Time-restricted eating and high-intensity exercise together can strongly improve health

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A recent study published in PLOS ONE by researchers Ranya Ameur and Rami Maaloul from the University of Sfax, Tunisia, suggests that combining time-restricted eating with high-intensity functional training might be more effective in improving body composition and cardiometabolic health than either strategy alone.

Diet and exercise adjustments are well-established methods for losing weight and enhancing health, but the best mix of lifestyle changes for sustainable results can often be elusive. This study sheds light on how specific combinations of diet and exercise can provide significant benefits.

Time-restricted eating, which limits the hours during the day when food can be consumed but not the type of food, paired with high-intensity functional training—a regimen that merges intense aerobic and resistance exercises—were the focus of this research.

The study aimed to evaluate the effects of these combined strategies on various health markers including cholesterol, blood glucose, and lipid levels.

The research involved 64 women with obesity, who were divided into three groups: one practicing time-restricted eating, another engaging in high-intensity functional training, and a third combining both approaches.

The time-restricted eating group had their food intake confined to between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, while the exercise group participated in thrice-weekly sessions led by an instructor.

After a 12-week period, all groups saw significant improvements in weight, waist and hip measurements, and levels of blood lipids and glucose.

Notably, the group that combined both dietary and exercise interventions experienced the most substantial improvements in terms of fat-free mass (which includes lean and skeletal muscle mass) and blood pressure.

These outcomes were not as pronounced in the groups that followed only one of the interventions.

Although the study’s scale was relatively small, the findings suggest that the synergy between time-restricted eating and high-intensity functional training could be particularly effective at enhancing both body composition and overall cardiometabolic health.

The researchers concluded that this dual approach could represent a promising strategy for achieving better health outcomes.

While further research is needed to explore the specific contributions of each element of the intervention, this study provides a valuable perspective on how combining different health strategies can potentially amplify benefits and aid in the development of more effective health and wellness programs.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies that ultra-processed foods may make you feel depressed, and Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

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The research findings can be found in PLOS ONE.

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