Cracking into the Food-Entrainable Oscillator (FEO)
Scheduled meals and scheduled palatable snacks synchronize circadian rhythms: consequences for ingestive behavior (Escobar et al, 2011)

Big hat tip to Robb Wolf for bringing this to my attention. If you've been following my more circadian-related stuff, I've done a lot of tip-toe'ing around the FEO (food-entrainable oscillator). Tl;dr: sunlight entrains the master clock in the SCN via well-known mechanisms; food entrains peripheral clocks (riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma). 

Ideally, to ensure co-entrainment of the central and peripheral clocks, breakfast and sunshine in the morning, around sunrise.

We know bad things happen when you do the opposite and why you Shouldn't. Do. OMAD (one-meal-a-day).

Side note: there actually was a few studies that directly tested OMAD breakfast vs. dinner. Tl;dr: They showed people ate more and lost less weight with dinner-only; and even when the meals were isocaloric, breakfast-only still won. Metabolism is gimped at night. This is NOT a macronutrient thing, it's a circadian thing (see studies by Jacobs and Hirsh). 

Back to the paper: no one really knows what's the FEO zeitgeber. People thought it was carbs, but protein-only meals work. What do protein and carbs have in common? Insulin. But nopes -- FEO is intact in type 1 diabetes. It could just be calories absorbed from your GI, maybe influenced by the autonomic nervous system.

The figure below is normal:


On the left is activity patterns during normal feeding (top) and OMAD (red line = meal time on the bottom). From left to right is 2 days. The figures on the right show "food anticipatory activity (FAA)" -- it's the spike in activity right before normal feeding time. IMPORTANT NOTE: FAA is much more robust under OMAD conditions.

Side note #2: intentionally restricting food intake all day long in preparation for a nightly binge... does that sound remotely healthy.

And this paper showed a yuge red flag: OMAD lights up the pleasure center of the brain like many drugs of abuse and junk food (they showed this with milk chocolate in the paper).

That's a red flag.

What's wrong with 3 square meals a day? Because the government and Big Food colluded with some malintent? O_o 

Three/d is the most efficient with regards to protein requirements. OMAD increases the amount of protein you need to maintain lean mass.

Keep an eye out for studies on eTRF "early Time-Restricted Feeding." It's basically what we've been talking about for years: light early(ish) dinner, big brekkie around sunrise, and a medium-sized meal in between. I don't snack and it's recommended against in eTRF, although I personally don't have a strong opinion either way.

calories proper

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