Title: Meal Frequency and Time - Restricted Feeding as Strategies for Reducing Metabolic Risk : a Review
Obesity is a global health concern since it can develop into a clustering of pro - atherosclerotic metabolic abnormalities, including elevated blood pressure, blood glucose, and triglycerides and lower levels of high - density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Considering the rising prevalence of obesity in developed as also in developing countries, remedial measures are necessary to deter the upsurge of diet - related disea ses. Caloric restriction, low carbohydrate, and high protein diet plans are some popular dietary strategies for weight loss and improving metabolic health. Even so, these methods face the problems of weight regain in the long term. Instead of controlling t he quantity and nutritional quality of diets, approaches like reducing the number of meals per day or increasing fasting hours between meals, have recently been investigated for their usefulness in decreasing insulin resistance along with weight loss. Ther e are limited intervention trials reporting the impact of meal frequency (MF) and time - restricted feeding (TRF) on weight control and metabolic health markers. Therefore, in this review, we surveyed literature to assess the impact of meal frequency and tim e - restricted feeding for their effectiveness in achieving weight loss and insulin sensitivity. This review demonstrates the potential of meal frequency and extended fasting hours for achieving weight loss and sound metabolic health. Lower meal frequency of 2 to 3 meals per day with higher protein intakes is a sustainable lifestyle change that can achieve weight loss, reduced adiposity and insulin sensitivity. TRF, with a smaller fasting window (12 - 14 hours), may be beneficial in achieving weight loss provid ed there is a compensatory adjustment in total caloric and carbohydrate intake. However, due to the lack of uniformity in study designs, sample sizes, duration, and outcome parameters, currently published data are inadequate to recommend either of these strategies for overcoming the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: meal frequency, time - restricted feeding, obesity, insulin resistance, weight loss, body fat, HbA1c, metabolic risk, fasting glucose, lipids