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.
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.
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