How “Early Time-Restricted Feeding” Boosts Weight Loss

September 6, 2022

Intermittent fasting went from being a niche health topic to receiving mainstream attention, and for good reason.

For starters, it’s how our ancestors ate, and thus, how our bodies evolved. Our ancestors did this out of necessity because they would often go several days without finding any food. The feast/famine cycle was the natural ebb and flow of daily living.  

Today, we have an overconsumption problem with most people eating too frequently and too late at night..  Intermittent fasting is more relevant and important than ever, because 88% of Americans are considered metabolically unhealthy according to this study from 2018. 

Intermittent fasting has a TON of benefits for your body. Some of these include: 

  • Helping you live longer
  • Promoting healthy hormone function 
  • Boosting your metabolism
  • Reducing your risk of heart disease 
  • Protecting you against cancer 
  • Boosting your mood 
  • Curbing late-night binge sessions
  • Regulating blood glucose
  • Keeping you lean
  • Improving your relationship with food

If you’re unfamiliar with intermittent fasting, here’s what it means: 

You fast whenever you go for an extended period of time without food…this includes your sleep time!  A medical fast is usually indicated for  blood work or procedures like a colonoscopy.  

A popular  “fasting period” is 16 hours (meaning, you eat all your food within the remaining 8-hour window). Many people choose to make noon-8pm their eating window probably for social reasons: they can eat dinner with their family or socialize with friends.  

However,  new research suggests a shorter and earlier eating window might be more beneficial to your health, hunger levels, and weight loss success.  

How switching your “feeding window” fast tracks fat loss 

Before we dive into the new study about “Early Time-Restricted Feeding” (or eTRF), let me give you a quick anecdote from one of my clients:

She had initial success following a keto protocol. She did everything “right.” No cheat days. She only ate from 12 pm until 8 pm (the most popular style of intermittent fasting called the 16:8 schedule). And her body was shedding fat fast. 

But then she plateaued. Her plateau lasted 3 months without the scale budging once — despite all her best efforts to lose more weight. 

That’s when she changed her feeding window from 12-8 pm to 9-5 pm. 

Even though she ate all her food within an 8-hour window, she started losing weight again—like magic! 

Best part? 

This happened long before I stumbled upon this scientific study about eTRF. 

So if you’re plateauing with your intermittent fasting schedule, change things up! 

But if you want to experience even more visceral fat loss… fewer hunger pangs… feel full more often… make your appetite chill out… and increase your metabolic flexibility… keep reading. 

Why eTRF is the superior form of intermittent fasting for weight loss 

According to a new study, eTRF (or “Early Time-Restricted Feeding”) is the superior form of intermittent fasting schedule. 

Most intermittent fasting schedules have you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours. The client story I shared above still ate within an 8-hour period. 

But further restricting your eating window from 8 hours to 4 hours may help you achieve your weight loss goals not only faster, but easier too. 

Check this out: 

According to the study in Obesity (Silver Spring), they found eating earlier in the day (and having a shorter feeding windsow) led to… 

  • More even-keeled hunger (meaning, you feel hungry less often!) 
  • Increased fullness 
  • Decreased the desire to eat as much (by decreasing ghrelin, the hunger hormone) 
  • Increased metabolic flexibility 
  • Increased fat oxidation (meaning, you lose fat easier!) 

Here’s how they conducted this study: 

They took 11 overweight adults and practiced two modes intermittent fasting:

  1. A control schedule — where they ate from 8am-8pm and fasted the rest of the day
  2. An early time-restricted feeding schedule — where they ate from 8am-2pm 

Each participant followed each schedule for four days. Then, on the fourth day, they were tested. 

Across the board, participants experienced more significant changes (the ones I mentioned above) by following the eTRF schedule compared to the control. 

Here are their findings:

“What does this study add?

  • We performed the first randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of meal timing on 24-hour energy metabolism when both food intake and meal frequency are matched.
  • Early time-restricted feeding (eTRF)—a form of intermittent fasting that involves eating dinner in the mid-afternoon and fasting for the rest of the day—did not affect 24-hour energy expenditure but increased metabolic flexibility, decreased the 24-hour nonprotein respiratory quotient, reduced the hunger hormone ghrelin, and reduced the desire to eat.
  • Meal timing interventions likely facilitate weight loss in humans by reducing food intake and enhancing fat oxidation, not by increasing energy expenditure.” 

And here’s the best part: 

Participants in this study ate 50% carbs — and still achieved these benefits! 


Most people shy away from intermittent fasting as a tool to help them achieve better weight loss success because they’re worried about being hungry (or worse: hangry) all day. 

But according to this study, restricting your eating window to just 6 hours (instead of 8 hours), and eating earlier in the day can actually make you less hungry! 

Give it a try and see if this works for you! 

If you need additional nutritional support to reach your weight loss goals, book a consultation with me here.

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