Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, have shown that fasting for 16 hours of the day and eating any kind of food between 10 am and 6 pm are an effective weight loss measure that can also lower blood pressure.
According to news-medical.net, this is the first time researchers have studied the effect of time-restricted eating, where eating is limited to certain times of day for weight loss among obese people.
As reported in the journal, Nutrition and Healthy Aging, the researchers studied 23 obese individuals of about 45 years of age, who had an average body mass index of 35. Between 10 am and 6 pm, eight hours, participants could eat any type and quantity of food they liked, but for the other 16 hours, they only drank water or calorie-free drinks. They undertook the diet for 12 weeks and were continuously monitored. This they described as the 16:8 diet.
Study author, Krista Varady, said the team compared the findings with a matched control group from a previous weight loss trial that investigated a different type of fasting.
“The researchers found that people who followed the 16:8 diet consumed fewer calories, lost weight and had improved blood pressure, compared to the controls. All other measures, including fat mass, insulin resistance and cholesterol, were similar to the control group.
“The take-home message from this study is that there are weight loss programmes that do not involve calorie counting or the elimination of certain foods. Although the research indicates that daily fasting works for weight loss, no studies have yet established whether it is more effective than other diets,” Varady said.