Mealtime Changes Can Help Reduce Body Fat

A new pilot study published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences says that modest changes to times of breakfast and dinner can reduce body fat.

The study is led by Dr. Jonathan Johnston from the University of Surrey, and aims to find the impact of mealtime changes on dietary intake, body composition and blood risk markers for diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers recruited two groups of participants to do a 10-week study. One group of participants were required to delay their breakfast by 90 minutes and have their dinner 90 minutes earlier. And the other group were required to have their meals as usual. Besides, participants could eat freely within a certain eating window, and didn’t need to follow a strict diet.

After 10 weeks, the researchers found that the group of participants who changed their mealtime lost on average more than twice as much body fat as the other group who had their meals as usual. And they also found the group who changed their mealtimes ate less food overall than the other group.

“Although this study is small, it has provided us with invaluable insight into how slight alterations to our meal times can have benefits to our bodies. Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases, so is vital in improving our overall health.” Dr. Jonathan Johnston said, “However, as we have seen with these participants, fasting diets are difficult to follow and may not always be compatible with family and social life. We therefore need to make sure they are flexible and conducive to real life, as the potential benefits of such diets are clear to see.

He continued: “We are now going to use these preliminary findings to design larger, more comprehensive studies of time-restricted feeding”.

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