How Coaches Can Combine Time Restricted Eating and Functional Training to Maximize Results

A recent study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE indicates that combining time-restricted eating with high-intensity functional training could lead to better body composition and cardiometabolic parameters compared to either method alone. 

Conducted by Ranya Ameur, Rami Maaloul, and colleagues from the University of Sfax, Tunisia, the research sheds light on effective strategies for weight loss and improving overall health.

Both dietary changes and exercise are known to play significant roles in weight management and cardiometabolic health. Time-restricted eating, which limits the hours during which individuals consume food, and high-intensity functional training, a blend of vigorous aerobic and resistance exercises, have emerged as promising approaches due to their potential sustainability.

In this study, 64 women with obesity were divided into three groups: those following time-restricted eating alone (diet-only group), those undergoing high-intensity functional training alone (exercise-only group), and those combining both approaches (diet + exercise group). 

Participants in the time-restricted eating group were restricted to eating between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, while those in the functional training groups engaged in instructor-led workouts three days per week.

After a 12-week intervention period, all three groups experienced significant weight loss and reductions in waist and hip circumference. Additionally, favorable changes in lipid and glucose levels were observed across all groups.

However, differences emerged between the groups, particularly in terms of body composition and blood pressure. While fat-free mass and blood pressure improved in the diet + exercise and exercise-only groups, there were no significant changes in the diet-only group.

Notably, participants in the diet + exercise group exhibited more substantial improvements in body composition and cardiometabolic parameters compared to those in the other groups.

The researchers acknowledge the study’s limitations, including its relatively small sample size and challenges in isolating the effects of specific exercise routines or dietary interventions. Nonetheless, they highlight the potential of combining time-restricted eating with high-intensity functional training as a promising strategy for enhancing overall health.

The study’s implications for health coaches are significant, offering a roadmap for optimizing client outcomes through a comprehensive approach. 

By integrating the synergistic benefits of time-restricted eating and high-intensity functional training into personalized lifestyle plans, coaches can tailor interventions to individual client needs and preferences. Conducting thorough assessments allows coaches to identify areas for improvement and develop targeted strategies that address both dietary and exercise-related factors contributing to weight management and cardiometabolic health. 

Further, educating and empowering clients about the rationale behind these interventions fosters engagement and adherence, while ongoing monitoring and support enable coaches to track progress and provide timely feedback.

Ultimately, by leveraging the insights from this study, health coaches can play a pivotal role in facilitating lasting improvements in body composition, metabolic health and overall well-being for their clients.

As the authors conclude, “Combining time-restricted eating with high intensity functional training is a promising strategy to improve body composition and cardiometabolic health.” 

This study underscores the importance of exploring integrated approaches to lifestyle modifications for optimal health outcomes.

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