Sign up for CNN’s Eat, But Better: Mediterranean Style and discover the delicious and expert-backed eating lifestyle that will enhance your health for life. CNN presents groundbreaking research showing that individuals with type 2 diabetes can achieve significant improvements in blood sugar levels and lose belly fat by following a time-restricted diet or counting calories. In a randomized clinical trial spanning six months, 75 participants experienced these positive outcomes.
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that those who followed a time-restricted eating schedule not only lost weight but also naturally consumed fewer calories (around 300 calories per day) within their designated eight-hour eating window. On the other hand, the calorie counters, who were instructed to reduce their intake by 500 calories per day, struggled to adhere to the diet and only achieved a reduction of 200 calories per day. However, both groups showed similar improvements in A1C levels, a crucial marker of blood sugar control.
Interestingly, both groups also experienced comparable reductions in hazardous visceral belly fat, which is known to contribute to various health issues, including heart disease and stroke. Dr. Krista Varady, lead study author and nutrition professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, states that controlling blood sugar is especially important for individuals with type 2 diabetes, but weight loss, particularly a reduction in visceral fat, is essential for overall blood sugar control.
However, while the results of this study are promising, experts caution that time-restricted eating may not be suitable for everyone trying to lose weight. Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine, believes that time-restricted eating is merely a tactic to reduce daily calorie intake and achieve weight loss. Moreover, another clinical trial conducted by Dr. Ethan Weiss found no benefits in terms of weight loss or cardiovascular health.
Dr. Katz highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to weight loss and encourages individuals to seek support, whether from a dietitian or a weight loss support group. He emphasizes that the overall quality of one’s diet is more crucial than when and how much one eats. Furthermore, it is essential for individuals with type 2 diabetes to consult with a medical professional or dietitian before trying time-restricted eating, as certain medications can cause low blood sugar when taken without food.
In conclusion, while time-restricted eating shows potential as a weight loss strategy and blood sugar control method, it is necessary to consider individual needs and preferences. A multifaceted approach and a focus on the overall quality of one’s diet are key to achieving lasting results.