Time-restricted eating doesn’t appear to boost weight loss – Harvard Health

Weight loss

Tracking viruses: The best clues may be in the sewer
Promising therapy if PSA rises after prostate cancer surgery
Strong legs help power summer activities: Hiking, biking, swimming, and more
Should you try intermittent fasting for weight loss?
Why are you taking a multivitamin?
Could eating fish increase your risk of cancer?
Can music improve our health and quality of life?
The plant milk shake-up: Pea and pistachio join oat and almond
Millions rely on wheelchairs for mobility, but repair delays are hurting users
Waist trainers: What happens when you uncinch?
Staying Healthy
photo of a plate with a fork and knife arranged like clock hands at 12 and 4, with food in the area between themThere are a number of reliable ways to lose weight. A relatively new approach called time-restricted eating (also called intermittent fasting) — limiting meals to a certain window of time each day — was put to the test in a small randomized trial. Findings were published April 21, 2022, in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers in China randomly apportioned 139 obese men and women into two groups. One group was told to limit daily calorie intake (1,500 to 1,800 calories or men, and 1,200 to 1,500 calories for women). The other group was told to follow the same calorie limits but to eat only between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. To make sure no one cheated, participants had to photograph every morsel they ate and keep food diaries. After one year, people in both groups showed about the same amount of weight loss (between 14 and 18 pounds) and the same changes in body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. That indicates that changes came from calorie restriction, not time restriction. Critics of the study say it could be that the eating window — eight hours — simply wasn’t short enough to make a difference for the time-restricted group, and that a six-hour window might have different results. So time-restricted eating continues to be debated. But there’s no question that calorie reduction and exercise are effective for weight loss; we have lots of evidence that they work.
Image: © Westend61/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Staying Healthy
Staying Healthy
Staying Healthy
You might also be interested in…
Successful weight loss depends largely on becoming more aware of your behaviors and starting to change them. Instead of relying on willpower, this process demands skill power. This Special Health Report, Lose Weight and Keep It Off, offers a range of solutions that have worked for many people and can be tailored to your needs.
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!
© 2022 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Do not sell my personal information | Privacy Policy
Thanks for visiting. Don’t miss your FREE gift.
The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.
Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.
BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness
Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.
Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.