Early hunter-gatherers faced long periods of fasting. Their access to food relied on successful hunting, fishing and the availability of wild plants.
Over time, the development of modern agriculture and the transition to industrialised societies changed our regular eating patterns, shifting our dinner time to later in the day to accommodate work schedules.
Today, with access to an abundance of food, we rarely experience prolonged periods of fasting, except for weight loss or religious practices. It’s now common to have four or more meals a day, with the most calories consumed later in the day. Frequent snacking is also common, over a window of around 15 hours.
However, research increasingly shows our health is not only affected by what and how much we eat, but also when we eat. So what does this mean for meal scheduling? And can intermittent fasting help?