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Heather Benek


February 19, 2024

Time Restricted Feeding


  • First thing in the morning have 8-16 ounces of still water
  • Have your first caloric intake 1 hour after waking
  • Especially for women or those on a 28-ish day hormone cycle, prioritize a balanced breakfast to stabilize your blood sugar levels (fruit/veggie, 20+g protein, complex carb, low to no added sugar)
  • Finish your last meal/snacks/caloric drinks 2-3 hours before going to sleep
  • For best results, prioritize a regular sleep routine (your sleep can make or break your health)

What is an eating window and why does it matter?

An eating window is a given amount of time in which you are intaking calories and fueling your body. It can also be called “time restricted feeding” or “time restricted eating”. The purpose is to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm to support digestion and nutrient metabolism, regulate hormones, and additional physiological processes. In other words, an eating window can help your body operate as intended.

By utilizing an eating window of 10-12 hrs (ex: eating only between 7am and 7pm), you’re giving your body time while you’re sleeping to spend its energy helping your body achieve optimal functioning instead of using that time for digestion. A big part of this is clearing out of compromised and old cells. Food must be finished digesting for this to happen. Aim to have a balanced breakfast 1 hour after waking (waiting too long past the one hour mark can cause blood sugar irregularities, especially for those on a 28 day hormone cycle) and finish eating 2-3 hours before going to sleep. It’s beneficial to keep as much consistency as possible with meal times as this supports your body’s circadian rhythm (aka, your body’s inner clock).

My favorite time of day for water

First thing in the morning. Commit to it. Love it. Give your body a fighting chance. The reason this is my favorite time to prioritize water intake is because your body has been working hard all night to get rid of what you no longer need and water helps make that hard work worth it by having a mode of exit. If we don’t have enough water in our systems to eliminate toxins then our bodies are forced to reabsorb what is already put in the metaphorical discard bin. Start your day with 8-16 ounces of still water.

Sleeping is better than scrolling

Your brain, mood, and health rely on your quality and duration of sleep. Poor sleep increases your risk for disease and disorders such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia. A few common sleep disruptors are caffeine, alcohol, and screens. Try to let your last caffeine intake be at 12pm or earlier. Experiment on yourself and go a month without alcohol, does your sleep change? Give yourself 1-2 hours of screen free time before bed. The light from screens is confusing for our brains and our natural melatonin production. When we pass from day to night our body and brain gets the message that it’s time to prepare for sleep, but the light from our devices is saying, “stay awake, you’re mine”. I know it sounds hard to put your devices to bed before you go to bed, and initially it will be. But you are worth it. You deserve to sleep like an angel and feel like a badass.


Intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating role in dietary interventions and precision nutrition Good Sleep for Good Health

Heather Benek

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