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The One Dietary Rule That Can Instantly Boost Your Health, According to Science

Photo: Rory Payne. Vogue Arabia, October 2022.

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, chances are you’ve witnessed many fad diets come and go in your time. From Atkins to eating keto, the advice changes so often it can be hard to know how to approach the crucial matter of feeding ourselves. Today, scientists and health experts largely agree that eating whole foods – and avoiding unrefined, sugary and (most) packaged foods – is best for body and mind, so the good news is that eating well doesn’t have to be complicated.

One easy change you can make to improve your wellbeing instantly comes courtesy of scientific research undertaken by Zoe, which looked at the effects intermittent fasting can have on your health. You’ve probably already heard of intermittent fasting, which “involves eating and fasting for set periods of time”, Yella Hewings-Martin, the senior science editor at Zoe explains. Zoe’s research – the world’s largest study ever conducted on intermittent fasting – found that those who reduced their eating window to 10 hours a day – every day – had increased energy levels, improved mood and decreased hunger. Those who varied the timings of their eating window from day to day didn’t see the same marked benefits.

The concept of intermittent fasting can feel a bit daunting, but all it means is eating between certain times of the day. Eating all of your meals within the suggested 10 hour window is as simple as eating breakfast at 9am and having your last meal of the day before 7pm. If you are someone who gets home from work later, you might opt to eat breakfast at 10am and finish eating all your meals by 8pm. You can set the window based on your lifestyle, but once you’ve decided, it’s key to be consistent: stick to the times day in, day out.

One caveat: this doesn’t mean you can eat junk food galore and generally over-indulge between these hours – a healthy, balanced diet full of vegetables and protein is always key – but it is an easy change you can make immediately to enjoy significant health benefits. An easy way to get through the festive season in a healthier fashion, why not give it a try?

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