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Is This Diet the Key to Weight Loss and Lower Blood Pressure?


Are you tired of counting calories to lose excess pounds?

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found restricting the daily timeframe in which food is eaten to eight hours resulted in weight loss. A nice side benefit is that the eating plan also reduced blood pressure.

The study was the first to assess the effects of time-restricted eating on weight loss in people with obesity.

Study Finds the 16:8 Diet Goes Beyond Weight Loss

The study involved 23 obese adults of an average age of 45 with an average body mass index of 35. The participants were allowed to eat food of any type and quantity between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; but they were only permitted water and calorie-free beverages during the remaining 18 hours. They followed this diet on six days per week over a course of 12 weeks.

Compared to a matched control group who engaged in a different type of fasting in an earlier clinical weight loss trial, the time-restricted eating participants received several benefits. They consumed approximately 350 less calories, lost 3 percent of their body weight and experienced a drop in systolic blood pressure of about 7 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Other measurements, including insulin resistance, cholesterol and fat mass, were similar to the control group.”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,” said corresponding author Krista Varady.

Researchers call the eating plan in the study the 16:8 diet, which denotes 16 hours of fasting and eight hours of feasting. According to Varady, the findings are consistent with those from previous studies on other types of intermittent fasting diets.”The 16:8 diet is another tool for weight loss that we now have preliminary scientific evidence to support,” Varady said. “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 metabolic health.”

Time-Restricted Diet Easier to Maintain Than Other Fasting Diets

Intermittent fasting has generated considerable interest within the past decade. These eating plans fall into two categories: fasting one to four days per week, such as the alternate day fasting diet or 5:2 diet, and fasting daily from 14 to 20 hours, which is called the time-restricted diet. Research on alternate day fasting and 5:2 diets have demonstrated weight loss of 3 to 8 percent after eight to 52 weeks, as well as reductions in blood pressure, insulin resistance, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

However, long-term adherence to the alternative day fasting and 5:2 diets may be challenging. The researchers noted that fewer participants in the time-restricted diet study dropped out compared to those in studies involving other forms of intermittent fasting. Therefore, Varady and the team concluded that time-restricted eating is an appealing option because it allows a relatively large window of time in which food can be eaten without intentional calorie counting.

Obesity is extremely prevalent, afflicting 93.3 million of U.S. adults in 2015 to 2016: reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition increases the risk of some of the top causes of preventable death, including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. Hispanics and non-Hispanic African Americans have the highest rates.

In view of the serious effects of obesity, any means of weight management should be considered. Because of the relative ease of the 16:8 diet, it appears to have value as a long-term weight loss strategy. If it were combined with an eating plan that majors on nutrient-dense plant-based foods, its reasonable to expect the positive effects would be even greater. The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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