Slimming without effort? Breakfast later, dine earlier
If you want to lose weight in a way that costs little self-discipline, then breakfast one and a half hours later than you are used to, and use your evening meal just one and a half hours earlier than you are used to. According to a small pilot study by researchers at the University of Surrey, you will eat less without noticing it, and lose fat.
The researchers had 6 subjects eat for 10 weeks as they were used to. This was the control group. In another group of 7 other subjects, the researchers limited the number of hours per day in which the subjects were allowed to eat. This was the experimental group.
The subjects in the time-restricted feeding group were only allowed to eat breakfast one and a half hours later than they were used to. At the same time, they had to use their evening meal one and a half hours earlier than they were used to. Because the subjects did not eat anything before breakfast and after dinner, the researchers had extended the daily fasting period around and during sleep by three hours.
The time-restricted feeding group was eating less, even though the subjects were allowed to eat as much as they wanted during their 'eating window'.
There was no statistically significant weight loss in either of the two groups. However, the fat percentage decreased by a significant 1.9 percent in the time-restricted feeding group. That body weight in the experimental group did not decrease, is possible due to to an increase of lean body mass.
Early in the morning, before breakfast, the glucose level in the time-restricted feeding group was lower than in the control group. The researchers also looked at the triglycerides and cholesterol in the subjects' blood, but the glucose level was the only blood parameter they saw changing.
"In conclusion, data from this 10-week pilot study provide initial evidence that a modest contraction of the eating window is achievable within a free-living human population", the researchers write. "Moreover, the moderate time-restricted feeding intervention elicited favourable changes in dietary intakes, accompanied by a reduction in adiposity."
"The importance of this 'unintentional' dietary modification is important in the context of our obesogenic environment. However, participation in the study did affect social eating/drinking opportunities in the evening."
"Larger studies are now required and, based on our preliminary findings, should also carefully consider personal/social considerations of participants undertaking time-restricted feeding protocols to maximise compliance."
Journal of Nutritional Science, 2018; 7 DOI: 10.1017/jns.2018.13.
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