Intermittent fasting in women over 60

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Intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating (TRE) are two of the most popular trends for promoting health and weight loss. But are they effective and feasible for all of us?

There has been some question about how post-menopausal women respond to time-restricted eating. Since this is a particular population that struggles with weight gain, it makes sense that we would want to know if TRE is an effective approach for them. Now, a new study sheds light on the question.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, enrolled 45 women over age 60. They were then randomly assigned to either a control group or to the intervention group, who were instructed to completely abstain from food for 16 hours, or from 8pm until noon the following day. Notably, the intervention group was not instructed to change what they ate, only when they ate.

After six-weeks, there was a small improvement in body weight (1.4 kilos) and fat mass in the TRE group, with no such improvements in the control group. There was no loss of muscle mass in either group. The study makes no mention of any adverse effects, and compliance was very good at 88%.

This small study lends more evidence to the belief that TRE can be a powerful tool for women over age 60. While the absolute weight and fat mass lost was small, keep in mind that this was only a 6-week study and it made no changes to what the subjects ate.

As we detail in our guides on breaking a weight loss stall, TRE is likely an effective and safe practice for most people. When combined with low carb, it may be even more effective!

Thanks for reading,
Bret Scher, MD FACC

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