A study has revealed that people who keep meals within a ten-hour time-slot lose weight, have less abdominal fat and a lower rate of blood pressure and cholesterol.
The pilot study could lead to a new treatment option for metabolic syndrome patients who are at risk for developing life-altering and costly medical conditions such as diabetes.
The research was published in Cell Metabolism by researchers from the Salk Institute and the UC San Diego School of Medicine believe this could help with treatment options for metabolic syndrome patients who are vulnerable to developing diabetes.
Satchidananda Panda, co-corresponding author and professor in Salk's Regulatory Biology Laboratory commented:
We have found that combining time-restricted eating with medications can give metabolic syndrome patients the ability to better manage their disease. Unlike counting calories, time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule.
This follows on from studies in intermittent fasting which have shown positive results in putting diabetes into remission.
Experts are reluctant to call fasting and weight loss a cure, but it can result in blood sugar levels lowering to healthy levels – removing the need to take any diabetes medication.
One small observational study reported on in the journal BMJ Case Reports found patients who were diabetic but began fasting were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment altogether.
The male patients followed scheduled 24-hour fasts three times per week over a period of several months. All three patients eliminated the need for insulin within a month and one in as little as 5 days. Improvements were also made in blood sugar levels, body mass index and waist circumference.
Another previous large US study of 2000 people reported in the Lancet revealed people with pre-diabetes who used a variety of measures including drugs and lifestyle changes, successfully lowered their blood sugar levels to normal, even for a short while, were over 50% less like to develop type 2 diabetes than those who were not receiving treatment.
Miss Stephanie Moore, nutritionist and author of Why Eating Less and Exercising More Make You Fat (Health-in-Hand), recommends intermittent fasting as a healthy way of eating. She favours consuming meals within an eight-hour window.
My personal preferred method is the 16/8 because this fits with my lifestyle, but there are many alternatives depending on how your life works. I am generally doing four or five days a week of 16 hour fasts, eating normally (of course healthily) from between 9am and 5pm. This is a great way to rest the gut and re-set your fat burning.