The Big IF: Zoe’s new 2-week intermittent fasting trial is here to give you better mood, sleep and energy | Nutrition


There have been many diets claiming to be ‘The One’ for health, mood and weight management, from the gut health-friendly Mediterranean diet to Dr Michael Mosley’s Fast 800 Keto diet and the Pioppi Diet, created by cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra to reap the secrets of one of the world’s longest-living populations. They all require you to change what you eat, and for some of us that can be the very thing that makes us shelve our healthy intentions for another day.

Now a new study from the researchers behind the Zoe Diet Programme, the Blue Poop challenge and Zoe Covid Health Study, wants to know whether simply changing the times at which we eat – a type of intermittent fasting called time-restricted eating or TRE ­­– can not only have a marked benefit on our health long-term but also have more immediate effects on the way we feel. And it’s asking hundreds of thousands of us to take part.

What is the Zoe Big IF intermittent fasting study?

From today you can sign up to the free Big IF programme via the Zoe Health Study app, the same app that thousands of people still use to report Covid symptoms. You can start any time. You’re asked to eat as you normally would for a week and log the effects on mood, energy levels, sleep, hunger etc. Then for another week (or longer if you’re enjoying it) to eat all your meals and snacks within a ten-hour window of your choosing and again log how you feel.

In return, you’ll receive data on how this way of eating benefits you and nutrition tips from the Zoe scientists. Dr Sarah Berry, a nutritional scientist at King’s College London, who is leading the research for Zoe says, “the aim is to be the world’s largest ever intermittent fasting study. We’re inviting people to be citizen scientists to answer some really important questions around time-restricted eating.”

The study will release results in real time as more people complete the two-week programme. “What’s really exciting for people taking part is they will have their results at the end of every day, they’ll have a little graph showing how things are changing over the two-week or three-week period. And for us as researchers, we hope that…



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