Mealtime restriction – a new healthy weight loss method for those with type 2 diabetes

About 6.2% of EU citizens suffer, on average, from type 2 diabetes today. In Romania, these statistics are as high as 8.4-11%-11.6% With an obesity rate of around 31.9% in our country, these statistics are not surprising – obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes and other health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

It’s clear – we need innovative lifestyle strategies to prevent and keep type 2 diabetes under control. A new study on restricting mealtimes as a healthy weight loss method could be one of the solutions.

What exactly is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body cannot use insulin efficiently, leading to high blood sugar levels. This condition can be recognised by symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, unusual tiredness, blurred vision and slow wound healing.

What is glycated haemoglobin?

Glycated haemoglobin, or HbA1c, measures how much sugar is attached to red blood cells. It gives us a picture of average blood sugar levels over a period of about 3 months, and helps to identify type 2 diabetes or monitor it when levels are too high.

Calorie restriction or mealtime restriction? What is the best healthy weight loss method for type 2 diabetics?

Currently, one of the most encouraged treatment methods for patients with type 2 diabetes is calorie restriction. This involves a daily calorie-deficient diet, which can help patients manage their weight and blood glucose levels.

However, calorie restriction has a big disadvantage – calorie intake needs to be closely monitored on a daily basis, which can lead to deviations from the diet and therefore not meeting the patient’s goals.

Restricting mealtimes – an alternative to calorie deficiency

Instead of restricting calories, a more useful way to lose weight healthily might be to restrict meal times each day.

This method involves limiting your meals to a specific interval (6 to 10 hours) each day, without limiting your calories or food intake.

Mealtime restriction is a healthy weight loss method

What do studies tell us about mealtime restrictions?

A recent study shows how effective mealtime restriction is compared to calorie restriction.

This study from the University of Illinois at Chicago followed the changes in body weight and blood glucose levels of participants over a 6-month period.

Participants were divided into three groups: group 1, which followed an 8-hour mealtime restriction (between 12:00 and 20:00), group 2, which followed a daily calorie restriction (of 25%), and a control group that did not change their lifestyle significantly.

The results were astonishing – people in group 1 reduced their daily calorie intake by about 313 kcal/day, while those in group 2 reduced their intake by only about 197 kcal/day. Also, body weight decreased by about 3.56% in group 1, and only 1.78% in group 2. Blood glucose levels decreased comparably in both groups.

So, the study showed that calorie restriction and time-restricted dieting both helped with weight loss and improved glycemic control, but time-restricted dieting helped more with weight loss It’s clear that this could be a healthy weight loss method worthy of our and doctors’ attention.

Study author Krista A. Varady, said:

“Our study shows that time-restricted eating could be an effective alternative to the traditional diet for people who cannot follow the traditional diet or are exhausted by it. For many people trying to lose weight, counting time is easier than counting calories.”

Monitor your weight with Dahna!

The Dahna health app is your ally in closely monitoring your weight and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. By setting up a cardiometabolic profile, the app generates tasty and affordable menus based on the Mediterranean diet (see here why the Mediterranean diet is best for type 2 diabetics!), which will help you keep your heart fit for the long term. Download the app today and start your journey to a healthy heart!

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