Could you not eat for 12 hours to burn more fat?

I fully admit that I am one of those people that loves to snack. I usually try to keep it to healthy snacks, though, and tend to indulge throughout the day without thinking much of it, since I'm usually eating pretty well. The same goes for when I'm feeling peckish at night. Although I don't often have dessert right after dinner, I'll very frequently have a sweet snack before falling asleep, thinking that I'm not doing much harm. Apparently, though, I'm doing a LOT of harm to myself since new studies are revealing that, if you want to burn the most fat, you should not be eating for 12 hours (roughly between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.). But can you do that? I'm not sure I could.


Read more ¿Qué más? How to pick a diet to burn the most calories

I don't find it very difficult to wait to eat when I wake up in the morning but I do think it is going to be pretty hard for me to not snack before going to bed around midnight. I think I could keep it to not eating for eight hours, sure, but 12 hours? That would be really difficult. The science seems to be saying that this is exactly what we should be doing, though. According to Satchin Panda, PhD, associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, there is an explanation for this method: 

Your body is more prone to burn fat at certain times of day and store fat at other times. Staying up and eating late is a very recent phenomenon in human history. It takes a few hours to use up the day's glycogen stores. Eating only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and then not eating for at least 12 hours, should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night.  Fasting at night can even override most of the negative effects of an unhealthy diet, including weight gain. 

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It's interesting to note that Panda's study found that mice who ate a high-fat diet throughout the day became obese and diabetic while mice that ate the same diet but only over 12 hours during the day didn't gain weight and stayed healthy. I mean, honestly, this all sounds pretty astounding to me. Not eat for 12 hours and I can eat junk food during the other 12 hours? That honestly sounds like a dangerous proposition.

Do you think it's true you can eat unhealthy for 12 hours and still maintain your weight? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: weight loss  junk food  healthy eating


on Jun 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

LOL If that was true there wouldnt be soooooo many o us trying to loss the EX LBS!!!

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on Jun 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

So NOT true!!! Several times i go without eating for 10-16 hours at a time..(really bad habit and really bad for you).. and NO you will not 'burn more fat', all it does is make your body store more fat. no eating for several hours, your body will get used to not have anything--no food, no energy, and when you do eat your so hungry that your body will store all it can instead of processing the food bacause the body tells itself 'we dont know when we'll get more food, so we need to store all we can to have enegry for later'.  Inturn you actually put on wieght when you dont eat cause the body will store it for energy for later. so eating several small meals and snacks a day is ideally the way to go, yes you might put on a few lbs in the begining but it will balance out. of course exercise is always needed to.

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