PORTLAND -- There's a new diet book that claims you can lose weight by simply changing the timing of your meals.

It says to go from thinking, you are what you eat to you are when you eat.

The book called The 8 Hour Diet says you can eat almost anything you want within an 8-hour time span and some cheating is allowed. I'm somebody who eats a lot of small meals, said Lake Oswego resident Claire McGuire, 53.

I'm a believer in eating when I feel hungry, added Portland resident, Denise Dubois, 59.

It's been over a year and one month, and I have walked 7 miles a day, everyday and that's all I do, said Portland Resident, Gloria Warner, 69.

Many people think about their diets for a huge portion of their days. What we're eating can consume our minds. So, what if you could eat anything you wanted?

The new book claims that people can effectively shed pounds by watching the clock. It works like this: You eat for eight hours a day and then fast for 16. For instance, you could eat from noon to 8 p.m., but then not again until noon the next day.

I think over time, I've just figured out what works for me and what doesn't, said McGuire.

So could this idea work for you? The book's best-selling author said most people eat all day long and also stay up too late. This throws off the body's natural clock and makes people both unhealthy and overweight. He said the key is to confine our eating to eight hours daily in order to go back to the way that our bodies should be operating.

On this diet, many foods are suggested, but no foods are forbidden. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it's within that 8-hour time span.

Nutritionist Valerie Edwards, a Providence outpatient nutrition and eating disorder therapist, said she does not agree with the premise of the new diet book.

It's not a sustainable way to eat, said Edwards. The most important thing to look at when you're considering a diet change is to ask yourself, 'Is this going to help me to develop healthy eating habits that I can sustain over time?' Immediately I think that this diet does not fall into this category.

Edwards added that even though this diet could promote some short-term weight loss, It can lead to having to think about food all the time and also can lead to mood swings because your blood sugar can be going up and down.

And if that's not convincing enough, No diets. Diets are silly because they're just short term. [They say] 'Eat now, don't eat now,' said Warner, throwing her hands up in frustration.

It has to come from within, said Dubois, You can do all the reading you want, but if you're not willing to put the time in and the effort and by the way, there are some days believe me that I don't want to do this [she points to the track where she'd been running], but if you're not willing to do it, you can read all the books in the world, and it's not going to do you any good.

Still, the book's author and editor said the 8 Hour Diet works because it gives the body more time to burn the calories that are consumed.

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