A study has suggested the best time to eat with peace of mind while knowing you’re losing weight effectively.
If you’re having trouble shedding pounds, it might be a good idea to review your meal times. Following a study established on human volunteers, researchers revealed that participants who followed a strict schedule of meal times lost 2.3 kg compared to others over 14 weeks. As they claimed the same participants saw their blood pressure drop and their mood improve.
However, there is a catch: the participants had their meals before 3 p.m.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham study looked at time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting. Several studies have investigated whether this form of eating can promote weight loss, with mixed results. It involves eating within a small window of the day, usually eight hours, and fasting the rest of the time; for example, having the first meal of the day at noon and dinner at 8 p.m.
But the researchers specifically looked at moving the eating window as early as possible, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. According to them, the body and metabolism are better prepared to deal with food earlier in the day than later, which could further stimulate fat burning.
What results for this study?
Some 90 obese adults were recruited, half of whom followed intermittent fasting six days a week for 14 weeks. Both groups followed a healthy diet and got 150 minutes of exercise per week. People in the fasting group lost almost 6.3 kg, while those in the control group lost 4 kg.
“The results corresponded to a decrease in calorie consumption of 214 additional calories per day,” say the scientists in their study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Mir Ali, bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center in California, said: “This study was interesting because of the time period over which the restriction was applied. »
He later claimed, “Earlier food restriction may have a greater benefit. This is justified by the fact that insulin levels are maintained at a lower level for a longer period of time, which increases calorie consumption. As Dr. Mir Ali revealed, “Anyone who wants to lose weight can benefit from intermittent fasting or time-limited food. The setbacks to this way of eating are that a person may feel hungry during the fasting period and may find it difficult to adhere to the plan. Although the researchers think an earlier feeding window is more beneficial, they said it may not be right for everyone.
Same principle, different hours.
Dr Dana Hunnes, senior clinical dietitian at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, said: “For people who don’t like to go to bed ‘hungry’, this way of eating can be difficult. .
In addition, it is preferable for some people to eat later by shifting the time restriction, for example from noon to 8 p.m., instead of from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Experts who were not involved in the study said it was unclear whether the weight loss achieved was sustainable.
Dr Simon Steenson, Nutrition Scientist, British Nutrition Foundation, said: “While this study adds to the current evidence base, it remains difficult to say with certainty whether time-restricted feeding is a optimal approach to weight loss than eating fewer calories throughout the day. “However, for people who find this eating pattern better fits their lifestyle and preferences, time-restricted eating is an option to reduce overall calorie intake that may be suitable for some.” »
She adds, “Ultimately, it’s about finding the best approach to moderating calorie intake that’s right for each person. Since to succeed in losing weight in a sustainable way, it is necessary to ensure that the diet can be followed over the long term. »