This is remarkable…
If you can limit your eating from 8 to 12 hours a day, say from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, you may be able to lose weight easier and reverse diabetes. The passive activity, if you will, of not eating for 12 to 16 hours a day actually burns more calories than if you spread the same amount of food out during the day (and night). That’s what researchers at the Salk Institute in California are discovering from their studies in mice:
Here’s their newest study, along with a graphic that describes their findings:
Time-Restricted Feeding Is A Preventative And Therapeutic Intervention Against Diverse Nutritional Challenges, Cell Metabolism, 2 December 2014
And here’s their prior study and graphic. The title of this study sums it up:
Time-Restricted Feeding Without Reducing Caloric Intake Prevents Metabolic Diseases In Mice Fed A High-Fat Diet, Cell Metabolism, June 2012
Notice that the time-restricted mice were eating the same food, and the same amount of calories as those who ate whenever they wanted throughout the day and night, yet they ended up leaner. And if they were obese to begin with, they dropped weight merely by limiting the time they ate, not how much or what they ate:
More importantly, for the mice that had already become obese by eating a freely available high-fat diet, researchers restricted their food access to a nine-hour window. Although the mice continued to consume the same number of calories, they dropped body weight by five percent within a few days. Importantly, eating this way prevented the mice from further weight gain (by about 25 percent by the end of the 38-week study) compared to the group kept on the freely available high-fat diet.
– Another Case Against The Midnight Snack, Salk Researchers Tinker With A Time-restricted Diet In Mice And Find That It Is Remarkably Forgiving, The Salk Institute, Press Release, 2 December 2014
It didn’t matter whether their diets were high in fat, high in sugar, or high in fructose. And what happened when they ate a normal, healthier diet? Did they lose even more weight? No, they maintained a healthy weight, but they gained muscle mass.
So, limiting eating to 8 or 9 hours a day protected them against obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, fatty liver, inflammation, and bestowed better motor coordination. If this effect holds true in humans, it would be an absolute confounder in diet studies. What was causing weight loss? The diet or when the participants ate the diet?