Eating Within A 10-Hour Window Could Help Prevent These Diseases

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Fasting For 14 Hours Each Day Could Help Prevent These Diseases

Image by Pietro Karras / Stocksy

With celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Molly Sims, and even Hugh Jackman touting the benefits, intermittent fasting has become the healthy eating style du jour. Sure, time-restricted eating may seem like just another trend, but IF has many science-backed benefits behind it including staving off type 2 diabetes and boosting brain health.

A new study has taken it one step further and found eating during a specific window could have radical benefits in people with metabolic syndrome. What window, you ask? Scientists found 10 hours of time-restricted eating and 14 hours of fasting does the trick.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that can afflict a person, consisting of symptoms like elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity. Patients with this syndrome are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, along with a heightened susceptibility to heart attack and stroke. 

The pilot study, implemented by the Salk Institute, followed a group of patients who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. They chose time-restricted eating as an experimental method due to its support of the individual’s circadian rhythm, hoping that focusing on time opposed to calorie counting would be easier for people to follow.

Patients were instructed to eat within a 10-hour window every day and use the remaining 14 hours to rest and restore the body. All participants logged their eating on an app created by the lab over the course of three months. After the study was complete, participants reported better sleep, and results indicated reductions in body weight, BMI, and abdominal fat. In addition, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol all decreased.

Not only does this method have the potential to change lives of people suffering from metabolic syndrome, it could also save money. "Adapting this 10-hour time-restricted eating is an easy and cost-effective method for reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome and improving health," says Satchin Panda, Ph.D., co-author of the study. "By delaying the onset of diabetes by even one year in a million people with prediabetes, the intervention could save roughly 9.6 billion dollars in healthcare costs."

Because the study was fairly small (only 19 participants), researchers are in the process of conducting a study that is more large-scale, with the intent to offer a new treatment plan for patients with metabolic syndrome revolving around time-restricted eating.

This new form of healthy weight loss is especially promising because of the willingness of patients to try it. Some types of dieting can be unhealthy and difficult, which means people tend to give up quickly. This moderate intermittent fasting technique is a simple and healthy way to practice wellness and take care of your body. We’re looking forward to seeing this trend continue!

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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