Delayed breakfast and early dinner could reduce body fat, according to study

03/09/2018 - 07:00
A delayed breakfast and early dinner might help lose body fat, a new study has revealed.

The extrememly small-scale study was only carried out on 13 participants, and limits its usefulness.

However, it did find that people who ate their breakfast 90 minutes later and dinner 90 minutes earlier than usual lost more than twice as much body fat on average than those who ate at their usual time.

Published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, the research looked at the idea of ‘chrono-nutrition' - the idea that the time you eat is as important as what you eat.

For ten weeks, the subjects ate breakfast 90 minutes later and dinner 90 minutes earlier than normal.

There were no restrictions on what they could eat, but the study found that those on the restricted timetable ate less overall.

It was designed to explore the effectiveness of time-restricted feeding (TRF), which would sync with our natural biological rhythms, which makes digestion better during certain periods of the day.

The researchers found that people on the TRF regime cut their daily energy intake by about a third. Over ten weeks they lost between 2 per cent and 3 per cent of their body fat. Most of the subjects reported snacking less and a diminished appetite.

However, their weight stayed about the same, possibly because they decreased their activity levels. The control subjects who did not change their meal times lost about 1 per cent of their body fat.

The researchers from the University of Surrey said that the findings also hinted that it could improve cholesterol levels and control blood sugar better, but 57% of the participants did not feel that they could have maintained the new meal times long term because of the incompatibility with family and social life.

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