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The Greatest Technique to Reduce Weight for Persons with Diabetes is Through Timed Fasting



The most effective method for assisting persons with type 2 diabetes lose weight may involve limiting eating to specific times—a practice known as intermittent fasting.

Researchers discovered that persons with type 2 diabetes lost more weight each day by eating solely between noon and eight o’clock than by counting calories.

Participants’ blood sugar levels improved similarly with both methods.

The research results will be presented on Monday in Boston at a meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

“Many people find counting calories very hard to stick to in the long term, but our study shows that watching the clock may offer a simple way to decrease calories and lose weight,” said researcher and study presenter Vicky Pavlou, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“Although time-restricted eating is becoming increasingly popular, no other studies have looked at an eight-hour eating window in people with type 2 diabetes,” she said in a meeting news release.

The eight-hour window had previously been researched in obese individuals. Being overweight or obese has a substantial association with the metabolic condition known as type 2 diabetes.

A team lead by Krista Varady, a professor of nutrition at UIC, examined 75 obese and type 2 diabetic subjects from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds for this study. They were between the ages of 18 and 80.

Participants were divided into one of three groups: time-restricted eating, calorie restriction and control.

The time-restricted group only consumed food from noon till eight o’clock. The calorie-restricted group was allowed to eat whenever they wanted throughout the day and used a smartphone app to track their intake. Their goal was to consume 25% fewer calories than what was required to keep them at their current weight. The control group maintained their normal diet.

Over the course of six months, those following the time-restricted eating plan lost 3.55% more body weight than the control group, while those following the calorie-restricted diet gained no weight.

Both the time-restricted group (-0.91%) and the calorie restriction group (-0.95%) saw a decrease in blood sugar (HbA1C) levels when compared to the control group.

According to experts, the weight loss of those who did lose weight did not enhance cardiometabolic risk variables to the usual level of 5%. Taking medication for blood pressure and cholesterol can make it challenging to reduce these risk factors.

“Our study shows that time-restricted eating can be a good alternative for those with type 2 diabetes who want to lose weight and improve their blood sugar,” Pavlou said. “However, there are multiple types of medications for those with type 2 diabetes, some of which can cause low blood sugar and some that need to be taken with food. Therefore, it is important to work closely with a dietitian or doctor when implementing this dieting approach.”

Up until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal, findings presented at medical meetings are regarded as preliminary.


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