This type of timed eating pattern was therapeutic against obesity and could protect against metabolic disorders.
A new study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, looks at how eating during a restricted time period may be sufficient for combating obesity and preventing metabolic disorders. Using a model with mice, researchers restricted feeding without a calorie restriction during a nine- to 12-hour active period during the day. They found that this type of timed eating pattern was therapeutic against obesity and could protect against metabolic disorders.
According to CBS News, the study saw beneficial effects for those restricted to a specific time period of 12 or fewer hours, as compared with those that were given a steady supply of food over 15 hours. This effect was seen even when the two groups ate the same amount of food in total during the day and the specific type of diet (high fat, fat and sugar, or just sugar) did not change the results.
The time-restricted feeding schedule needed only to be maintained on weekdays to be effective. Researchers found that the beneficial effects did not disappear even if the schedule was not followed on weekends. While this research has not yet been applied to humans, it shows promise for preventing and treating obesity, as well as metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes, hepatic steatosis, and hypercholesterolemia.
Healthline describes hepatic steatosis as a condition colloquially known as “fatty liver” and characterized by the buildup of fat in the liver, interfering with the liver processes and jeopardizing overall health. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that hypercholesterolemia is a condition characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood, which results in a higher risk for developing heart disease and problems with other bodily tissues.