Time-restricted feeding plus resistance training in active females: A randomized trial

Grant M. Tinsley, M. Lane Moore, Austin J. Graybeal, Antonio Paoli, Youngdeok Kim, Joaquin U. Gonzales, John R. Harry, Trisha A. Vandusseldorp, Devin N. Kennedy, Megan R. Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


A very limited amount of research has examined intermittent fasting (IF) programs, such as time-restricted feeding (TRF), in active populations. Objective: Our objective was to examine the effects of TRF, with or without β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation, during resistance training (RT). Methods: This study employed a randomized, placebo-controlled, reduced factorial design and was double-blind with respect to supplementation in TRF groups. Resistance-trained females were randomly assigned to a control diet (CD), TRF, or TRF plus 3 g/d HMB (TRFHMB). TRF groups consumed all calories between 1200 h and 2000 h, whereas the CD group ate regularly from breakfast until the end of the day. All groups completed 8 wk of supervised RT and consumed supplemental whey protein. Body composition, muscular performance, dietary intake, physical activity, and physiological variables were assessed. Data were analyzed prior to unblinding using mixed models and both intention-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) frameworks. Results: Forty participants were included in ITT, and 24 were included in PP. Energy and protein intake (1.6 g/kg/d) did not differ between groups despite different feeding durations (TRF and TRFHMB: ∼7.5 h/d; CD: ∼13 h/d). Comparable fat-free mass (FFM) accretion (+2% to 3% relative to baseline) and skeletal muscle hypertrophy occurred in all groups. Differential effects on fat mass (CD: +2%; TRF: -2% to -4%; TRFHMB: -4% to -7%) were statistically significant in the PP analysis, but not ITT. Muscular performance improved without differences between groups. No changes in physiological variables occurred in any group, and minimal side effects were reported. Conclusions: IF, in the form of TRF, did not attenuate RT adaptations in resistance-trained females. Similar FFM accretion, skeletal muscle hypertrophy, and muscular performance improvements can be achieved with dramatically different feeding programs that contain similar energy and protein content during RT. Supplemental HMB during fasting periods of TRF did not definitively improve outcomes. This study was prospectively registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03404271.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-640
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • body composition
  • energy restriction
  • fat loss
  • intermittent energy restriction
  • intermittent fasting
  • muscle mass
  • muscular strength
  • protein
  • resistance exercise
  • weight training


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