Confining your eating to a 10-hour period can lead to improvements in mood and energy and help you feel less hungry, according to new research.

There have been several studies on the benefits of intermittent fasting and the latest findings from King’s College London highlights the positive impact of fasting for 14 hours a day and restricting eating to a 10-hour window, such as 9am to 7pm.

The study involved more than 37,000 people who used an app to log their health each day. Participants ate as normal for seven days then restricted their eating to a 10-hour window for the following two weeks.

At the same time, they recorded details on their hunger levels, mood and energy.

The results show that those who confined their eating to a 10-hour window and fasted for 14 hours reportedly felt more energetic, with better mood and lower hunger levels.

Those who stuck with the same times of the day for their eating window found it had more of an impact than those who changed the times from day to day.

Almost all the participants chose to continue with this style of intermittent fasting in the following weeks.

Dr Sarah Berry, chief scientist and researcher at King’s College London, said: “This is the largest study outside of a tightly controlled clinic to show that intermittent fasting can improve your health in a real-world setting.

“What’s really exciting is that the findings show you don’t have to be very restrictive to see positive results.

“A 10-hour eating window, which was manageable for most people, improved mood, energy levels and hunger.

“We found for the first time that those who practised time-restricted eating, but were not consistent day to day, did not have the same positive health effects as those who were dedicated every day.”

Fellow researcher Kate Bermingham added: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing the importance of how you eat.

“The health impact of food is not just what you eat but the time at which you choose to consume your meals, and eating window is an important dietary behaviour that can be beneficial for health.

“Findings shows that we don’t need to be eating all the time. Many people will feel satiated and even lose weight if they restrict their food to a ten-hour window.”

The research follows a previous study, also through the same app, which found that snacking after 9pm can lead to worse blood sugar readings and blood fat levels in comparison to people who stopped eating at this point. These levels are linked to type 2 diabetes risk, along with heart attack and stroke risk.

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