Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Brief Communication
  • Published:

Effect of time restricted eating versus daily calorie restriction on sex hormones in males and females with obesity


This study examined the effects of time restricted eating (TRE) on sex hormones in males and females, versus daily calorie restriction (CR). Adults with obesity (n = 90) were randomized to 1 of 3 groups for 12-months: 8-h TRE (eating only between 12:00 to 8:00 pm, with no calorie counting); CR (25% energy restriction daily); or control. Body weight decreased (P < 0.01) in the TRE and CR groups, relative to controls, in males, premenopausal females, and postmenopausal females, by month 12. Total testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels did not change over time, or between groups, in males, premenopausal females, and postmenopausal females. Estradiol, estrone, and progesterone were only measured in postmenopausal females, and remained unchanged. These findings suggest that TRE produces significant weight loss but does not impact circulating sex hormone levels in males and females with obesity over 12 months, relative to CR and controls.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Weight loss in males and females over 12 months by group.
Fig. 2: Sex hormone levels in males and females over 12 months by group.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Ezpeleta M, Cienfuegos S, Lin S, Pavlou V, Gabel K, Tussing-Humphreys L, et al. Time-restricted eating: watching the clock to treat obesity. Cell Metab. 2024;36:301–14.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Manoogian ENC, Chow LS, Taub PR, Laferrere B, Panda S. Time-restricted eating for the prevention and management of metabolic diseases. Endocr Rev. 2022;43:405–36.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Kalam F, Akasheh RT, Cienfuegos S, Ankireddy A, Gabel K, Ezpeleta M, et al. Effect of time-restricted eating on sex hormone levels in premenopausal and postmenopausal females. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2023;31:57–62.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Li C, Xing C, Zhang J, Zhao H, Shi W, He B. Eight-hour time-restricted feeding improves endocrine and metabolic profiles in women with anovulatory polycystic ovary syndrome. J Transl Med. 2021;19:148.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Moro T, Tinsley G, Bianco A, Marcolin G, Pacelli QF, Battaglia G, et al. Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males. J Transl Med. 2016;14:290.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  6. Moro T, Tinsley G, Longo G, Grigoletto D, Bianco A, Ferraris C, et al. Time-restricted eating effects on performance, immune function, and body composition in elite cyclists: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2020;17:65.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Stratton MT, Tinsley GM, Alesi MG, Hester GM, Olmos AA, Serafini PR et al. Four weeks of time-restricted feeding combined with resistance training does not differentially influence measures of body composition, muscle performance, resting energy expenditure, and blood biomarkers. Nutrients. 2020; 12.

  8. Lin S, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, Gabel K, Pavlou V, Mulas A et al. Time-restricted eating without calorie counting for weight loss in a racially diverse population : a randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2023.

  9. Martin CK, Bhapkar M, Pittas AG, Pieper CF, Das SK, Williamson DA, et al. Effect of calorie restriction on mood, quality of life, sleep, and sexual function in healthy nonobese adults: the CALERIE 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176:743–52.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Kelly DM, Jones TH. Testosterone and obesity. Obes Rev. 2015;16:581–606.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



S.L. designed the research, conducted the clinical trial, and wrote the manuscript; S.C., M.E., V.P. and M-C.R. assisted with the conduction of the clinical trial; K.A.V. designed the research and wrote the manuscript. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Krista A. Varady.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

K.A.V. received author fees from Pan MacMillan for the book, The Fastest Diet. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lin, S., Cienfuegos, S., Ezpeleta, M. et al. Effect of time restricted eating versus daily calorie restriction on sex hormones in males and females with obesity. Eur J Clin Nutr (2024).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links