Time-restricted eating and circadian rhythms: the biological clock is ticking

Jéssica do Nascimento Queiroz, Rodrigo Cauduro Oliveira Macedo, Grant M. Tinsley, Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Meal timing may be a critical modulator of health outcomes due to complex interactions between circadian biology, nutrition and human metabolism. As such, approaches that aim to align food consumption with endogenous circadian rhythms are emerging in recent years. Time-restricted eating (TRE) consists of limiting daily nutrient consumption to a period of 4 to 12hours in order to extend the time spent in the fasted state. TRE can induce positive effects on the health of individuals with overweight and obesity, including sustained weight loss, improvement in sleep patterns, reduction in blood pressure and oxidative stress markers and increased insulin sensitivity. However, it is not fully clear whether positive effects of TRE are due to reduced energy intake, body weight or the truncation of the daily eating window. In addition, null effects of TRE in some populations and on some parameters of cardiometabolic health have been documented. Some evidence indicates that greater promotion of health via TRE may be achieved if the nutrient intake period occurs earlier in the day. Despite some promise of this dietary strategy, the effects of performing TRE at different times of the day on human cardiometabolic health, as well as the safety and efficacy of this dietary approach in individuals with cardiometabolic impairments, need to be evaluated in additional controlled and long-term studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
StatePublished - 2020


  • Circadian system
  • fasting
  • health
  • intermittent fasting
  • meal timing
  • time-restricted feeding


Dive into the research topics of 'Time-restricted eating and circadian rhythms: the biological clock is ticking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this