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How Can Time Help With Weight Loss

Watch on a hand
(Image: Getty Images)

Our health is perhaps one of the most important aspects of our lives. Over the years researchers have looked into ways that diet, exercise, time in nature, and social structures can play a big role in our body's health. Since our well being is a timeless topic there are always new experiments happening on what variables factor into our overall health. Recently scientists took a look at something that may have a profound impact on us, time. How can time help with weight loss? 

You know they say time can heal all wounds and for some situations, only time will tell. But how about this one? Time can help you loose weight. Say what? Well, not exactly time, but by using time properly as it pertains to when we eat. In the past we've discussed other time-related human health experiments. Now we're seeing yet another study on how time may be a very important variable on our health. 

In a recent study, scientists experimented on mice and fruit flies by putting them on a time-restricted eating schedule. Meaning they could only eat within a 10 hour period each day. The results? This restricted 10 hour eating window was able to prevent or even reverse some of their metabolic diseases. After seeing those results, these researchers took it to a more relatable level with some human testing. This was only a group of simply 19 individuals, a small feasibility study. 

Patients diagnosed with at least three of the five criteria for metabolic syndrome (being obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol) were all participants in this restricted time diet. For 10 hours these patients could eat whatever they wanted, from between 9am to 7pm, but beyond that window of time, they could only consume water or vital medications. In addition to the limited time eating schedules, these patients also wore a smartwatch to track activity and sleep times. A special app was created for them to catalog calories too. 

The results? After 12 weeks they returned to the lab for medical examination and to see what changes were observable since the beginning of this project. Most of them had lost a modest amount of body weight, their blood pressure was reduced, and nearly two-thirds of the patients also reported more restful sleep at night with little to no hunger around bedtime. Also, nearly 70% of these patients continued the time restricted eating schedule for at least a year, long after the study had concluded. 

While these results are a positive sign, there’s still much more testing needed before this becomes an option for many folks struggling with metabolic health issues. Based on the results of this experiment this team of researchers has now launched a much larger study to further understand how this time restricted eating schedule could impact the human body. 

So, now the big question is will these future experiments lead to a new medical breakthrough for human health and weight loss? Well, you know what they say, only time will tell.