created 12 months ago | Tagged:
If you couldn’t let anything cross your lips from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., but you were allowed to eat anything you wanted for eight hours a day and still lose weight, would you try it? That’s the apparent bottom line of a rat study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, which recently stirred up the weight loss pot.
Scientists put groups of mice on different diet regimens for 100 days. One group of rodents ate healthy food while animals in two of the groups chowed down on high-fat, high-calorie feed. Half of the junk food eaters were allowed to munch whenever they wanted to while the others only had access to feed for the eight hours they were most active. The conclusion: even though they ate a fatty diet, the mice who were forced to fast for 16 hours were almost as lean as those who ate the healthy fare. Interestingly, the round the clock junk food eaters became obese and developed health problems, even though they consumed about the same amount of fat and calories as the time-restricted junk food fed mice.
The researchers who conducted the study say that this single strategy: simply extending the nighttime fast is a cheap and easy weight loss approach free from side effects, but I’m not sure I agree. As a health professional my primary goal is always optimal health, so when I hear about studies that essentially send the message that you can eat poor quality food and still lose weight, I feel like it does a real disservice to consumers. Any time you lose weight, no matter how you do it, even the most unhealthy way possible, you'll see some positive health indicators, perhaps a reduction in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. But long-term, to optimize energy, wellness, and even looks (hair, skin, etc.), the nutrients found in healthy foods need to show up for work day after day.