You already know that having too many midnight snacks was bad for you, but you probably dont realise just how bad it is.
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies published a report in Cell Metabolism showing that we may be able to stave off high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes simply by eating during a defined 8- to 12-hour period. Their findings indicate that these results can be achieved even if high-calorie foods are consumed within a set time period.
The study subjected 400 mice, ranging from obese to normal, to high- and low-calorie diets over different time spans. The benefits of a time-restricted diet were detected in all mice, regardless of their weight or diet. The mice that were allowed to eat over a 24-hour period did not experience any benefits, even if the total number of calories they consumed was the same as the mice with a time restriction. In fact, improvements were even seen in mice fed on a time-restricted diet, but allowed food access for 24 hours on weekends.
The researchers dont anticipate the results to be exactly the same in humans, but their findings were very encouraging. Mice that were already obese and had been regularly consuming high-fat diets lost 5% of their bodyweight in just a few days, even when their diet was restricted over a 9-hour time span. Amandine Chaix, the studys first author, said that the fact that it worked no matter what the diet, and the fact that it worked over the weekend and weekdays, was a very nice surprise.
Researchers are now looking into how exactly molecular pathways that regulate metabolic disease are affected by this diet in mice and investigate time-restricted eating in humans. If consuming your current diet over a set time span works just as well in humans, this might just be the easiest path to a healthy life.