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A New and Easier Way to Lose Weight and Change to a Healthier Lifestyle

By: Serena Xiao

Recently, doctors have found a better and easier way to lose weight: time-restricted eating (TRE). This method, also called intermittent fasting, restricts the amount of time people can eat to within one 8 to 10 hour period. Benefits other than weight loss include improvements in sleep, blood glucose regulation, cardiac function, and gut health. An article about TRE on MedicalNewsToday says that time-restricted feeding may promote longevity and have cancer-fighting effects.

Almost 42% of Americans 20 and older are obese and many are trying to lose weight for the sake of their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are obese are likely to develop serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. On average, they pay about $2,500 more for medical care each year.

The traditional method for weight loss is to burn more calories than a one consumes, or consume less calories than one burns. However, many obese Americans, including % of women and 42% of men, are unsuccessful at losing weight because they find it hard and expensive to plan out healthy meals and workouts. But recently, time-restricted eating (TRE) is becoming more popular. The idea is to limit your eating time to six or eight hours a day in order to reduce the amount of insulin your body produces. Insulin causes the body to store fat, which in turn causes weight gain. Studies have also shown that people following a TRE consume fewer calories each day than people following the traditional method.

To find out if the TRE truly works, senior author Krista Varady, a nutrition researcher at the University of Illinois Chicago, created a yearlong study in which 90 obese people were brought together and separated into 3 groups. One group didn’t change what they ate, but only ate between noon and 8 p.m. and fasted for the rest of the day. The second group did the traditional method of calorie counting. The third group ate like they would if they weren’t dieting.

The first and second group had similar results: On average, they lost about 4% of their weight after a year. Meanwhile, the people in the third group gained 1% of their body weight in the same amount of time. Varady said that although the first and second group had similar results, the first diet “is an easier diet to adhere to.”

Varady added that people who are motivated to lose weight will see better results with either method. However, if someone is looking for an easier and cheaper method, time-restricted diets could be the better option.

“It is a simple diet,” she said. “You don’t need to buy expensive products or change things out in your pantry. You just have to decide on a time window and stick to it for as long as you can.”

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