Changing your breakfast and dinner time could reduce your body fat

In a new study, researchers find modest changes to breakfast and dinner times can reduce body fat.

In the 10-week study on ‘time-restricted feeding’ (a form of intermittent fasting), the researchers examined the impact changing meal times on dietary intake, body composition and blood risk markers for diabetes and heart disease.

Participants were divided into two groups: one was required to delay their breakfast by 90 minutes and have their dinner 90 minutes earlier, and the other ate meals as they would normally (the controls).

All participants were not asked to stick to a strict diet and could eat freely.

Participants were required to provide blood samples and complete diet diaries before and during the study.

The team found that those who changed their mealtimes lost more than twice as much body fat as those in the control group, who ate their meals as normal.

In addition, although there were no restrictions on food types, those who changed their mealtimes ate less food overall than the control group.

These people reported reduced appetite, decreased eating opportunities or a cutback in snacking (particularly in the evenings).

The team also examined if fasting diets are compatible with everyday life and long-term commitment.

When questioned, 57% of participants felt they could not have maintained the new meal times beyond the prescribed 10 weeks because of their incompatibility with family and social life.

However, 43% of participants would consider continuing if eating times were more flexible.

The team suggests the finding has 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.

The research is led by Dr. Jonathan Johnston from the University of Surrey.

The study is published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences reports.

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