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Compressing your Eating Day is as Effective as Watching Calories

By: Brayden Yin

In a new study from the University of Illinois, data has shown that when people don't change what they eat, but instead keep their eating on a strict time frame, they observed significant sustained weight loss that was comparable to people who chose their food choices carefully, cutting daily caloric intake by 25%.

32% of Americans 20 years or older are overweight, and another 42% are obese. Obesity can cause health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Obese people pay an average of $2,500 for medical care every year as well.

TRE, or time restricted eating, has emerged in recent years as an alternative to watching calories. The idea is that the body will reduce the amount of insulin released due to the compressed eating day. Insulin is a chemical signal for the body to store excess sugar as fat.

In the study, researchers divided dieters into three groups. In the first group, the participating members of the study were asked to keep all of their eating between noon and 8 p.m. In the second group, dieters were asked to reduce their caloric intake by 25%, meaning that for most people, they took in 500 fewer calories. The third group changed nothing, as the control group.

At the end of the yearlong study, the people that were eating based on time of day were, on average, 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg) lighter than at the beginning of the study. Those tracking their calories lost around 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg) on average. The difference was not statistically significant. However, both groups did better than the control group, which gained around 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) by the end of the study.

The study will continue, to see if the participants can maintain weight loss.

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