Eating Early Has No Impact on Weight-Loss Efforts

November 19, 2020 11:05:24

According to ongoing research that was presented during a recent virtual meeting at the American Heart Association Scientific Session, it was discovered that limiting meals to early in the day didn’t affect the weight of overweight adults who have diabetes or prediabetes.

Associate professor of epidemiology, nursing and medicine at Johns Hopkins, Nisa M. Maruthur, the study’s author, stated that researchers had questioned the possibility of whether the time that an individual ate during the day affected how their body stored and used energy. Prior studies had not controlled the number of calories people consumed. It had therefore not been clear whether individuals who ate earlier in the day ate fewer calories. To remedy this, their study changed the time during the day when an individual ate.

During their three-month study, Maruthur and her colleagues observed 41 adults who were overweight. A majority of the participants were black women with an average age of 59 years who had diabetes or prediabetes. They made up 90% of the participants in the study. During the study, twenty participants ate in a 12-hour window at their usual eating times, ingesting half of their daily calories after 5 p.m. for the entire duration of the study. The remaining 21 participants followed an eating pattern that was time restricted.

This limited their eating to specific hours of the day. They consumed 80% of their daily calories before 1 p.m. with all 41 participants eating the same healthy, preprepared meals that were provided for them in the study. At the beginning of the study, the blood pressure and weight for each participant was measured. This was then measured four weeks and eight weeks after the study commenced, as well as when the study ended.

The researchers’ analysis discovered that individuals in both groups had decreased blood pressure and had lost weight, regardless of what they consumed. Maruthur explained that initially, they thought the group that had a time-restricted eating pattern would lose more weight. However, they noted no differences in weight loss in either groups.

Currently, the researchers are gathering more detailed information on blood pressure documented over a 24-hour period. They will then compile this information with the findings of a study that centered on the effects of time-restricted eating on insulin, blood sugar and other hormones. Maruthur added that, when combined, the findings from both studies would help the researchers better understand the impact time-restricted feeding had on cardio-metabolic health.

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