Experts share when to stop eating in the day for positive health benefits
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Consuming food within a 10-hour set window, for example eating between 9am and 7pm, could make you feel more energised and put you in a better mood.
While some people promote restrictive eating windows as low as six hours, a team of researchers from King’s College London found less restrictive windows can still lead to these positive health outcomes.
The researchers utilised the Zoe app which allows participants to log their health daily.
More than 37,000 people on the app completed the study, which involved eating as normal for a week then only eating during a 10-hour eating window for the following fortnight.
They were all asked to log information about their mood, energy and hunger levels.
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It was found those who fasted for 14 hours a day reported higher energy and mood and were less hungry.
Those who were consistent with their eating window showed greater benefits than those who varied theirs day to day.
Nearly all the participants opted to continue the intervention for additional weeks.
Dr Sarah Berry, researcher at 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.
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“What’s really exciting is that the findings show you don’t have to be very restrictive to see positive results.
“A 10-hour eating window, which was manageable for most people, improved mood, energy levels and hunger.
“We found for the first time that those who practised 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.”
Kate Bermingham, who also worked on the research, 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 behaviour that can be beneficial for health.
“Findings shows 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.”
The study was presented at the European Nutrition Conference in Belgrade, Serbia.
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