Could meal timing predict weight loss effectiveness?

The calories we consume and those we use being physically active may not be the only factors that influence the success of weight loss. Researchers from North America and Spain have concluded that timing of food intake may also influence the success of such a programme.

They carried out an intervention which comprised of four parts: a Mediterranean diet, nutritional education, physical activity, and cognitive-behavioural therapy, and recruited 420 overweight and obese Spaniards, both male and female, to take part in the programme over 20 weeks.

The daily dietary intake of participants was recorded and based on this they were divided into those that consumed their main meal before 3pm (early eaters, 51%) or after 3pm (late eaters, 49%). No advice was given to the patients with regard to the food timing and daily energy intake distribution during the treatment

After 20 weeks, both groups had lost weight but late lunch eaters lost significantly less weight (7.7 kilograms on average) than early lunch eaters (9.9 kilograms on average). Late eaters also showed a slower rate of weight loss over the initial five weeks of treatment, a trend which continued for the duration of the study. There were no significant differences in total energy intake or energy expenditure between late and early eaters. It is important to note that both groups lost significant weight and it would be interesting to see if they keep the weight off in the longer term.

safefood recommends eating regularly and not fasting for long periods or you’re likely to overeat later.


Posted: 13/11/2013 11:04:54 by Laura Keaver


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