Trendy intermittent fasting really can improve energy levels, boost mood and reduce hunger pangs, according to a new study.
Researchers found that only eating within a 10-hour window each day, then fasting for 14 hours, benefitted mood and sleep more than varying eating times from day to day.
Intermittent fasting (IF), or restricting your food consumption to a set window, is a popular weight loss regime.
A 10-hour window means limiting your daily eating schedule to 10 hours and fasting for the remaining 14 hours. For example, if you first eat at 9 am, you must then finish eating by 7 pm.
For 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 ten-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, which was manageable for most people, and improved mood, energy levels and hunger.
“We found for the first time that those who practiced 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 were 78% female, with a mean age of 60 and a BMI of 25.6.
Participants with a longer eating window before the intervention saw an even greater benefit to their health.
Dr. Kate Bermingham, of King’s College London and 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 behavior that can be beneficial for health.
“Findings show 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 ten-hour window.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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