Effect of early vs. late time-restricted high-fat feeding on circadian metabolism and weight loss in obese mice

Shani Tsameret, Nava Chapnik, Oren Froy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Time-restricted feeding (TRF) limits the time and duration of food availability without calorie reduction. Although a high-fat (HF) diet leads to disrupted circadian rhythms, TRF can prevent metabolic diseases, emphasizing the importance of the timing component. However, the question of when to implement the feeding window and its metabolic effect remains unclear, specifically in obese and metabolically impaired animals. Our aim was to study the effect of early vs. late TRF-HF on diet-induced obese mice in an 8:16 light–dark cycle. C57BL male mice were fed ad libitum a high-fat diet for 14 weeks after which they were given the same food during the early (E-TRF-HF) or late (L-TRF-HF) 8 h of the dark phase for 5 weeks. The control groups were fed ad libitum either a high-fat (AL-HF) or a low-fat diet (AL-LF). Respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was highest for the AL-LF group and the lowest for the AL-HF group. E-TRF-HF led to lower body weight and fat depots, lower glucose, C-peptide, insulin, cholesterol, leptin, TNFα, and ALT levels compared with L-TRF-HF- and AL-HF-fed mice. TRF-HF regardless whether it was early or late led to reduced inflammation and fat accumulation compared with AL-HF-fed mice. E-TRF-HF led to advanced liver circadian rhythms with higher amplitudes and daily expression levels of clock proteins. In addition, TRF-HF led to improved metabolic state in muscle and adipose tissue. In summary, E-TRF-HF leads to increased insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation and decreased body weight, fat profile and inflammation contrary to AL-HF-fed, but comparable to AL-LF-fed mice. These results emphasize the importance of timed feeding compared to ad libitum feeding, specifically to the early hours of the activity period.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number180
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Circadian
  • Clock
  • Metabolism
  • RER
  • Restricted feeding
  • Time-restricted feeding
  • Timing


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