Would eating most of your daily intake before 1pm help you lose weight? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Time restricted eating, or TRE, seems like it might help people lose weight, many studies in animal models suggested. So Nisa Maruthur, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues designed a study to assess this strategy in people.

Maruthur: They were randomized either to time restricted eating or to a usual eating pattern for 12 weeks and the time restricted eating arm ate all their calories between 8:00 AM and six PM, 80% of them before 1:00 PM. We think the time restricted eating might be good and we think eating earlier in the day that lines up with your circadian rhythm might be good so that's what we were looking at in the TRE group, and in the usual eating pattern group we designed that to model more of what our typical eating patterns are. So more calories at the end of the day, fewer calories at the beginning and they could eat until midnight, but most of their calories were between 8:00 and 8:00.   :30

Maruthur says the disappointing result was that after 12 weeks there was essentially no difference between the TRE group and the usual eating group. Other outcomes in addition to weight also failed to show a benefit of TRE. Maruther says the best weight loss strategy for most will be one tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.