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  • Ryan Wittler

Time-restricted Eating Doesn’t Aid Weight Loss for People With Obesity

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A new study from researchers at Southern Medical University in China has failed to find any benefits associated with time-restricted eating.

Study highlights:

Time-restricted eating is a form of the popular intermittent fasting diet in which people restrict their calorie consumption to a period of six to eight hours a day.

  • During that window, believers are allowed to eat whatever they want, with the idea being the body benefits from only eating during that specific window.

To test whether any benefits are indeed associated with time-restricted eating, the researchers followed 139 people with obesity for one year, restricting half of the group to eating only between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm and allowing the other half to eat anytime during the day.

After a year, both groups lost weight (an average of 14 to 18 pounds), but the researchers found no significant difference in the amount of weight lost by each group.

  • The team also didn’t find any differences in waist circumference, body fat, and lean body mass.

  • There was also no difference in blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, blood lipids (i.e., blood fats), or blood pressure.

What it means:

The researchers say the findings show time-restricted eating was no more beneficial for people with obesity than daily calorie restriction, though it could be helpful for “selected motivated people.”

Other experts say the findings indeed show there’s no true benefit to eating during a certain window, however, since most diets at least benefit some people, more work is needed, particularly with larger sample sizes.

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