Struggling to shed those extra kilos? Worry not, as a new study suggests eating dinner early by mid-afternoon and following it by an 18-hour daily fast or until breakfast the next morning may help with losing weight.
The new research revealed that eating a very early dinner, or even skipping dinner, may reduce swings in hunger, alter fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which may help in losing weight.
"The study found that eating between 8.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. followed by an 18-hour daily fast kept appetite levels more even throughout the day, in comparison to eating between 8.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m.," said lead author Courtney Peterson from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, US.
"Eating only during a much smaller window of time than people are typically used to may help with weight loss," Peterson added.
The body has a internal clock, and many aspects of metabolism are at their optimal functioning in the morning.
Therefore, eating in alignment with the body's circadian clock by eating earlier in the day can positively influence health, the researchers explained.
The study showed that although the early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) strategy did not affect the amount of calories burnt by participants, it reduced daily hunger swings and increased fat burning during several hours at night.
It also improved metabolic flexibility, which is the body's ability to switch between burning carbs and fats. Whether eTRF helps with weight loss or improves other aspects of health is still unknown.
"These preliminary findings suggest for the first time in humans what we've seen in animal models -- that the timing of eating during the day does have an impact on our metabolism," said Dale Schoeller, Professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, US.
The findings were presented at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at the ObesityWeek 2016 in Louisiana.
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