Dr. Satchin Panda is a professor at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, and author of the new book “The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight”.
Dr. Panda is a frequent speaker in international conferences on metabolism, exercise and chronic diseases. His research focuses on how circadian clocks regulate behavior, physiology and metabolism. His discovery of how a blue light sensor in the eyes affect sleep-wake cycle, depression and alertness is leading a new revolution in managing light to improve health. Recently he discovered that maintaining a daily feeding-fasting cycle – popularly known as Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) – can prevent and reverse many chronic diseases.
Like most people, you probably wake up, get hungry for meals and doze off in bed around the same time every day. If you’ve ever experienced jet lag or pulled an all-nighter, you know that this schedule can easily be thrown off kilter. But for some people, that imbalance—difficulty sleeping at night, hunger at odd times, or sudden fatigue at noon—is a constant. If you're one of those people, Dr. Panda, one of the leading researchers on circadian rhythms, has a plan to reset your body clock.
Beginning with an in-depth explanation of the circadian clock—why it’s important, how it works, and how to know it isn’t working—he outlines lifestyle changes to make to get back on track. It's a concrete plan to enhance weight loss, improve sleep, optimize exercise, and manage technology so that it doesn’t interfere with your body’s natural rhythm. Dr. Panda’s life-changing methods show you how to prevent and reverse ailments like diabetes, cancer, and dementia, as well as microbiome conditions like acid reflux, heartburn, and irritable bowel disease.
During our discussion, you'll learn:
-About TRE, and how it's related to the circadian code…6:25
- You're mindful of your first and last calorie of the day; you want to intake calories within a set period of time each day.
- Why it's a time restriction, as opposed to a caloric restriction.
- TRE is more practical for the modern lifestyle than to restrict the food you eat with no time restrictions.
- Lab tests showed that mice ate the same amount of calories with TRE as without.
- Tests involving humans have shown that TRE has resulted in improved overall health.
- Good news for people who are tired of constantly being “cold and hungry” while trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
-The truth about Hugh Jackman's “Wolverine” Diet…10:30
- Ate a lot of protein in an 8-9 hour window; resulted in putting on a lot of muscle for Wolverine.
- TRE is becoming a trend among Hollywood actors.
- Many bodybuilders are using TRE; it's simply more practical and easier on the body.
- It's difficult to ascertain what is the best mode of TRE for each individual. Best to discover for yourself through trial and error.
-How TRE affects endurance sport athletes…18:00
- Tests have been conducted on mice, not humans thus far.
- Question was: will mice lose endurance when they have a small window of time for eating?
- Mice eating an unhealthy diet on TRE far outperformed mice with the same diet with no time restrictions on eating.
-What is the optimal timeframe when utilizing TRE?…23:45
- Most American adults eat more than 12, even 15 hours per day.
- The easiest (and healthiest) way to start incorporating TRE is to eat a later breakfast and an earlier dinner.
-Why Dr. Panda believes that drinking a cup of coffee “breaks a fast”…29:30
- Most people put cream and sugar in their coffee. Black coffee is preferable.
- A dependence on coffee to “get going” in the morning is an indication you're not getting enough sleep.
- By “fasting” Dr. Panda is referring more to resting your organs than not consuming calories.
- You can't repair a highway with traffic on it.
- Coffee can “reset” the circadian clock. A cup is akin to being exposed to an hour of bright light.
- After noon, coffee affects your ability to have deep, restful sleep at night.
-About “Zeitgebers” and how you can use them to reset your circadian clock…38:30
- We have “clocks” throughout the body.
- Light affects the “brain clock.”
- Changing your eating schedule is a more powerful way to reset your circadian clock.
- Jet lag occurs more often after lunch. Eat a big breakfast, a smaller lunch or no lunch, and a good sized dinner.
- This may differ depending on your physical activity.
-The best time of day to exercise…43:50
- Late in the afternoon.
- Our ancestors had to get home (run) before dark. We've adapted to exercise better in the afternoon.
- “The circadian advantage”: A West Coast based NFL team playing Monday Night Football on the East Coast has an advantage because of the time difference.
-About “bi-phasic” sleep. Is it true that our ancestors would sleep, then wake up in the middle of the night, then go back to sleep?…48:00
- “Common” does not equate to “normal.”
- Our ancestors weren't as busy as modern people. We have a tighter window in which to sleep.
-Ways to enhance your oxygen availability while flying, and reduce jet lag…53:10
- Use a nasal device to expand your nostrils.
- Ayurvedic medicine: counter the dryness of the air with oils.
-Why it's a bad idea to take melatonin right after eating…56:20
- “Evening diabetes.” The pancreas doesn't produce as much insulin.
- Give yourself at least an hour after waking up before eating.
- How to reset your gut clock.
-Dr. Panda's take on blue light blocking glasses…1:12:15
- You don't want to reduce blue light during the day.
- There are options to block screen glare for the daytime hours.
-Dr. Panda's project called My Circadian Clock (mycircadianclock.org)…1:16:00
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Panda or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!