Beneficial Effects of Time-Restricted Eating on Metabolic Diseases: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis

Nutrients. 2020 Apr 29;12(5):1267. doi: 10.3390/nu12051267.


Various behavioral and physiological pathways follow a pre-determined, 24 hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. Metabolic homeostasis is regulated by the circadian rhythm. Time-restricted eating (TRE) is a type of intermittent fasting based on the circadian rhythm. In this study, we aim to analyze systemically the effects of TRE on body weight, body composition, and other metabolic parameters. We reviewed articles from PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library to identify clinical trials that compared TRE to a regular diet. We included 19 studies for meta-analysis. Participants following TRE showed significantly reduced body weight (mean difference (MD), -0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI): -1.71 to -0.10) and fat mass (MD: -1.58, 95% CI: -2.64 to -0.51), while preserving fat-free mass (MD, -0.24; 95% CI: -1.15 to 0.67). TRE also showed beneficial effects on cardiometabolic parameters such as blood pressure (systolic BP, MD, -3.07; 95% CI: -5.76 to -0.37), fasting glucose concentration (MD, -2.96; 95% CI, -5.60 to -0.33), and cholesterol profiles (triglycerides, MD: -11.60, 95% CI: -23.30 to -0.27). In conclusion, TRE is a promising therapeutic strategy for controlling weight and improving metabolic dysfunctions in those who are overweight or obese. Further large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings and the usefulness of TRE.

Keywords: circadian rhythm; meta-analysis; metabolic syndrome; obesity; time-restricted eating.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Overweight / diet therapy
  • Time*


  • Cholesterol