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Time Restricted Eating and Fasting: Nature’s Recipe To Reduce Inflammation and Aging

Dr. Craig Smith, MD

4 Min read

In the quest to defy the aging process, a multitude of options, including an annual 18 million cosmetic surgeries in the US, are pursued. However, for those seeking to roll back the years without invasive procedures or costly treatments, the answer may lie in the transformative effects of fasting and time-restricted eating. Before delving into the specifics of anti-aging fasting, let's explore what fasting entails and the broader benefits associated with intermittent or regular fasting.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting:

When we consume food, our bodies utilize it as fuel to sustain us. Excessive food intake leads to the storage of energy as unwanted fat, contributing to health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Intermittent fasting, a dieting pattern rather than a diet, offers a solution.

Intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted eating (TRE), involves abstaining from calories during specific time intervals within a 24-hour period. A popular method is the 16:8 approach, where one refrains from consuming calories for 16 hours and eats within an 8-hour window. This fasting method incorporates anti-aging into one's lifestyle seamlessly.

Unlike restrictive diets, intermittent fasting does not prescribe specific foods or portion sizes, making it an attractive option for those aiming to lose weight without stringent guidelines. Many individuals inadvertently practice partial fasting during their eight-hour sleep, unknowingly benefiting from a fasting state.

Time-Restricted Eating for Disease Prevention:

Beyond its impact on aging, time-restricted eating has demonstrated its effectiveness in combating cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States. By mimicking calorie restriction, time-restricted eating positively influences blood pressure and cholesterol levels, crucial elements in reducing the risk of circulatory diseases. Lowering these markers plays a pivotal role in preventing blocked arteries, heart attacks, and strokes.

Distinguishing Fasting and Time-Restricted Eating:

While time-restricted eating focuses on a specific window within 24 hours for abstaining from food, complete fasting entails not eating at all during a 24-hour period. Some individuals opt for extended complete fasting, consuming only water, coffee, or tea over several consecutive days. Although complete fasting enhances autophagy, the process of eliminating dysfunctional cells and potentially slowing down cancer, it is advisable to undertake it under medical supervision.

Can Intermittent Fasting Turn Back the Clock?

Time-restricted eating contributes to a youthful appearance and enhanced well-being by reducing inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation, a response to injury or illness, can lead to various aging-related symptoms such as low energy, skin issues, memory decline, and a sluggish metabolism. By mitigating inflammation, time-restricted eating addresses these concerns and fosters a more vibrant and youthful overall state.

Addressing Wrinkles with Intermittent Fasting:

Time-restricted eating offers multiple ways to combat wrinkles, with improvements in skin elasticity being a notable aspect. Skin elasticity, a key indicator of skin health, refers to its ability to stretch and bounce back. Aging leads to reduced skin fibers responsible for elasticity, resulting in sagging and wrinkles. Fasting can contribute to improved skin elasticity, countering the visible signs of aging.

Benefits of Time-Restricted Eating:

Apart from its impact on physical appearance, time-restricted eating offers a range of benefits for overall health:

  • Improved brain health and function: Enhances concentration, clear thinking, mood regulation, and mitochondrial efficiency, reducing oxidative stress for a more efficiently functioning brain.

  • Diabetes management: Lowers insulin levels, aiding in the management of diabetes symptoms.

  • Cardiovascular health: Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

  • Inflammation reduction: Alleviates chronic inflammation, contributing to better overall health.

  • Blood sugar control: Fasting helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, crucial for preventing diabetes and heart disease.

Unexpected Challenges of Time-Restricted Eating:

While the focus on time-restricted eating often centers around its metabolic and weight management benefits, the psychological effects are equally crucial. Acknowledging the social aspects of this eating pattern is essential, as adhering to a strict schedule may pose challenges for individuals with varying chronotypes (natural inclinations for alertness and activity during specific times of the day). Striving for individualized practices that align with preferences and chronotypes enhances effectiveness and sustainability.

Strict time-restricted eating schedules may lead to stress, sleep disruptions, and social isolation during meals, particularly for individuals whose chronotypes clash with recommended eating times. Recognizing the social and cultural dimensions of eating is paramount for long-term adherence to any dietary regimen.

Fasting for Holistic Health:

Numerous studies on intermittent fasting highlight its positive impact on various aspects of health:

  • Improved diabetes management: Fasting aids in better blood sugar control.

  • Cardiovascular benefits: Fasting contributes to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  • Enhanced sleep quality: Studies suggest that intermittent fasting positively influences sleep patterns.

  • Mood regulation: Fasting has been associated with improved mood.

  • Cognitive function: Fasting may contribute to better cognitive function, preventing age-related decline.

The combination of the 16:8 method of time-restricted eating with resistance training can even yield muscle tone improvement and increased strength. Overweight individuals have achieved successful weight loss through specific eating windows, and those at risk for type 2 diabetes can safely adopt time-restricted eating for metabolic benefits.

Caution and Moderation:

Fasting is not a daily prescription; moderation is key. While fasting offers rewards for physique and health, correct and consistent implementation is crucial. Alternating days of fasting can be considered for those desiring a more frequent fasting approach. It's essential to emphasize that fasting is not a diet but a lifestyle change; maintaining good health necessitates incorporating healthy foods into one's eating habits.

Research Continues:

Scientific research continues to unveil the potential of fasting and time-restricted eating in reversing visible aging signs. Individual results may vary based on factors such as age and initial health status, but many individuals report positive changes within weeks.


In conclusion, fasting and time-restricted eating emerge as potent tools in the pursuit of timeless vitality. These lifestyle approaches not only address visible signs of aging but also promote holistic health, from cardiovascular well-being to cognitive function. As with any significant dietary changes, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional to ensure appropriateness for individual circumstances.

About the Author

In 1984, Dr. Craig Smith founded Lifesource. As a coach, he's worked with world-class athletes and guided thousands towards successful weight loss. Driven by a desire to elevate his understanding of the human body, he returned to the rigors of medical school in his 50s, achieving his goal of becoming a physician at 56. Now in his 60s, Dr. Smith leads by personal example, continuing to inspire, educate and empower individuals from all walks of life to achieve their health and fitness goals. If you wish to train and diet online with Dr. Smith, hear his message and schedule a 45-minute consultation on the New You page.