painting of blue buddha laying in water with lotus flowers

Buddha Was Right All Along: It’s When You Eat, Not What You Eat

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By Melody Gluth

Do you find yourself struggling to maintain a diet schedule during the chaotic holiday season? With all the chaos of the holiday season, it can be hard to keep our regular schedule in check. We may find ourselves eating at different times of the day when our body is not used to it.

There are infinite resources readily available to help us lose weight and maintain a healthy diet. Crash diets, workout crazes, and meditation apps—at any given moment are just one click away from the latest feel-good fad. But what if the key to a healthier mind and body lurks before the common era?

“Twenty-five hundred years ago, Buddha emphasized one rule for his followers about food: no eating after certain hours. Fast-forward to today, and scientists have discovered that this same technique of ‘intermittent fasting’ has all sorts of health benefits and can help us lose weight,” says Dan Zigmond, one of the authors of Buddha’s Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind. His book details accounts of eating and dieting studies, and ties it to ancient principles that Buddha and his followers maintained.

Studies have proven that eating after a certain time is not healthy. We burn less calories in the late evenings than we do during the day. Eating a large meal at dinner time will be harder for the body to burn off the calories than eating a large meal early in the morning. It’s not necessarily what you eat, but when you eat.

By implementing simple changes, such as this systematic eating schedule, emphasizing food as an experience rather than a habit, and careful consideration of emotional needs, a mere diet quickly transforms into a complete lifestyle regimen. This will lead to a healthier lifestyle and more satisfaction.

Buddha was the first “biohacker”—experimenting with his own body’s performance and wellness in his quest for enlightenment and mental clarity. Mainly people think of Buddha had a terrible diet because he is usually depicted as being overweight. However, this is a common misconception in Western culture. In fact, Buddha’s beliefs about food and dieting helped him maintain a slim appearance.

Buddha was right all along—the science backing his beliefs and practices. Even if you don’t have weight to lose, you will naturally improve your diet, simply by avoiding eating during hours when you’re most vulnerable to making poor choices.

Our metabolisms aren’t made to run 16 hours a day—Buddha’s Diet gives our metabolism a nice break every day, allowing it to rest, catch up, and start again tomorrow. It has been shown that people who reported going more hours at night without eating had better control over their blood sugar levels. It is suggested that people fast from about eight at night until about eight in the morning.

Implementing change can be a daunting task, but do not let that put you off. Start out small by cutting out little pieces at a time. Begin by not eating late at night, and then slowly work towards a schedule where you only eat for about nine hours a day. It is okay to be flexible and cheat a little. Maintaining a strict diet can be tough, so go easy on yourself and allow yourself a cheat day every so often.

Timing is everything. Be more conscious of when you eat and try fasting during the late hours of the day. It may be beneficial to your weight and your blood sugar levels.

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