Family Health

Weight Loss Secret: Time Restricted Eating

Written by andy

Time restricted eating may be the answer to steady weight loss.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a simple way to lose weight? Some weight loss secret that allowed you to burn fat without having to totally overhaul the way you eat? According to research out of the University of Birmingham, there may well be.

The Alabama university was the first to test time restricted feeding on humans. Basically, they tested how effective it was to only allow people to eat during certain times of day. All previous tests had been run on animals, so this was the first involving human subjects.

The study involved an 18-hour fast, with a 6-hour eating window. The participants ate between 8 AM and 2 PM, with nothing but water for the rest of the day. Not only did this new way of eating help to promote weight loss (specifically fat burning), but it also improved appetite control, decreased hunger, and maintained blood sugar levels.

What’s interesting is that the participants ate the same number of calories that they did during a 12-hour eating window (the typical American diet). But when they fit all those calories (2,000 to 2,500) into a six-hour window, the participants’ bodies responded better. The time-restricted eating helped to reduce hunger swings during the day. It also made it easier for the body to switch between burning carbs and fats throughout the day and night. The participants even burned more fat overnight.

READ MORE: 20 Foods to Eat Drop Weight Fast

The study found that the total number of calories burned through the day DID NOT increase. This diet will not speed up your metabolism or help you burn more calories. To do that, you need to exercise. Working out (aerobic and anaerobic exercise) is the key to speeding up your metabolism.

However, the diet WILL help your body to burn more fat. You see, your bloodstream and liver can only store about 400-500 calories’ worth of glucose-based energy at a time. If you stop eating at 2 PM, you’re likely to burn through those calories before you head off to bed. When you run out of glucose, there’s only one energy source left: fat. Basically, the diet forces your body to burn more fat overnight.

The beauty of this diet is that you can still enjoy all the delicious food you want. You can have a hearty breakfast, your daily cup of coffee, and a big lunch. Heck, there may even be room for a midday snack! But when you have that final meal at 2 PM, you’re done for the day. After that, it’s only water and unsweetened green, black, and herbal teas.

It may sound like a tough diet, and the truth is that there is a bit of an adjustment period with time restricted eating. Your body is accustomed to its feeding schedule (12 to 14 hours), so it will have to adapt to the shorter eating window. But over time, you’ll realize that you’re less hungry throughout the day. As long as you eat on time (breakfast and lunch), you should have no problems getting through the afternoon and evening without feeling hungry. It’s a unique approach to dieting, but one that has been scientifically proven to work!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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