Fasting can be daunting—after all, if you look up a few synonyms for the word, you’ll find “refrain from eating” and “starve oneself” listed beneath it. However, a different type of fasting—known as time-restricted eating—has just come to light as an effective tool for weight loss and it’s the first fasting option that appears surprisingly doable (and much less scary).
As pointed out by Science Daily, a new study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago examined the effect of time-restricted eating on weight loss in obese individuals. To do this, researchers analyzed 23 volunteers with average age of 45 and an average body mass index (BMI) of 35. The study, which is the first to examine the effects of time-restricted eating, allowed dieters to eat any type and any quantity of food during the hours between 10AM and 6PM. However, outside of those hours, the participants could only drink water or calorie-free beverages.
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After comparing the findings to a control group from a pervious weight loss trial on fasting, researchers discovered some seriously positive results. For one, those who followed the time-restricted eating plan consumed overall fewer calories—about 350 less calories, to be exact. Participants also lost about three percent of their body weight and had an improvement in blood pressure after 12 weeks.
“The take-home message from this study is that there are options for weight loss that do not include calorie counting or eliminating certain foods,” said Krista Varady, associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and corresponding author on the study. “The 16:8 diet is another tool for weight loss that we now have preliminary scientific evidence to support,” Varady added.
Considering that most of the 16 hours meant for “fasting” fall during the nighttime (when most people are typically asleep) this diet seems much more doable than intermittent fasting. Plus, this food plan allows participants to continue eating the foods that they love, meaning those sugar or carb cravings that usually accompany dieting won’t hit as hard during this type of routine. Seeing as the hours between 10AM and 6PM seem pretty unrestricted and still provide weight loss results, we’ll certainly be giving this eating plan a try for summer.
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