To Your Health
October, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 10)
Eating for Fat Loss: Start Later, End Earlier?
By Editorial Staff
No, we're not really talking about fasting, although research is beginning to show it also may have health benefits when properly administered and supervised; we're talking about time-restricted dieting: limiting your intake of food to a smaller window each day. That means if you currently eat breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and your last snack / dessert at 10:00 p.m., you're probably (like so many others) not practicing time-restricted dieting.
Here's why time-restricted dieting is important, particularly if you struggle to lose weight: According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences, adjusting the timing of your first and last meals of the day can increase your ability to lose body fat. The 10-week study divided participants into two groups, with one group eating their first meal 90 minutes later than usual and their last meal 90 minutes earlier than usual; and the second group (the control group) maintaining their regular eating schedule. All study participants were allowed to eat whatever they wanted – even the group designated to eat within the restricted time frame.
People who adjusted their mealtimes to eat within a smaller window every day lost twice as much body fat as people who ate on their regular schedule. What's more, time-restricted dieters also ate less than the control group, with the majority noting decreased eating opportunities or a reduction in nighttime snacking (the latter of which has been implicated in weight gain in a variety of studies).
So, start a little later, end a little earlier – the key to a leaner you? Perhaps. If you can't seem to achieve the weight / fat loss you need to maximize your health and wellness, talk to your doctor about the best way to go about it. Time-restricting dieting may be an effective tool to help get your body where you want it to be.