Time-Restricted Eating Effects on Body Composition and Metabolic Measures in Humans who are Overweight: A Feasibility Study

Lisa S. Chow, Emily N.C. Manoogian, Alison Alvear, Jason G. Fleischer, Honoree Thor, Katrina Dietsche, Qi Wang, James S. Hodges, Nicholas Esch, Samar Malaeb, Tasma Harindhanavudhi, K. Sreekumaran Nair, Satchidananda Panda, Douglas G. Mashek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: In contrast to intentionally restricting energy intake, restricting the eating window may be an option for treating obesity. By comparing time-restricted eating (TRE) with an unrestricted (non-TRE) control, it was hypothesized that TRE facilitates weight loss, alters body composition, and improves metabolic measures.

METHODS: Participants (17 women and 3 men; mean [SD]: 45.5 [12.1] years; BMI 34.1 [7.5] kg/m 2 ) with a prolonged eating window (15.4 [0.9] hours) were randomized to TRE (n = 11: 8-hour window, unrestricted eating within window) versus non-TRE (n = 9: unrestricted eating) for 12 weeks. Weight, body composition (dual x-ray absorptiometry), lipids, blood pressure, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance, 2-week continuous glucose monitoring, and 2-week physical activity (actigraphy assessed) were measured during the pre- and end-intervention periods.

RESULTS: The TRE group significantly reduced the eating window (end-intervention window: 9.9 [2.0] hours) compared with the non-TRE group (end-intervention window: 15.1 [1.1] hours) (P < 0.01). Compared with non-TRE, TRE decreased the number of eating occasions, weight, lean mass, and visceral fat (all P ≤ 0.05). Compared with preintervention measures, the TRE group reduced the number of eating occasions (-21.9% [30.1%]) and reduced weight (-3.7% [1.8%]), fat mass (-4% [2.9%]), lean mass (-3.0% [2.7%]), and visceral fat (-11.1% [13.4%]) (all P ≤ 0.05). Physical activity and metabolic measures remained unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of a randomized trial, TRE presents a simplified view of food intake that reduces weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-869
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Healthy Foods Healthy Lives program (17SFR‐2YR50LC to LSC) and the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; UL1TR002494).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Obesity Society.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition/physiology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity/therapy
  • Overweight/therapy
  • Young Adult

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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