New Diet Fad: Nighttime Fasting

It's not just sleeping, scientists say

Researchers have gone and created a new diet fad: nighttime fasting.

Apparently, that means more than sleeping. The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, suggests that subjects should wrap up their eating early and fast for 16 hours to lose weight.

Researcher Satchidananda Panda told the Los Angeles Times that while people in the past ate mostly during the day, today "our social life starts at sunset. Family time starts at the evening. So essentially, we have increased our eating time in the last 40 to 50 years."

The team tested their theory on mice, dividing them into two groups. One group was able to eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted; the second group only had access to food for eight hours. Both groups were given high-fat, high-calorie food. A control group was given normal food.

After 100 days, researchers found that the eight-hour-only group was significantly leaner than the two other groups, while the obese mice from the first group developed high cholesterol, high blood sugar, fatty liver disease, and other metabolic problems.

Of course, more research will have to be done until 16-hour fasts become truly effective, but Panda notes that it's much easier than counting calories. We just need to invest in a clock, and develop some serious self-control.