Workshop Wednesday Sep 15th, 2021 under "offerings"
Join us for the 7 day Rhythmic Eating Challenge on Instagram Sep 16-23rd
Follow @nataliejacksonwellness and use the hashtag #rhythmfor7