Staff working at a popular health app company consulted with 37,545 people to see how well the fashionable diet method of denying yourself food at certain times of the day and for a certain period worked – and the results were positive
There is a diet that can give a huge boost to energy levels, brighten your mood and even, counter-intuitively, reduce hunger pangs, according to a new study
Researchers found that even though intermittent fasting, or restricting your food consumption to a set window, is a popular weight-loss regime, only eating within a 10-hour window each day, then fasting for 14 hours, benefited mood and sleep more than having varied eating times in their day-to-day lives.
A 10-hour window means exactly that – limiting your daily eating schedule to 10 hours and fasting for the remaining 14 hours. For example, if you first eat at 9am, you must then finish eating by 7pm. In the study, 37,545 people who use the ZOE Health app were asked to eat as normal for the first week and then eat within a 10-hour window for another two weeks.
Dr Sarah Berry, of King’s College London and chief scientist at ZOE, said: “This is the largest study outside of a tightly controlled clinic to show that intermittent fasting can improve your health in a real-world setting. What’s really exciting is that the findings show that you don’t have to be very restrictive to see positive results.
“A 10-hour eating window was manageable for most people and improved mood, energy levels and hunger. We found for the first time that those who practised time-restricted eating, but were not consistent day to day, did not have the same positive health effects as those who were dedicated every day.”
Following the study, more than 36,231 participants opted for additional weeks and 27,371 users were classified as highly engaged. Highly engaged participants turned out to be 78 per cent female, with a mean age of 60 and a BMI of 25.6. Participants with a longer eating window before the intervention found that there was an even greater benefit to their health.
Dr Kate Bermingham, of King’s College London and also from ZOE, added: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing the importance of how you eat. The health impact of food is not just what you eat but the time at which you choose to consume your meals, and eating window is an important dietary behaviour that can be beneficial for health.
“Findings shows that we don’t need to be eating all the time. Many people will feel satiated and even lose weight if they restrict their food to a 10-hour window.”
Read the full article here