Can Dieting Timing Impact Weight Loss?

It seems that every time a person turns around there is a new example of how best to plan your meals in order to lose weight. Where only a few years ago a mantra in the dieting game was to limit the intake of calories earlier in the day to prevent splurging, new research indicates that eating larger quantities of lunch early on in the day can assist in weight loss. This new research suggests that changing how you intake calories can be just as beneficial for losing weight as changing how many calories you consume each day.

It’s All About Timing

A new study done at Harvard Medical School suggests that meal timing makes a much bigger difference in dieting than previously thought. This conclusion, pursued in conjunction with researches in both American and Europe, looked at over four hundred patients who agreed to undergo a weight loss program. This program divided patients between early eaters and late eaters — those who ate before and after 3 PM, respectively. Though the average American eats lunch between noon and one, European cultures wait longer for a mid day meal. What’s more, while a sandwich may be lunch on the go for Americans, a European may eat as much as half of their daily calories during lunch time.

Numbers And Timing

In the study, patients from both groups consumed only 1400 calories, a number that is low enough to force the human body to draw upon its fat reserves in order to produce energy. The only difference between both groups was the timing of their meals, with one taking lunch early on while others ate later. The difference was surprising. Of those who consumed lunch early, an average of twenty-two pounds was shed over the course of twenty weeks. Those who ate later lost a mere seventeen pounds over the same time frame. What’s more, the participants who ate later were more likely to consume fewer calories during breakfast (sometimes not consuming breakfast at all). Dieticians suggest eating large meals early in the day so that their metabolism is regulated throughout the day.

Health And Meals

One of the other factors of meal-body relationship is the production of insulin. Researchers have long since found that eating earlier produces high insulin sensitivity, which further reduces the chance of developing diabetes. While meal timing is only a small factor in developing diabetes compared to overall diet and genetics, it indicates that there is a more nuanced link between food and the condition than previously thought.