“We recently did an analysis of some of our data, and we found that people who followed [time-restricted eating] five days a week, every week, had improvements in their blood sugar levels, their heart rate, and they lost more weight, which is no surprise,” Peterson explains.
After all, “flexible restraint” has been shown to be successful when it comes to weight management: In one 2019 study, participants who reported dieting more strictly during weekends had a significantly higher chance of regaining the weight they had previously lost over a year’s time, compared to those who reported less strict dieting on the weekends and holiday periods. In another study2, flexible restraint was associated with better weight maintenance, while rigid restraint was associated with less weight loss.
Time-restricted eating has benefits way beyond weight management, but if you find it difficult to stick to the schedule 24/7, try to give yourself grace on the weekends. “Five days a week is sufficient for people to see benefits in the long term,” assures Peterson.