Forget the 5:2 diet, it’s time to try the 16:8 regime! Eating whatever you want between 10am and 6pm boosts weight loss after just 12 weeks
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• People lose 3% of their weight when they limit their eating to within eight hours
• Restricting eating windows causes people to eat 300 fewer calories a day
• Researcher says weight loss does not require people to eliminate foods
• She adds the 16:8 diet may be easier for people to follow than the popular 5:2
• More than one-third of adults in the US and 26% in the UK are obese
Following the 16:8 diet boosts weight loss after just 12 weeks, new research suggests.
Eating whatever you want for the eight hours between 10am and 6pm, and fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the day, causes people to lose around three per cent of their body weight in three months, a study found.
This is different from the popular 5:2 diet, which allows its followers to eat as normal for five days a week and consume just 25 percent of their typical calorie intake – 500 for women, 600 for men – for the remaining two days.
Although calorie counting is not part of the 16:8, reducing your eating window causes people to consume around 300 fewer calories a day, which leads to weight loss, the research adds.
Study author Professor Krista Varady, from the University of Illinois, Chicago, said: ‘The take-home message from this study is that there are options for weight loss that do not include calorie counting or eliminating certain foods.
‘The 16:8 diet may be easier for people to maintain’.
More than one-third of adults in the US and 26 percent in the UK are obese. Carrying too much weight puts people at risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney problems.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analysed 23 obese people with an average age of 45.
Between 10am and 6pm the participants could eat whatever they wanted, however, for the remainder of the day they could only drink water or zero-calorie beverages, such as soda, black tea or coffee.
The participants logged their daily eating times via a diary over 12 weeks.
Their weight-loss and blood-pressure results were then compared against those on a different sort of fasting diet.
‘The 16:8 diet is another tool for weight loss’
Professor Varady said: ‘The results we saw in this study are similar to the results we’ve seen in other studies on alternate day fasting, another type of diet but one of the benefits of the 16:8 diet may be that it is easier for people to maintain.
‘The 16:8 diet is another tool for weight loss that we now have preliminary scientific evidence to support.
‘When it comes to weight loss, people need to find what works for them because even small amounts of success can lead to improvements in health.’
Results further suggest the 16:8 diet reduces people’s blood pressure but not their insulin or cholesterol levels.
The findings were published in the journal Nutrition and Health Aging.
This comes after research released last March suggested fasting may preserve brain health.
A low-fat diet that includes 40 percent fewer calories then recommended intakes reduces inflammation in mice’s brain cells, a study found today.
Such eating plans also maintain the function of brain tissue, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Bart Eggen, from the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, said: ‘Ageing-induced inflammatory activation of microglia could only be prevented when mice were fed a low-fat diet in combination with limited calorific intake.
‘A low-fat diet per se was not sufficient to prevent these changes.’
Microglia is a type of cell in the brain that helps to maintain the proper function of the organ’s tissue.
Results further suggest cutting calories is more effective at maintaining brain health than exercise.
Brain-cell inflammation has been linked to conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Rasmussen’s encephalitis, which can cause seizures and eventual dementia.
WHAT SIZE BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER IS BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
A blow out breakfast, ‘average’ lunch and small dinner may be the best combination for those suffering from diabetes or obesity, research suggested in March 2018.
Obese diabetes patients following such a diet lose 11lbs (5kg) over three months compared to a 3lb (1.4kg) weight gain for those eating the traditionally recommended weight-loss plan of six small meals a day, a study found.
Sticking to just three meals a day of varying sizes also reduces diabetics’ glucose levels and insulin requirements, as well as their hunger and carbohydrate cravings, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, from Tel Aviv University, said: ‘The hour of the day — when you eat and how frequently you eat — is more important than what you eat and how many calories you eat.
‘Our body metabolism changes throughout the day.
‘A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.’
Results further suggest fasting glucose levels decrease by 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in those eating three meals a day group compared to only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in those consuming six.
Healthy levels are considered to be less than 108 mg/dl.
Having breakfast as the main meal of the day also significantly reduces the need for insulin by -20.5 units/day (from 54.7 to 34.8) compared to those spread out throughout the day, which requires people have 2.2 more units a day (from 67.8 to 70).
Overall amounts of glucose in the blood are also lower just 14 days after adopting a three meal a day eating plan.
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