Effects of 4- and 6-h Time-Restricted Feeding on Weight and Cardiometabolic Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adults with Obesity

Cell Metab. 2020 Sep 1;32(3):366-378.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.06.018. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


Time-restricted feeding (TRF) regimens have grown in popularity; however, very few studies have examined their weight-loss efficacy. We conducted the first human trial (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03867773) to compare the effects of two popular forms of TRF (4 and 6 h) on body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors. Adults with obesity were randomized to 4-h TRF (eating only between 3 and 7 p.m.), 6-h TRF (eating only between 1 and 7 p.m.), or a control group (no meal timing restrictions). After 8 weeks, 4- and 6-h TRF produced comparable reductions in body weight (∼3%), insulin resistance, and oxidative stress, versus controls. Energy intake was reduced by ∼550 kcal/day in both TRF groups, without calorie counting. These findings suggest that 4- and 6-h TRF induce mild reductions in body weight over 8 weeks and show promise as interventions for weight loss. These diets may also improve some aspects of cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: blood pressure; body weight; energy intake; insulin resistance; intermittent fasting; metabolic disease; obesity; plasma lipids; time-restricted feeding.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Fasting*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03867773