Intermittent fasting is a new way of eating that can be just as good for your health as cutting down on calories.
But, some studies have shown that it might be even better if you also limit the times of day when you eat your meals.
That’s why some researchers developed a new approach called intermittent fasting plus early time-restricted eating (iTRE).
In this study, they looked at how iTRE could help people who were at risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
They had 209 adults participated in the study, and they were divided into three groups: the iTRE group, the calorie restriction (CR) group, and the standard care group.
The iTRE group was instructed to eat 30% of their daily energy needs between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and then fast for 20 hours on three nonconsecutive days each week.
On other days, they could eat as much as they wanted. The CR group had to eat 70% of their energy requirements each day, without any specific meal timing instructions.
The standard care group only received a weight loss booklet.
The study lasted for 6 months, and the participants in the iTRE and CR groups received nutritional support during this time.
After 6 months, the researchers looked at how well the participants’ bodies were able to handle glucose (sugar) after a mixed-meal tolerance test.
They found that the iTRE group had a greater improvement in glucose tolerance compared to the CR group. However, these differences were not seen after 18 months.
There were some side effects to the iTRE approach, including reports of fatigue being higher compared to the other groups.
Reports of constipation and headaches were also higher in the iTRE and CR groups compared to the standard care group.
In summary, this study showed that incorporating meal timing advice with prolonged fasting can lead to better improvements in post-meal glucose metabolism in adults at risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
However, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects and to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new diet or eating approach.
How to do intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that involves alternating periods of fasting (not eating) with periods of eating. There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, but here are three popular methods:
16/8 Method: This method involves restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
For example, you could eat your meals between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. and fast for the rest of the day.
You can choose to skip breakfast and have lunch as your first meal of the day, or have an early dinner and skip late-night snacking.
5:2 Method: This method involves eating normally for five days of the week and restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for the other two days.
These two days don’t have to be consecutive, but it’s important to space them out to avoid overeating on other days.
Eat-Stop-Eat Method: This method involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, you could eat dinner on Monday night and then fast until dinner on Tuesday night.
It’s important to note that during fasting periods, you should only consume water, coffee, or tea without any added sugar or cream.
You should also make sure to eat nutrient-dense meals during the eating periods to ensure that your body gets the necessary nutrients.
Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health, but it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or eating approach, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
The study was conducted by Leonie Heilbronn et al and published in Nature Medicine.
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