Eating earlier in the day is linked to more weight loss and shedding body fat, new research finds.
People who eat earlier also go to sleep sooner.
Early eating may aid weight loss partly by increasing sleep quality.
Another study has shown that relatively small changes to mealtimes can double weight loss.
The weight loss in that study was achieved by delaying breakfast for just 90 minutes and eating dinner 90 minutes early.
In contrast, people who eat later in the day tend to put on more weight, other studies have shown.
Late-night snacking is particularly damaging to weight loss.
This study included 31 overweight and obese adults, most of whom were women.
All were already on a weight loss diet and had their movements and sleep tracked.
The results showed that people who ate earlier had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and reduced body fat.
People who ate earlier in the day also went to sleep earlier.
Dr Adnin Zaman, the study’s first author, said:
“We used a novel set of methods for simultaneous measurement of daily sleep, physical activity, and meal timing patterns that could be used to identify persons at risk for increased weight gain.
Given that wearable activity monitors and smartphones are now ubiquitous in our modern society, it may soon be possible to consider the timing of behaviors across 24 hours in how we approach the prevention and treatment of obesity.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was presented at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La.