Eating meals earlier in the day is healthier and stops people from piling on the pounds, according to a new study. American researchers found that eating only in the first eight hours of getting out of bed may counterweight gain, improve blood sugar fluctuations, and reduce the time that blood sugar is above normal levels, preventing diabetes.
“Eating the majority of one’s calories earlier in the day reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated, thereby improving metabolic health. Our research shows that just one week of following this diet strategy reduces fluctuations in blood sugar levels and reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated above normal levels. This suggests early time-restricted feeding may be a helpful strategy for those with prediabetes or obesity to keep their blood sugars in a normal range and prevent them from progressing to type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Joanne Bruno, study lead author, an endocrinologist at New York University, said
The research team evaluated early time-restricted feeding (eTRF), which involves mostly eating in the first eight hours of the day. Previous studies have found that a form of intermittent fasting may improve cardio metabolic health and blood sugar levels. However, the team wanted to determine whether these improvements are related to weight loss or the fasting strategy.
The study is the first to evaluate the effects of early time-restricted feeding on glycemia and inflammation independent of weight loss. Researchers compared eTRF (80 percent of calories consumed before 1 p.m.) to a usual feeding pattern (50 percent of calories consumed after 4 p.m.) among 10 participants with prediabetes and obesity. The patients were on eTRF or usual feeding patterns for the first seven days and were changed over to the alternative arm for the next seven days.
Food was provided to meet the patients’ caloric needs for weight maintenance to determine the weight-independent effects of the strategy. Participants wore continuous glucose monitors throughout the study.
“We decreased the time these individuals were having high blood sugar levels with just one week of eTRF feeding. The findings show that eating a majority of one’s calories earlier in the day reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated, thereby improving metabolic health,” Dr. Jose Aleman, study senior author, Assistant Professor of NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said.
The team discovered the participants’ weights were stable throughout the study. Early time-restricted feeding led to a decreased mean amplitude of glycaemic excursion and decreased time above range compared to the usual eating pattern group. The time in range was similar between the eTRF and usual feeding pattern group.
“Based on this data, eTRF may be a helpful dietary strategy for diabetes prevention. Further studies are needed to understand the true overall benefit of these intervention strategies,” Bruno said. The findings were presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Chicago.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker