Effect of Time-Restricted Eating versus Daily Calorie Restriction on Mood and Quality of Life in Adults with Obesity

Shuhao Lin, Sofia Cienfuegos, Mark Ezpeleta, Vasiliki Pavlou, Kaitlin Chakos, Mara McStay, Mary Claire Runchey, Shaina J. Alexandria, Krista A. Varady*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this secondary analysis is to compare the effects of two popular weight loss regimens, time-restricted eating (TRE) and daily calorie restriction (CR), on mood and quality-of-life measures in adults with obesity. Ninety participants were randomized to one of three interventions for 12 months: 8 h TRE (eating only between 12:00 and 8:00 p.m., with no calorie counting); CR (25% energy restriction daily); or no-intervention control group. Questionnaires were administered to measure mood (Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and Profile of Mood States (POMS)) and quality of life (Rand 36-Item Short Form) at baseline and month 12. Body weight decreased in the TRE group (−4.87%, 95%CI: −7.61, −2.13) and CR group (−5.30%, 95%CI: −9.06, −1.54) versus controls, with no difference between TRE and CR. The BDI-II depression score did not change in the TRE or CR group, versus controls, by month 12. Likewise, there were no changes in any of the POMS subscales (tension, depression, anger, fatigue, anger, confusion, or vigor) or the total mood disturbance score in the TRE or CR group versus controls. As for quality of life, there were no significant changes in the SF-36 constructs of mental health, bodily pain, and general physical health in the TRE or CR group versus controls. However, there was a trend towards increased vitality in the TRE group (7.77 [95% CI: 0.15, 15.39] p = 0.05) relative to controls. There were no associations between changes in body weight, physical activity, mood, and quality of life in any group by the end of the study. These findings suggest that TRE and CR produce similar degrees of weight loss, but impact neither mood nor quality of life in adults with obesity over 12 months. Future well-powered studies will be needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4313
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • calorie restriction
  • depression
  • intermittent fasting
  • mood
  • obesity
  • quality of life
  • time-restricted eating
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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