Over the course of nearly four months, the men dedicated several weeks to a specific eating schedule. The first 5 weeks involved eating for just 6 hours a day from 7am to 3pm; after that study period, they all took a 7 week break. Then for a control period, the participants spent the next 5 weeks eating normally.
Before and after the study period, researchers measured participants' insulin sensitivity, the body's ability to process sugar, as well as their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.
A the end of the study, all of the participants saw improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. No improvements in cholesterol or blood glucose were observed, something Peterson thinks might be a sign that those perks are closely tied to weight loss. Some people also experienced negative side effects like headaches, drowsiness, and increased thirst.
Those takeaways point to key places to start other studies, Peterson said.
"Our data suggests that no matter where you are [in terms of when you're eating], as long as it's a restricted window, there's a benefit."