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Changing meal times makes you thinner

changing meal times

Modest changes to breakfast and dinner times can reduce body fat, according to a new pilot study[5].

The 10-week study on ‘time-restricted feeding’ (a form of intermittent fasting) led by Dr Jonathan Johnston from the University of Surrey investigated the impact of changing meal times on dietary intake, body composition and blood risk markers for diabetes and heart disease.

Participants were split into two groups – those who were required to delay their breakfast by 90 minutes and have their dinner 90 minutes earlier, and those who ate meals as they would normally (the controls). Participants were required to provide blood samples and complete diet diaries before and during the 10-week intervention and complete a feedback questionnaire immediately after the study.

Unlike previous studies in this area, participants were not asked to stick to a strict diet and could eat freely, provided it was within a certain eating window. This helped to assess whether this type of diet was easy to follow in everyday life.

Researchers found that those who changed their mealtimes lost on average more than twice as much body fat as those in the control group, who ate their meals at normal times. If these pilot data can be repeated in larger studies, there is potential for time-restricted feeding to have broad health benefits.

Those who changed their mealtimes ate less food overall than the control group. This result was supported by questionnaire responses, which found that 57% of participants noted a reduction in food intake either due to reduced appetite, decreased eating opportunities or a cutback in snacking (particularly in the evenings). It is currently uncertain whether the longer fasting period undertaken by this group was also a contributing factor to this reduction in body fat.

References

5. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/news/changes-breakfast-and-dinner-timings-can-r...

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