Watching the clock might be a better way of losing weight than watching the scales, scientists say. It also seems that watching the clock can improved your sleep, and help to prevent diabetes. Scientists studying the effects of daily fasting on humans have found that if you eat all your meals over a span of just 10 hours, then fasted for the rest of the day, your health would benefit in myriad ways. The plan, called “time-restricted eating,” is similar to “intermittent fasting” - a practice growing in popularity. To lose weight or improve health, those fasting intermittently don’t eat - or follow a Spartan diet that mimics fasting – for a day or more every week or month. Why yes, you can eat yourself happy. Here’s how Time-restricted eating, by contrast, limits a person to eating all of their daily calories in a relatively narrow window – say, from 8am to 6pm. Practiced daily, time-restricted eating widens the period during which the body’s major visceral organs are put into a state of rest and recovery. There is more than enough research showing that erratic eating patterns, shift-work, and modern-day habits like get-up-and-go breakfasts and midnight snacks have contributed to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Satchidananda Panda, a biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, said that by getting into a consistent daily cycle of feeding and fasting, one might reset the ebb and flow of fuel intake with the body’s natural rhythms. “Every cell, every organ has its clock, and every organ needs downtime to repair, reset and regain its rhythm,” Panda said. “When all your organs have rested and rejuvenated every day, they just work well,” he added. “It’s almost like an orchestra: when all the musical instruments are in tune, and work well together, it’s a melody, not a cacophony of sounds.” For the new research, Panda and his colleagues measured what happened when 19 people were asked to do all their eating during a 10-hour window every day for 12 weeks. The participants were allowed to choose their own 10-hour window, and could vary it slightly, say, if they had an early breakfast meeting one day or a late dinner on another. How to get your diet on a plant–based path All the study’s subjects had a condition known as metabolic syndrome. Sometimes called “pre-diabetes”, metabolic syndrome makes a person five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and it doubles the risk of developing cardiovascular disease within five years. Until now, all doctors could suggest was more exercise and fewer calories, and that hasn’t been very successful. In the pilot study, the participants limited their “eating day” to under 11 hours for 12 weeks. They reduced their calorie intake by almost 9 per cent, lost an average of 3 per cent of their body weight, and reported more restful sleep – all improvements that could disrupt their progression from metabolic syndrome to diabetes. As a group, participants reduced their belly fat – a sign of future heart disease risk – by 3 per cent. The results were published in the journal Cell Metabolism . Researchers caution that this is just a small study, but a bigger one is on the way. This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.