According to a research team at the Salk Institute, restricting food consumption to a specific 8-12 hour window during the day may be more effective in preventing high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Basically, the research suggests that you a midday snack is much better than a midnight snack.
Salk Institute associate professor Satchidananda Panda said “These days, most of the advice is, ‘You have to change nutrition, you have to eat a healthy diet. But many people don’t have access to healthy diets. So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practice time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?”
So the researchers took 400 mice of various weight ranges (from normal to obese) and put them on very strict diets which fed them their food over varying lengths of time.
In the study, they were able to determine that mice fed a high-fat diet but who were only allowed to eat their food within a 12-hour time slot were actually healthier and thinner than the mice who were allowed to eat the same food at any time of the day (and even though both groups of mice consumed the same amount of calories).
Furthermore, the results were roughly the same for a high fat diet a high sugar diet or a high fruit sugar diet.
Lead study author and postdoctoral researcher Amandine Caix responds “The fact that it worked no matter what the diet, and the fact that it worked over the weekend and weekdays, was a very nice surprise.”
The study also showed that the occasional venture outside the 12-hour window probably would not make a difference at all. One late night weekend splurge, even, probably would have no lasting negative effect.