Research: Effect of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight

Research DefinitionResearch Definition
Fasting

Fasting

Fasting for weight loss is one of the most common diets of the current age.  Restricted time diets are just another form of intermittent fasting.  Counting calories is difficult and near impossible for some.  Time-restricted eating is a type of diet that focuses on the timing of eating instead of counting calories.  and, instead of limiting the types of food or number of calories that people consume, an intermittent fasting diet restricts the periods of time they can eat your meals.   On a time-restricted or intermittent fasting diet, you will only eat during specific hours of the day.  Outside of this period, you will not eat and thus it is a fasting diet.  

It has been speculated that time restricted feeding could offer a non-pharmacological intervention for weight loss in obese patients.  The problem is that no studies to date have examined the effect of this form of fasting on body weight and coronary heart disease risk factors in obese adults.  The good news is that a new study, Effect of 8-Hour Time-Restricted Feeding on Body Weight in Obese Subjects, looked at this very question[1].  This study assessed the effects of 12 weeks of 8-hour time-restricted feeding on body weight and CHD risk factors.  In this pilot study, nine obese subjects were instructed to eat only between the hours of 10am–6pm daily for 12 weeks.  The results revealed that this form of fasting decreased body weight from baseline by approximately 5 kg or 11 pounds.   Also, fat mass decreased from baseline by −3.7%. 

Counting calories is not easy.  It makes sense that restricting eating hours to 8 hours per day would alike also reduce the calories eaten during the day.  For some people, time-restricted eating will reduce the number of calories they consume in a day.  It is not difficult to fast for 16 or 18 hours so this might be an easier alternative to counting calories.  I eat my lunch at 11 pm and dinner at 5-6pm.  That is a 15-16 hour fast if I skip breakfast.   I have found that green tea and coffee can aid in making the fast by promoting satiety.  

The bottom line:  We focus nearly obsessively about what and how much we eat, but maybe we should focus more on when we eat.   These findings suggest that consuming food within an 8-hour window can facilitate weight loss and reduction in body fat.  I would recommend that you give fasting a try because it might give you new hope for weight loss when you think you have exhausted all other possible options.   

References

[1]
K. Gabel, K. K. Hoddy, N. Haggerty, and K. A. Varady, “Effect of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight in Obese Subjects,” The FASEB Journal, vol. 31, no. 1_supplement, pp. lb274–lb274, Apr. 2017 [Online]. Available: 10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.lb274″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.lb274. [Accessed: 13-Feb-2019]
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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