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Reasons why eating within a certain time frame could aid in weight loss

Several studies have indicated that restricting one’s eating to a specific window of time may aid in weight loss for certain individuals. However, it’s unclear why: Does the tactic merely encourage people to eat less, or is there a benefit to spacing out meals?

Recent studies align with the former side, indicating that time is not as important as calorie intake.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that both time-restricted and regular eating schedules led to similar degrees of weight loss when they controlled the number of calories people consumed. The trial was small and randomized, and the results were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine on Friday.
Lead author of the study Dr. Nisa Maruthur, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, said, “It makes us think that people who benefit from time-restricted eating — meaning they lose weight — is probably from them eating fewer calories because their time window’s shorter and not something else.”
There are many different time-restricted eating plans, and some of them resemble intermittent fasting—a diet in which there are alternate intervals of eating and fasting. A 10-hour feeding window—which is longer than what would normally be considered intermittent fasting—was examined in the recent research.
For twelve weeks, the researchers fed prepared meals to forty-one individuals. The majority of the participants, who were Black women, were obese and either prediabetic or diabetes.
The quantity of calories in each of their meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack—was calculated taking into account their age, sex, height, weight, and degree of physical activity.The meal’s proportions of fat, carbs, and protein were all in good balance.
Participants might eat kale salad with white beans and lentils for lunch, peanuts or mandarin oranges for a snack, and beef stew for dinner on any given day. Breakfast might consist of cereal and a fruit cup.
Meals were consumed by half the group within a 10-hour period, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Approximately 80% of their caloric intake occurred at breakfast and lunch, as many studies have indicated that consuming the majority of your calories in the morning may benifisher for waight loss.
The other half followed a schedule designed to replicate the eating habits of many people outside of research settings, eating from 8 a.m. till midnight and getting half of their daily calories at dinner.
The research did not restrict drinks that were caffeine- and calorie-free during the meal windows. Additionally, each participant was only permitted to have one cup of coffee, diet soda, and alcohol each day. The only beverage permitted after the specified hours was water.
Regardless of the program they followed, individuals in the trial lost approximately the same amount of weight by the end. Approximately 5.1 pounds were lost on average in the time-restricted eating group, while the other group dropped 5.7 pounds on average. Blood pressure, waist size, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar did not significantly differ.

The outcomes matched those of a randomized study conducted the previous year, which concluded that tracking calories and intermittent fasting were comparable approaches to weight loss.

Overall, nevertheless, the data on eating within a time limit is conflicting: A six-year study found no connection between restricting food intake to a certain window of time and changes in weight.
A unique and intricate experiment design of the new trial was that all individuals’ diets were under the researchers’ control.
However, there are some limitations to the findings, according to Dr. Lisa Chow, a University of Minnesota medical professor who was not involved in the research.
She added that the long-term advantages of time-restricted eating could not have been fully reflected by the research. A study she conducted and released last year,
discovered that for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, a six-month period of time-restricted eating, from midday to eight p.m. every day, was more helpful for weight loss than calorie restriction.
Furthermore, because the trial restricted participants’ calorie intake and meal timing, Chow noted, it did not accurately depict what real-world time-restricted eating looks like.
“It’s not the same thing when the doctor talks to the patient about losing weight because the doctor won’t give them all the food,” the spokesperson stated.
According to some researchers, timing meals is important for weight loss.
Satchin Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, states that the best time to follow a time restriction is to take your first meal an hour or two after waking up, then finishing your final meal three hours before to going to bed.
Panda stated, “It depends on your internal clock — not on the world clock.” “For someone who wakes up at six in the morning, starting at eight might be acceptable.” However, an 8 a.m. waker might begin eating at 9 or 10 a.m.
This is because melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, is still decreasing after you get up, and the stress hormone cortisol is elevated throughout that period. According to Panda, this could make it harder for people to adequately digest things immediately after they get up.Conversely, eating right before bed might interfere with sleep, and not getting enough sleep can make you need more, said Panda. Additionally, some studies imply that eating late at night may lead to an increase in the amount of energy stored as fat.
Eating within a time constraint may have advantages beyond just helping people lose weight.
According to Panda’s research, in individuals with specific chronic health conditions, the technique may lower so-called “bad cholesterol” and enhance blood pressure and blood sugar.
However, limiting food consumption to fewer than eight hours per day may raise the long-term risk of cardiovascular death, according to a study released last month.
Panda stated that time-restricted eating would, at the absolute least, provide a less complicated option to calorie counting.
“Counting time is easier than counting calories,” he remarked. “I would“ guess that most people cannot remember how many calories they’ve consumed, but timing is easy to remember

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